Inframat is the latest innovation in home heating systems. The product uses infrared technology to provide you with an opportunity to install an underfloor heating system for a fraction of the cost of traditional wet underfloor heating systems. The product will also evenly distribute heat within the room providing you with superior comfort. InfraMat is a PET (polyethylene terephthalate thermoplastic) doublesided laminating mat sandwiching an electrical circuit incorporating parallel carbon/graphite filaments, the opposite ends of which are attached to silver based strips which in turn connect to copper contact strips. As an electricalcurrent is passed through the contacts, the resistance created by the carbon/graphite filaments causes an emission of infrared heat. It is suitable for use under floating wooden or laminate floors, or vinyl or linoleum covered floors. It cannot be bedded into cast concrete or below ceramic tiles. It should not be installed in damp areas such as bathrooms, laundries or outdoors.
How does the InfraMat work?
It provides underfloor heating to rooms and in such a way that it has no impact on the room design or furniture layout. Unlike a conventional radiator heating system, it requires no maintenance and is very simply and effectively controlled. It utilises the Infrared part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum to radiate infrared heat. Infrared radiation (IR), often referred to as infrared, is a region of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum where wavelengths range from about 700 nanometers (nm) to 1 millimeter (mm). Infrared waves are longer than those of visible light but shorter than those of radio waves. The carbon/graphite elements between the electrical contacts on each side of the mat resist the electrical input by heating up and emitting infrared energy.
Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum
What is infrared radiation?
The sun is the earths primary energy source; we receive the suns energy everyday through a mode of heat transfer known as radiation. When the sun shines on an object, it is gently warmed up over a period of time. This object retains the heat received from the sun and then re-transmits heat outward to its ambient environment through both conduction (solid to solid heat transfer) and convection (heat transfer via liquid or gas).
Traditional home heating systems are primarily reliant on convection between the radiator and the air within the living space. In this scenario, there is a heat source which has a relatively low footprint within the room. The radiator size to room volume ratio means that the room will have a definitive hotspot in the radiator and a definitive coldspot which is typically a window or door. This differential in temperatures between radiator and window/door is the key driver for draughts and therefore thermal losses. While traditional systems primarily use convection, Infrared (IR) systems use all four modes of heat transfer – Radiation, Absorption, Conduction and Convection.
Radiation – Thermal radiation is emitted from the InfraMat under your floor. Heat is transmitted in wave form from the hot surface of the InfraMat to the colder surface of the flooring in contact with it.
Absorption – The surrounding objects absorb and store the thermal energy emitted from the IR source, the floor will absorb the bulk of this energy.
Conduction – Thermal energy is transferred from solid to solid objects including floors, walls and doors. An example would be the comforting feeling of a warmed floor when you walk on it.
Convection – Objects which have been energized via IR absorption, when hotter than the ambient air temperature, will act in the same manner as a traditional radiator and heat the air in contact with it. The floor will act as the biggest contributor to this.
Does infrared heating use a lot of power?
Inframat uses 220w of electrical power for each square metre when operating. The actual amount of power it consumes is highly dependant on various different factors including the number of external walls, the building materials used, the quality of insulation, the number of windows and doors, the orientation of the building and the outside air temperature. The benefit of the InfraMat system is that theratio of heat source to room volume is significantly increased which in turn provides you with greater comfort, uniform distribution of heat and no heating associated draughts. Improved heat distribution means that less energyis required to gain the equivalent comfort level within the living space. Separate data sheets are available which provide typical guidance on running costs of an installation monitored over a three month period.
Items included in the InfraMat Kits
Individual lengths of InfraMat, supplied to the customer's widths and length instructions. The mats will have been provided and identified in accordance with the customer requirements shown on the prepared order graph sheets - please click here. Each mat will be fitted with eyelet connectors on two diagonally opposite corners.
Sufficient and appropriately coloured brown and blue mains voltage cable is supplied to enable connections to be made between all the mats and the Controller.
Suitable tools will be needed to strip the cable ends and to crimp the Eyelet Connectors after the ends have been inserted.
The Sensing Heads and cables
The sensors are fitted at the end of 2 meter long red cables to enable connections to be made to the Controller.
InfraMat kits widths and outputs
There are four widths of mat available as shown below and the Watt per square metre outputs are as follows:
300mm mat = 67w/m
- 500mm mat = 110w/m 800mm mat
800mm mat = 176w/m
- 1000mm mat = 220w/m
Plastic Insulation Cover
These covers are used to "snap" over the Eyelet connected terminals once the connections have been made. Two are provided for the connections on each mat.
Rolls of sufficient underlay to support and insulate the area on which the InfraMats are to be laid.
PE (LDPE) Film
Rolls of sufficient 0.25mm thick PE (LDPE) film to lay over the top of the mats once positioned and electrically connected. The film provides a membrane against moisture ingress.
