Home PEX Supplies Radiant Heating Heat Transfer Plates

Radiant Heat Transfer Plates

Manufactured from aluminum using either stamping or extrusion methods, these plates improve the performance of the radiant heating system by dispersing the heat from PEX tubing into the floor above. Radiant heating floors with such plates have a more even heat distribution and eliminate or reduce cold (hot) spots.
These aluminum plates also call for a lower water supply temperature and thus may reduce heating costs.

The most important features of PEX heat transfer plates are their thickness and surface area, as both represent the system's response time and even heat distribution.
Stamped plates we stock are thinner, but have larger contact surface with the floor. These, however, have to be installed at the same time as PEX tubing. They have an omega-shaped tubing channel and easily snap over the pipe and hold in place. This type can be used both for between joists installation and for sandwich type radiant heating installations.

With extruded plates, the omega-shaped tubing channel is rotated downwards, which allows the installer to secure them to the subfloor first, and then snap the PEX tubing into the channel using a rubber maul. Extruded plates are thicker, have more contact surface with PEX pipes and are generally considered an improved version of the stamped plates. They are commonly used in subfloor installations, where PEX tubing is installed between joists.

It is important to avoid cutting the plates, as abrasive edges may damage the tubing when it expands or contracts as a result of thermal changes in the radiant heating system. If cutting the plate is inevitable, the tubing channel has to be reamed out with a round file.

Related articles:
Heat transfer plates basics.

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