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Heat Mat / Expanding Foam Question

Discussion in 'Heating' started by Geordieballs, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Geordieballs

    Geordieballs New Member

    Hi all,

    Got a question regarding heating. I'm starting my first custom build and I'm in the planning stages. I know what I'm going to do (silicon in, expanding foam above, grout, then paint, then varnish) but I have a placement question. I'm wanting to keep the rest artificial for now, so I can then plan an update to full naturalistic once I see how this goes. Can I place a heatmat under the expanding foam / silicon (as in outside the tank below it), or must it directly heat the substrate? The physicist in me says it's a good idea, as the expanding foam's air pockets will aid heat retention, but I wanted a bit of guidance and advice before I go ahead. There will be floor space for the heat mat to heat substrate directly if that is preferable.

    Any and all advice welcomed and appreciated. If you have bonus tips about other build points, much appreciated too!

  2. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Keep in mind that any heat source near silicone will soften it over time. I had the issue using LED spotlights which give off very little heat. Still they softened the silicone and would fall off.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Also the same air pockets you are talking about in the foam will serve as an insulator, preventing heat from moving thru the foam.
  4. Geordieballs

    Geordieballs New Member

    Hmm. Maybe I should try to find out the silicon that they use to seal the vivarium itself when it's made. That withstands the heatmat, so must be more heat resistant than usual. But thanks!

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