Different heating element configurations are appropriate for different applications.
An immersion heating element, for example, is used only in contexts in which the heating element will be immersed in the materials that it is used to heat. This would make an immersion heating element inappropriate for use in a dryer.
Likewise, consumer clothes dryers do not require the same kind of heat generation tools as do industrial dryers; most consumer clothes dryers involve the controlled burning of natural gas for heat generation. Commercial dryers come in all shapes and sizes and are used for many purposes. They are used in health care facilities for instrument sanitation, in laboratories for testing and in many other contexts. Each different variety requires its own specific heating element configuration.
Dryer heating elements rely on radiation and the transfer of heat through the air. Almost every dryer heating element involves an electric current passed through a metal wire of some kind. That wire is often a nickel-chrome alloy-twisted wire. After an electric current is applied, heat is generated because of electrical resistance. Many electric heating elements are coated with ceramic insulation in order to increase electric resistance and heat generation capacity; some dryers are equipped with such heating elements, particularly kilns and other industrial dryers.
Dryer heating elements are available in many different sizes and shapes to accommodate the many different dryer configurations in which they are employed. Variables like dryer size, construction, composition, required heat generation capacity and materials to be heated factor into what constitutes an appropriate heat generation material.
Dryer heating elements usually have a shorter lifespan than other dryer components like hoses and insulation. For this reason, dryer heating elements often must be replaced or repaired sooner than other dryer components. Replacement dryer heating elements can be standard or custom made to fit the application.
Carefully pairing the right dryer heating element with the rest of the dryer components contributes to longer, safer and more effective dryer operation.