A common misconception is that Micathermic heaters are a new technology. In actuality, mica stones have been around for centuries. Of course, the use of mica stones in heaters is a modern discovery.
What Is A Micathermic Heater?
Contrary to popular belief, Micathermic heaters work in a completely different manner from other heater types.
The main difference in the working of Micathermic heaters is the heat delivery system. Most heaters either use radiant heating technology or a secondary blower to transmit heat from an element into the ambient air.
However, Micathermic heaters incorporate a completely different technology. The thing about Micathermic heaters which make them popular is the heat deliver system. The system seems quite complex, but in actuality the heat deliver system is rather simple.
There are two components which make a Micathermic heater different from other heaters.
- The first is the heating element, which is smaller than what most space heaters have installed.
- The second aspect which makes Micathermic heaters unique is the use of a mica stone.
- The sole purpose of the heating element is to heat up the mica stone. The task of heat delivery to the room is carried out by the mica stone.
- Once the stone is heated to a certain level, it emits electromagnetic rays.
These electromagnetic rays warm up the entire room in a manner similar to convection heaters. However, the heat emitted from Micathermic heaters does not warm up the ambient air.
Instead, the heat warms up the objects in the room. The objects, in turn, heat up the ambient air.
Regular heaters begin heating the ambient air or surrounding objects from the nearest point. This is why the heat intensity at the furthest point of the room is relatively weak. But Micathermic heaters, using electromagnetic rays, begin heating at the furthest point in the room.
As the air at the furthest point begins heating up, it is pushed towards the cold end. Eventually, the cool air reaches the area near the heater and is warmed up. This is what makes Micathermic heaters efficient in terms of heating the room and conserving electricity.
Another thing which makes Micathermic heaters quite popular is their size.
Since these heaters do not use any large components, they can be constructed in a smaller frame. But the most intriguing aspect of Micathermic heaters is the size does not affect their ability to heat an area.
To properly understand how a Micathermic heater works, the core component of this heater needs to be studied. The "Mica" in a Micathermic heater stands for the stone which surrounds the heating element. This stone is what is responsible for emitting the electromagnetic rays.
What Is Mica?
The word mica has been derived from Latin word mica. In English, mica means crumb. Basically, Mica is a mineral.
The chemical composition of mica stones is X2Y4-6Z8O20 (OH,F)4. Most minerals do not have a perfect basal cleavage, which is how smoothly a mineral retains its surface if part of it is cut or broken off.
But mica is one of the minerals that occur naturally and have a basal cleavage that is almost perfect. The reason mica's basal cleavage is almost perfect is because of the way the atoms are arranged. The atoms of mica are arranged like a hexagonal sheet.
There are many conditions in which a mica stone occurs naturally.
- Some of the most common conditions in which this mineral is found are metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous.
- Mica is generally found in the form of large crystals. Typically, these large mica crystals are found in granitic pegmatites. When mica was initially discovered, they were rare.
- Of course, they were expensive due to the fact they were available in a limited supply. This limited supply was only found in Europe at the time.
During the early 19th century, multiple large reserves of mica were discovered. These reserves were mostly located in South America and Africa.
Once these reserves were mined, the price of mica stone dropped significantly. However, Africa and America were not the only areas where large mica reserves were found.
- A 330-ton crystal was discovered in the Lacey mine in Ontario, Canada. This is, by far, the largest mica crystal that has been mined.
- There were large crystals mined in Karelia, Russia as well. These crystals were quite large and they weighed around the crystal that was mined in Canada. But a similar sized crystal is yet to be discovered.
- The largest mica reserve in the world is housed in Jharkhand, India.
- However, China is the top mica producer in the world.
Mica was once a rare mineral but is now so abundant that it is used in heaters and other appliances. Do keep in mind not all types of mica have multiple applications. The value of mica crystals is determined by the crystalline formation. The most expensive mica types on the market are muscovite and phlogopite.
