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How to make a heating element?

I need to make an ajustable heater element.

Here are the outlines/ Specs for this.

Power 120v from wall

Heat range needs to be between 70F to about 300F

Heater will be attached to a 1in dia pipe and will be melting plastic.

I have no clue how to go about doing this. I need some help with what components I need to buy, how to hook them up and what type of wire is the best for the element itself.



You need to estimate at least how many watts you will need. To do that,. you need to work out the volume of plastic you expect to flow through the pipe, and the heat needed to melt that volume.

You work that out by finding the specific heat capacity of the plastic, and its latent heat of fusion - the amount of energy it takes to melt it.

I'm going to make a stab at it, and say you need 500W of heating, and I wouldn't "make" the heater, I'd buy a "band heater"

Steve