An electric Heating element is usually a coil, ribbon (which will be straight or corrugated), or a strip of wire that gives off a lot of heat much like a lamp filament. If an electric current flows through the electric heating element, it glows up red and hot and converts the electrical current flows through it. Which radiates out in all directions. Heatin elements does not work in isolation. They are either nickel-based or iron-based. Nichrome is the most popular material for heating elements.