Ceramic Pad And Rope Heaters
Almost any conductive wire can be used for heating, but most metals conduct electricity with great efficiency, requiring them to be formed into very thin and delicate wires in order to create enough resistance to generate heat. When heated in air, most metals then oxidize quickly, become brittle, and break. NiChrome wire, however, when heated to red-hot temperatures, develops an outer layer of chromium oxide, which is thermodynamically stable in air, is mostly impervious to oxygen, and protects the heating element from further oxidation.
NiChrome is used in the explosives and fireworks industry as a bridge wire in electric ignition systems, such as electric matches and model rocket igniters. Industrial and hobby hot-wire foam cutters use NiChrome wire.
NiChrome wire is commonly used in ceramic as an internal support structure to help some elements of clay sculptures hold their shape while they are still soft. NiChrome wire is used for its ability to withstand the high temperatures that occur when clay work is fired in a kiln.
NiChrome alloys are known for their high mechanical strength and their high creep strength. The properties of NiChrome vary depending on its alloy. The alloy price is controlled by the more expensive nickel content.