SiC Element Connections on a Dekema baSIC Furnace

The other day, I had a customer send me the following picture (shown on right).

Along with the picture, he sent a note:

I received the elements earlier this week. However, as you can see in the attachment, the wires are not exactly the same. Is there a way to “macgyver”it ? I thought of taking the ring clamp from the old element and putting it on the new one. Is that advisable or would there be another option? First and foremost, I am quite glad that this customer reached out to ask us a question. SiC and MoSi2 heating elements aren’t cheap, and rather than make a costly mistake, give us a call. No question is too simple – we are more than happy to help.

This was the first time that we had sold elements for the Dekema baSIC furnace, so I had not come across this particular terminal configuration before. I do like how the element electrical connections are cleanly and safely routed using the white plastic block. Even the insulated wires (the white and blue striped wires on the rightmost element) are high-temperature and are secured to the element straps with a nice custom connection block. Very German, and very nice.

The only problem is that this type of connection is non-standard from an element manufacturer’s point of view. Our elements are sold with integrated braided Aluminum terminal straps, and typically, these straps are bolted to either another strap, or to some type of terminal block. A standard element looks like so:

Dekema baSIC

So, what to do? My response back to the customer was as follows:

Thank you for giving us a call. I am glad to hear that you received the elements. With regards to your question, I would be quite hesitant to remove the ring clamp – the elements are two pieces and each piece is exceptionally fragile. Removing the clamp significantly increases the potential to break an element (especially the one that has been in use for awhile). If you fold the straps over onto themselves, are they able to fit in the plastic channels like the other wires? How do the connections look on the other end?

I emphasized the bit about removing the ring clamp as – like I said – it is generally a bad idea to remove the ring clamp due to the fragility of the elements. So, as a result, we are stuck with the braided straps.

My customer – an ingenious guy – responded back with the following:

Dekema baSIC Terminals Plan B

My plan, instead of removing the clamp, will be to remove the metal part (red square) just keeping the short metallic wire and replacing it with the blue square and its wire. (see pics)

We have a winner! For all of you out there with Dekema baSIC furnaces (or furnaces with similar connection types), follow this gentleman’s lead:

  1. Don’t unclamp the element halves
  2. Keep the element straps intact
  3. Use the existing mounting hardware if possible

Of course, if you ever have any questions, feel free to drop us a line.