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High precision, current capacity remain key objectives in thermostat line

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China National’s Clip Thermostat model is a bimetal type with 250V rated voltage and 10 or 15A rated current. It meets CE, CQC, CSA, UL and VDE requirements.

Suppliers focus on enhancing product performance to align with trends in terminal applications.

China thermostat makers concentrate on elevating precision and current capacity further, matching evolving requirements in various terminal products to buoy the mature line.

Suppliers are using upscale materials to raise temperature-controlling precision. For the spring of the ST01 Series, Saftty Electronic Technology Co. Ltd adopts BeCu sourced from Japan because of its good elasticity. The model has ±3 or ±5 C temperature tolerance, better than the generally acceptable ±5 or ±10 C. It is designed for motors, fans, transformers, lighting ballasts and electric heating devices.

To protect refrigeration appliances from overheating, manufacturers can realize temperature tolerance within ±1.5 C. For fryers, ovens and similar household equipment that do not have a strict specification for temperature precision, they have improved it to ±3 C. This is to help terminal products companies add value to their selections and encourage replacements.

In large-current and high-power applications, enterprises target to exceed the 2 to 6A rating of typical thermostats. Jiangyin Precision Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd offers 10 to 80A models for elevated-power motors, heating equipment, sodium lamps, fluorescent ballasts and metal halide lamp rectifiers.

China makers are also pursuing product development on compact configurations to meet the miniaturization trend in the electronics industry. Jiangyin Precision will roll out the BRMS Series for battery packs and low-power home appliances. The model measures 4.2x7.2x18mm. Saftty’s latest releases have less than 9.2 and 5mm diameter and thickness.

In addition to these enhancements, companies continue to accommodate customization covering current capacity, operating temperature, dimensions and encapsulation. For the second specification, the common range is -35 to 350 C. Thermostats that work below -20 C can be produced by a few local manufacturers only. Jiangyin Precision is among them.

In terms of dimensions and encapsulation, companies such as Saftty offer units with or without insulation caps and epoxy covers. The maker also accepts orders requiring transparent shrink insulation caps, PBT insulating cases or lead or solid wire.

Environmental protection is also a trend in the line, especially as compliance is required for products entering the US and the EU. As such, suppliers have upgraded to wave soldering, which has soldering fluxes with 99 percent tin, 0.3 percent silver and 0.7 percent copper. Traditional welding materials contain 63 percent tin and 37 percent lead. As a further guarantee, companies turn out products that carry RoHS approval, besides CE, UL, TÜVand VDE certification. They implement manufacturing based on ISO 14001and OHSAS 18001 guidelines.

China gathers about 1,000 thermostat manufacturers, mainly in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shaanxi. Ninety percent of the companies are local small and midsize businesses. Large state-owned or foreign-invested makers each with annual output surpassing 20 million units make up the rest. Suppliers also offer thermal cutoffs and temperature switches.

The industry continues to grow, thanks to expanding local and overseas markets. Export shipments totaled 220 million units valued at $264 million during the first three quarters of 2012, exceeding the same period in the previous year by 8 percent. This was achieved despite the economic challenges in major destinations abroad. In the coming months, businesses are confident of realizing international revenue higher by 10 to 30 percent. The main export markets are the US, the EU and Asia.

Mechanical & electronic thermostats

Precious metal composite

China enterprises offer mechanical and electronic units. These types have temperature tolerance of ±3 to ±10 C and ±2 to ±5 C, respectively. Both come in 2 to 80A versions.

Bimetal, liquid-expansion and pressure kinds make up the mechanical category. The first is classified into snap- and creep-action versions, which are paired with thermal cutoffs to function as protective devices in electric heating products. From the name, such thermostats adopt two types of metal, with nickel, copper, tungsten, aluminum, iron, platinum and rhodium as options. These come in strip or coil spring shapes.

Liquid-expansion variants are widely applied in temperature-regulating devices, and pressure units in refrigeration equipment.

Electronic thermostats have advantages of high precision, stable performance and compact design. These are increasingly adopted in household appliances, heating devices, PCBs and various electronic components. The type uses platinum, copper or tungsten as resistance wire.

Based on output, bimetal units dominate with a 40 percent share. Liquid-expansion, pressure and electronic varieties make up the rest.

The materials used in the manufacture of thermostats are nickel, copper, tungsten, aluminum, iron or platinum for the main body, and tin or silver for plating. These are sourced mostly from local providers. Makers utilize imported materials in some upscale models or on buyers’ request.

Prices will remain unchanged in the months ahead, thanks to the stable outlay for manufacturing inputs.

Related report:
Temperature sensors: Upgrades stress compact, high-precision

Product gallery

Precious metal composite

Fulling & Ceiec Co. Ltd
(mainland China)

Model: JRM Serials Thermal Protector
MOQ: 10,000 units
Delivery: 30 days
Description: 24VDC, 120VAC rated voltage; 2, 3 or 6A rated current; -20 to 150 C operating temperature; reset at 2 C lower than operating temperature; 10,000-cycle life span; 5.3x4x15.8mm; for DC electrical tools, computers, intercoms, home appliances; TÜV, UL

Precious metal composite

Jiangyin Precision Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd
(mainland China)

Model: BRMZ Series
Description: 240VAC, 24VDC rated voltage; 4A rated current; 45 to 120 C operating temperature, ±5 C tolerance; reset at 2/3 of operating temperature, ±15 C tolerance; 4.2x7.2x18mm; >6,000-cycle life span; for fractional-horsepower motors, sodium lamps, electric elements, fluorescent ballasts, transformers, PCBs, metal halide lamp rectifiers; TÜV, RoHS, UL

Precious metal composite

Saftty Electronic Technology Co. Ltd
(mainland China)

Model: ST01
Description: 250VAC rated voltage; 5A rated current; -60 to 180 C operating temperature, ±5 C tolerance; reset at 2/3 of operating temperature, ±15 C tolerance; silver alloy contact, BeCu spring, silver-plated brass case; <9.2mm diameter; for motors, electric heating appliances, fans, transformers, lighting ballasts; CB, CQC, TÜV, REACH, RoHS, UL

Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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