The main property of mica which makes it desirable in the commercial market is that it is extremely stable. No matter what it is exposed to, the stone retains its chemical composition.
Typically mica is stable when exposed to extreme temperatures, light, moisture and even electricity.
Why Is Mica Used For Heating?
There are many reasons mica is used for heating purposes.
- The first and foremost reason is it is a safe alternative.
- Mica has a strong chemical composition. No matter what it is exposed to, it remains stable.
- It can withstand high temperature and is an electricity insulator.
- When the element is wrapped in a mica stone sheet, the element does not change the chemical composition of mica no matter how much it heats up.
Moreover, mica keeps the heater safe from electrical fires and mishaps due to its insulation properties. This is what allows micathermic heaters like the NewAir AH-470 to be safely mounted to walls and to be safe to the touch. Micathermic heaters are.
- But the most important reason why mica became immensely popular in Micathermic heaters is its property post-heating.
- When mica is heated to high temperatures, it emits electromagnetic rays.
- These rays then go onto heat the entire area.
Most heaters heat the ambient air, which is a reliable source of heating, but requires secondary assistance.
Most heaters need excellent insulation in an area to be able to heat up the room. Moreover, the slightest draft can make you feel uncomfortable and drive the heat out of the room.
But in the case of Micathermic heaters, you do not need such measures. Of course, these precautions should be taken to ensure the heater does not have to work for long, but Micathermic heaters are effective regardless of secondary assistance.
You should make it a point to seal the room as a draft can make you uncomfortable and cause the heater to consume more electricity. Getting proper insulation will also make sure your Micathermic heater consumes even less electricity.
Early Uses of Mica
A common misconception is that mica is a discovery which is only a few centuries' old. But in actuality, mica was being used even in the prehistoric times.
However, the uses of mica at that time were quite different from its applications today.
- Civilizations familiar with mica stone include ancient Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Romans and Greeks.
- Even the Aztec civilization was familiar with this mineral. During 40,000 BC to 10,000 BC, the use of mica stone was discovered in the cave paintings at the time.
- The initial uses of mica stone were purely decorative.
- Other properties of this mineral were discovered later.
Micathermic Panel Heaters
Micathermic panel heaters have gained immense popularity over the years.
The main reason these heaters are so popular is because of their heating efficiency.
- These heaters can heat up a larger area with little effort.
- These heaters do not use any secondary means of emitting heat to the room.
- It uses electromagnetic rays to transmit heat to the room.
- In other heaters, heat must be transmitted to the room via a blower. Not only does this consume more electricity, but it also takes longer to heat up the room. These heaters heat the ambient air and air takes longer to heat up.
Electromagnetic rays heat up the objects in the room which heat the air. This requires a shorter time to heat the room.
Moreover, the heating is efficient. Since the working components of mica heaters are fewer, the heater consumes less electricity. Once the heater stabilizes the room's temperature, it turns off. Since the heater takes less time to heat the room, the energy it consumes is less.
Benefits of Micathermic Heaters
Micathermic heaters provide many benefits due to which they are popular. The heating element used in Micathermic heaters is surrounded by a mica stone. The element heats the stone to provide heat.
- Micathermic heaters do not overheat. The element used in these heaters is small and is surrounded by the mica stone. One of the properties of mica stone is that it does not lose its chemical composition when heated. This is why Micathermic heaters are not prone to overheating related failures. The stone can withstand great temperatures and remain safe.
- Micathermic heaters keep the ambient air comfortable. Other heaters make the air dry. This makes it uncomfortable to breathe. But Micathermic heaters retain the moisture in the air which makes it ideal for people who have allergies or chronic conditions.
- Micathermic heaters are lightweight and slim. This makes them ideal for almost any location, no matter how compact. Many people prefer these heaters because they do not take up much space.
- Overall, Micathermic heaters provide quick, efficient, safe, and portable heat.
Micathermic heaters are, without a doubt, one of the best heating options. Not only are they portable and compact, but they provide adequate heat as well.