The Controller & Insulating Tape
One or more controllers are provided depending on individual room requirements. As well one roll of Insulating Tape is comming with the kit.
There are five kits available as below and each kit will be made up to customers requirements and from the four available mat widths.
- Kit 1 = 4m2
- Kit 2 = 6m2
- Kit 3 = 8m2
- Kit 4 = 10m2
- Kit 5 = 12m2
1. The surface of the floor onto which the Mat is to be installed must be clean and flat. Ensure that there are no depressions or sharp protrusions. If installing onto a concrete floor, ensure that it is fully dry with a moisture content of less than 2% (approx. 60% relative humidity).
2. Roll out the underlay and cut to the required length. Do not use an alternative underlay with a metallic foil coating. Leave a gap of about 20mm between each length of underlay and around the edges next to walls to accommodate cables. The underlay can be held in position and restrained from curling up with small pieces of duct tape.
3. The Mat strips will have been supplied to the required widths and cut to the lengths as per the customer's requirements. Each mat will have an identifying label to match the prepared room layout graphic. Care must be taken not to damage the Mat by standing on it during installation.
4. The cables now need to be connected between the Mats and the controller. Each group of mats strips should be connected in parallel. The connections to each strip must be diagonally opposed. Plan where the connections are going to be made and the cable routes back to the controller. See the Figure 1. from above.
5. Strip the insulation from the end of the cable back by approximately 10mm exposing the stranded conductors. Twist the conductors to prevent them from splaying. The cable socket of the eyelet connectors are sized to accept two cables, if only one cable is to be inserted, strip the insulation back further and fold it over.
6.With the cable(s) firmly inserted into the socket of the eyelet connector, use crimping pliers to permanently secure the joint.
Tip: Test the security of the connections by gently pulling on the cables!
7. The joint can now be encased within the plastic insulation cover. Use the cable-grip strap within the bottom cover to firmly fix it in place. The cover should be pushed up to the edge of the Mat while tightening the two screws. Now the top cover can be 'snapped' into place by placing it over the barbed pegs and pushing down firmly.
8. The opposite bare copper strip can now be covered with insulating tape. See Figure 2.
9.Cut out pockets in the underlay that will accept the plastic insulation covers and allow them to reduce their overall height. Figure 3.
10. When all of the cable interconnections have been completed, route the Live and Neutral cables back to the controller. Before connecting into the controller terminals, measure the resistance through the complete assembly and record the result.
11. There are two temperature sensors that also need to be connected into the controller. One is to measure the operating temperature of the mat and the other is a safety 'over temperature' sensor. The heads of these sensors should be located under a mat at different positions with pockets cut out of the underlay to allow them to sit low enough to avoid any damage. Position the sensing heads below one of the carbon cross strips of the mats. The sensing head and tail can be secured with small pieces of insulation tape. The red lines shown in Figure 1 are connections to the sensors but their location is not critical to the installation.
12. Make all of the connections into the controller together with the feed Live and Neutral as shown in Figure 4. Replace the terminal cover of the controller and switch on the power. The operating temperature can be set using the ▲ and ▼ buttons. While doing so the green LED will illuminate. Set a low temperature and allow the system to heat up gently. Check for heat at various places on the assembly to ensure that it is all working correctly. When satisfied that the complete assembly is heating up evenly, switch off the power and allow it to cool down.
NOTE: Owing to the difference in operation between InfraMat and traditional heating systems, the controller is used to constantly monitor the temperature of the InfraMat film itself rather than the room temperature. This will always result in a difference between the room temperature and the setting. However, once this difference has been established, it can easily be accommodated by adjusting an offset feature within the service settings of the controller, of which full details are included in the manual.
13. Cover the complete assembly with 0.25mm thick PE (LDPE) film to insulate against moisture ingress and then fit the floor covering.
14.If laying a vinyl or linoleum floor over the Mats, first lay down a 3mm MDF sheeting so as to avoid the pattern of the mats being impressed into the underside of the vinyl. See Figure 5 for covering detail.
15.If laying a laminated timber floor over the Mats, it can be layed straight over the PE (LDPE) film. See Figure 6 for covering detail.
16.Isolate the power and open the terminal cover of the controller. Disconnect the tails for the Mat and measure the resistance through the assembly once more. Compare this measurement with the one taken before the floor covering was laid - any difference would indicate a fault.
A typical InfraMat installation consisting of 2 no. 1000mm wide mats, 3.5m long and 1 no. 1000mm wide mat, 4.5m long (total area of 11.5 square meters).
- Installation costs are a fraction of a gas/oil
- Maintenance free
- Simple operation
- Noise free
- Evenly distributed heat and significantly reduces/eliminates drafts associated with convective heating
- No restrictions on furnishing locations.