Used in appliances and industrial equipment, heating coils change electrical current into heat energy. Manufacturers make heating coils from metal alloys, which are a combination of two or more elements.
Manufacturers use nichrome to make the heating coils found in common household appliances. Nichrome is combined from nickel and chromium. Wire made from nichrome is especially suited for use in heating coils because of its flexibility. This alloy also has a high melting point.
Heating coils can contain a number of other compounds. Alloys of nickel, iron and chrome are also used in household appliances. Coiled heating elements are made of tungsten and stainless steel in industrial equipment that requires higher temperatures.
In some applications, the heating coil requires insulation. Fiberglass, ceramics and synthetic materials are used as insulating substances, along with mica and asbestos.