Different types of heating systems have been developed lately, representing a growing interest in both the academic and industrial sectors. Based on the Joule effect, fibrous structures can produce heat once an electrical current is passed, whereby different approaches have been followed. For that purpose, materials with electrical and thermal conductivity have been explored, such as carbon-based nanomaterials, metallic nanostructures, intrinsically conducting polymers, fibers or hybrids. We review the usage of these emerging nanomaterials at the nanoscale and processed up to the macroscale to create heaters. In addition to fibrous systems, the creation of composite systems for electrical and thermal conductivity enhancement has also been highly studied. Different techniques can be used to create thin film heaters or heating textiles, as opposed to the conventional textile technologies. The combination of nanoscale and microscale materials gives the best heating performances, and some applications have already been proven, even though some effort is still needed to reach the industry level.
Keywords: Joule effect; composites; fibers; heating; polymers; textiles; thermal conductivity.