Emission spectra of infrared lamps

The wavelength of an infrared emitter has a major influence on the efficiency of a thermal process.
The better the emitted wavelength fits the absorption spectrum of the material to be heated, the more efficient the process.

Wavelength ranges of different emitter types

Emission spectra infrared lamps

For instance, water absorbs best at about 3000 nm. Therefore, medium-wave and carbon infrared (CIR) emitters are optimal to heat water and water-based coatings. The main emission of these emitters lies exactly within the range of the main absorption of water. Another important emitter parameter is power, measured in W/cm (emitter length) or W/cm2 (heated surface). Due to the higher temperatures of the heating filaments, the power density of short-wave or halogen emitters is in most cases higher than that of medium-wave infrared emitters.

When selecting an  infrared emitter for an industrial process, wavelength and power are among the most important parameters that are taken into account.