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Old 04-12-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Electric experiment


Thank you for your help, I'm a sculptor with some electric experience and I'm trying to make a modification to a portable electric stove. I want to replace the spiral that become hot and red incandescent when the stove is turn on, with a different shape made with different piece of iron that need to become red incandescent when the stove is turn on. Since the spiral element is made by nichrome I think to buy this material and use it but I wonder if someone know if it's something possible to do (size of the nichrome etc)
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
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The 1/4 inch or so bar that is curled into a spiral is a sheath that is not electrically live when it gets red hot. It has a thin nichrome wire inside it. It might be possible to bend it into the shape you want but more likely it will crack and the nichrome wire inside will break if you try to bend it.

Some electric stove burners (on portable cooktops) have a coiled spring like element about a quarter inch in diameter made from a thinner, say, 22 gauge nichrome wire. This spring fits into a spiral circular channel in a 6 inch or so diameter porcelain holder that is the burner assembly. This is a live wire when the stove is turned on.

I don't know the exact wire size and length that is appropriate but for a 120 vlt circuit a nichrome wire that is about 22 gauge would be several feet long before being coiled up. Do not take a solid nichrome bar a quarter inch in diameter and connect that directly to the 120 volt power; that would be like a dead short circuit that would draw over a hundred amperes if a breaker did not trip first.

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Old 04-12-2013, 06:15 PM   #3
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Electric experiment


does it need to heat or are you just looking for the red light effect?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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http://www.instructables.com/id/The-...ctroluminesce/
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:31 PM   #5
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Thank you for the suggestion for the EL wire but it need to be hot.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:39 PM   #6
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We're going to need way more detailed information on what you're trying to do. As others said, you can't just forge something the right shape out of nichrome. Heating elements are simple, but not that simple.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
We're going to need way more detailed information on what you're trying to do. As others said, you can't just forge something the right shape out of nichrome. Heating elements are simple, but not that simple.
mpoulton is being nice........

The typical enclosed heating element is actually a nichrome wire coiled up and put inside a 'container'....that 'container is then filled with a non conductive material...typically something that loos like plaster.

One real important point....that nichrome wire can NOT come in contact with the container....or you have big issues.....

The engineering behind making these types of heaters is pretty sophisticated....I deal with it all the time....trust me....you can't afford it.

Now...with that said.....your task is not impossible....but your going to have to adjust your plans.

You can get nichrome wire....and heating it up is not hard....a variac is a good option.....but, your going to have issues as to how you apply the heat.

To give you an idea of the typical use of a bare nichrome wire....think of those machines used to seal a plastic bag....

Your two main issues are...

1. Getting the wire into the shape you want and holding it there...

2. Controlling the heat
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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Thank you . I guess nichrome it easy make it to the shape I want, I wonder if I can use a more ductile metal like iron since I don't need the metal reach high temperature but just become red incandescent in that way probably I need to use less power. I wonder that a variac it is something to change the power. I include a image of the project and thank you thank you
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
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If you use something like iron....and it touches the nichrome.....it will short circuit and you will most likely get shocked or the variac will blow the fuse.

If your doing what I think your doing....they make a version if nichrome wire that is fairly heavy. You can bend it into a shape and it will pretty much hold that shape as long as you don't get it too hot. A typical use is for making foam cores for home built airplanes.....you bend the wire in the shape of the air foil....heat it up...and pass the foam block past it...the wire melts (cuts) the foam as it moves across leaving two pieces.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
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Do you know were should I find this heavy nichrome?I will be able to make it red incandescent?
Thank you
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by carlo123 View Post
Thank you . I guess nichrome it easy make it to the shape I want, I wonder if I can use a more ductile metal like iron since I don't need the metal reach high temperature but just become red incandescent in that way probably I need to use less power. I wonder that a variac it is something to change the power. I include a image of the project and thank you thank you
Umm... When I said we needed more information, I meant we need to know what you are trying to accomplish here. So far, this makes no sense at all, and the sketch doesn't help because we still have no idea what you're going to use it for. We can't help you solve a problem if we don't know what problem you're actually trying to solve. Your current thinking on this is so far off the mark that we can't really start there.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:34 AM   #12
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As far as I know, the device is supposed to be a work of art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlo123 View Post
Thank you . I guess nichrome it easy make it to the shape I want, I wonder if I can use a more ductile metal like iron since I don't need the metal reach high temperature but just become red incandescent in that way probably I need to use less power. I wonder that a variac it is something to change the power. I include a image of the project and thank you thank you
The bendable nichrome wire used to cut styrofoam is not intended to get red hot although it might (I'm not sure) without burning out if you apply enough voltage.

