Industrial radiant process heaters, often also referred to as infrared heaters, play a very important role in process heating. Manufacturing processes require heating for a variety of purposes, such as:
- drying an adhesive, ink or coating
- curing a coating
- heating a part for lamination
- melting an adhesive for bonding
- annealing a plastic part to reduce stress cracking
Why Choose Industrial Radiant Process Heaters for Your Application?
Heating a product can be accomplished in many ways: using heated air, steam, heated drums or industrial radiant process heaters. The advantage offered by infrared heaters is the high intensity heat they produce. When your product and your process can tolerate high heat, using infrared heaters can reduce the time required to complete a process from minutes to seconds- saving time, energy, and increasing production capacity. Another advantage is space: because of the higher rate of heat transfer, IR dryers are often less than half the size of an equivalent hot air dryer.
Radiant Energy’s Industrial Radiant Process Heater Designs
Infrared heaters are available in many styles, shapes, intensities and energy wavelengths. Radiant Energy Systems manufactures a wide variety of industrial radiant process heaters including gas and electric medium wavelength heaters, which are the most effective in drying water from coatings. We also use shortwave length infrared heaters (popularly known as T3 lamps) in many systems. Our expertise with a variety of industrial radiant process heaters allows us to design systems using the most appropriate heaters for your specific application, resulting in the most efficient system and substantial savings for you.
Depending on your needs, we can provide the heater alone, with temperature controllers and SCR power controllers, or as part of a custom designed oven system.
Short wave infrared heaters
Short wave infrared heaters have the highest unit area power output and temperatures that range from 2150 degrees F to 4000 degrees F. Short wave emitters generate energy in the .7 to 1.2 micron range and use electricity as the fuel source.
Short wavelength heaters are generally very intense and can pack a lot of energy in a small space. They are suitable for applications where space is very tight, since the high heat often means the product can be heated or dried faster with a shorter length dryer. Although they do produce a great deal of energy, short wave emitters heat up and cool down very quickly. They are used extensively in the metal coil coating industry where the product can take high levels of heat.
Emitter designs include:
- T3 lamps
- Quartz tubes with tungsten filament
- Twin tubes
Medium wave infrared heaters
Medium wave is the most commonly used emitter in industrial radiant process heating dryers, suitable for a wide variety of applications requiring temperatures between 900 degrees F and 2150 degrees F. Medium wavelength heaters generate the bulk of their energy in the range of 2.5 to 3.0 microns, where it is readily absorbed by water and most plastic films. This makes medium wavelengths well suited for drying water-based inks, coatings and adhesives.
Gas fired medium wavelength IR heaters operate in the temperature range of 1300 degrees F to 1700 degrees F and generate higher intensities than electric IR heaters. They are great for applications requiring a limited range of operation, such as predryers for textile and paper industries on the wet end of the process.
Emitter designs include:
- Stamped foil emitter
- Quartz tube
- Ceramic heaters
- Quartz plate
- Stamped foil with air
Long wave infrared heaters
Long wave produces a lower power intensity for longer dwell time applications and those requiring temperatures between 500 degrees F and 900 degrees F. These may be fueled by electricity or gas. Long wave IR dryers may be used instead of a comparable hot air convection dryer for applications requiring zoning across the machine direction, which can be hard to create with hot air.
- Long wave electric infrared heaters
- Gas catalytic infrared heaters