Lam Research has been granted a patent for a heating device that is bonded to tubing structures to form a flexible tubing assembly. The heating device includes one or more heater traces embedded within a thermally conductive and electrically insulative encasing material. The device has a serpentine shape and generates heat when an electrical current is applied. An encapsulation layer of thermal insulating material covers the tubing assembly and the heating device. GlobalData’s report on Lam Research gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Lam Research, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Lam Research's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A heating device with a flexible serpentine shape

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Lam Research Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11768011B2) describes a heating device with a unique serpentine shape. The device consists of an encasing material that is both thermally conductive and electrically insulative, with the serpentine shape running along its length. Embedded within the encasing material is at least one heater trace made of a material that generates heat when an electrical current is applied.

The encasing material of the heating device is flexible, allowing it to be easily manipulated and adapted to different applications. It is primarily composed of polyimide, a commonly used material known for its excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties.

The heater trace within the encasing material is made from an alloy that includes metals such as copper, iron, nickel, chromium, aluminum, molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, and cobalt. These metals are selected for their ability to generate heat efficiently when an electrical current passes through them.

The serpentine shape of the encasing material serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it increases the amount of heater trace present per unit length of the device, enhancing its heating capabilities. Secondly, it enables flexibility, allowing the device to be easily bent and shaped to fit various applications.

The serpentine shape is achieved through regularly spaced slits located at opposing sides of the device, alternating along its length. These slits not only contribute to the flexibility of the device but also allow for efficient heat distribution.

In some embodiments, the heating device is configured as a contiguous plurality of unit cut lengths, with each unit cut length having access locations for electrical connection to the heater trace. This configuration enables the device to be easily cut to fit the length of tubing structures in their connected configuration.

In certain embodiments, the heating device includes two heater traces positioned in a parallel relationship along the serpentine shape of the encasing material. These heater traces are connected to a bridging wire at one end of the device and to separate electrical leads at the other end. The electrical leads can be connected to positive and negative terminals of an electrical power supply.

Overall, this patented heating device offers a flexible and efficient solution for various heating applications, with its unique serpentine shape and embedded heater trace technology.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.