Reaching high temperature and becoming red incandescent are one and the same. Iron or copper would have to get to about the same temperature to be red hot. Nichrome was invented because it would remain at the desired high temperature (for stove burners or heaters) without softening excessively or melting as iron or copper would do.

Don't forget, the red hot element is a fire hazard if you are not super careful about not having curtains or other flammable materials within about two feet when the device is operating. You would have to treat it with the same care as you would treat a lighted candle. It is legitimate for art to include visual or heat effects such as a (nonflammable) pinwheel above that rotates as heated air rises from the red hot element.


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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-15-2013 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:59 AM   #13
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Thank you. At this point I should find a bendable nichrome, disconnect the spiral from the stove connect the bandable nichrome and see it it's work
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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Thank you. At this point I should find a bendable nichrome, disconnect the spiral from the stove connect the bandable nichrome and see it it's work
No, that will not work. The large bendable nichrome has much lower resistance than the original heating element. It will require lower voltage and higher current to operate. You would need a transformer or other power supply for it. Don't just go sticking nichrome pieces in the range sockets!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
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Go look at table 2 in this link.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichrome

Here is the 'ugly' ver of it...

Showing approximate amperes necessary to produce a given temperature. Applying only to straight wires stretched horizontally in free air.
Wire Gauge
(B&S No. / AWG) Diam. Inches 400F 204C 600F 316C 800F 427C 1000F 538C 1200F 649C 1400F 760C 1600F 871C 1800F 982C 2000F 1093C
12 .081 11.34 15.91 20.27 25.53 31.77 39.03 46.73 54.80 63.01
13 .072 9.73 13.53 17.21 21.61 26.89 33.06 39.60 46.41 53.31
14 .064 8.34 10.50 14.59 18.30 22.76 28.01 33.56 39.31 45.11
15 .057 7.15 9.78 12.38 15.50 19.26 23.73 28.44 33.30 38.17
16 .051 6.13 8.31 10.50 13.11 16.30 20.10 24.10 28.20 32.30
17 .045 5.31 7.18 9.13 11.30 13.90 16.90 20.30 23.60 27.00
18 .040 4.66 6.26 7.90 9.75 11.96 14.51 17.37 20.48 23.08
19 .036 4.09 5.46 6.84 8.41 10.30 12.45 14.87 17.78 19.73
20 .032 3.58 4.77 5.92 7.25 8.86 10.69 12.72 15.43 16.87
21 .0285 3.14 4.16 5.13 6.26 7.63 9.17 10.88 13.40 14.40
22 .0253 2.76 3.63 4.44 5.40 6.56 7.87 9.31 11.63 12.33
23 .0226 2.42 3.16 3.84 4.67 5.65 6.76 7.97 10.09 10.54
24 .020 2.12 2.76 3.32 4.01 4.86 5.80 6.82 8.76 9.01
25 .0179 1.84 2.42 2.90 3.44 4.15 4.97 5.86 6.96 7.72
26 .0159 1.58 2.09 2.52 3.00 3.61 4.31 5.06 5.97 6.63
27 .0142 1.34 1.80 2.19 2.62 3.14 3.73 4.37 5.12 5.69
28 .0126 1.18 1.55 1.90 2.28 2.73 3.23 3.77 4.39 4.88
29 .0113 1.02 1.34 1.65 1.99 2.37 2.80 3.25 3.76 4.39
30 .010 .875 1.16 1.43 1.74 2.06 2.43 2.81 3.22 3.59
.040 through .010 based on coiling on an arbor .12 diameter and stretched to twice the close wound lengths. [2]

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