Silicone rubber heaters were initially developed as part of the NASA space programme and were used on flights to the moon.

Now, designers can take advantage of the technology too, courtesy of the Japanese company O&M Heater. The product range varies from large sized models to mini-heaters of only 12.5 cm2. They can be used to heat pipes in automatic vending machines, provide damp protection for motors and generators and as frost protection for satellite receiving dishes. The heaters can reach 300iC, despite being no more than 1.5mm thick. The heaters are available in Europe from Munich-based Zeta.