The product used to maintain or increase pipes and vessels' temperature electrically is known as electric heat tracing, heat tape, or surface heating. Electric heat tracing takes the form of an electrical heating element that runs along the pipe's length in close physical contact. The pipe is usually covered with thermal insulation to maintain thermal losses from the line. The heat produced by the element then maintains the pipe temperature. Heat tracing protects pipes from freezing, maintains a constant temperature of flow in hot water systems, or maintain piping process temperatures needed to transport solid substances at ambient temperatures. Electric heat tracing is an alternative to steam trace heating, where steam is unavailable or unwanted, is electric trace heating cables.