How does gas catalytic infrared actually work?

Learn more about gas catalytic IR technology, applications and benefits

Gas catalytic IR technology is flameless

Gas catalytic infrared emitters convert natural gas or propane into medium to long wave infrared by using a special platinum catalyst. The only by-products are water and carbon dioxide.

This flameless catalytic reaction produces controllable surface temperatures of the emitters between 175°C and 480°C. The radiation intensity can be varied infinitely between 20% - 100% of the available output.

Infrared heat transfers energy and generates heat where it is needed. PLC controlled infrared ovens are precisely designed to match the thermal process application. This saves energy, improves process stability and increases capacity and quality. The process time can be reduced by up to 66% and the required space by up to 50% when compared to conventional systems.

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For which processes is gas catalytic infrared suitable?

Gas catalytic IR ovens for coating and finishing
The emitted radiation is in the range 3.5 to 5.5 microns and thus exactly matches the absorption spectrum of powder coatings and water.Gas catalytic IR heat is ideal for several processes: Coating of heat-sensitive substrates such as MDF, powder coating metallic and non-metallic substrates, drying processes for example lacquer, food, leather and thermoforming of plastics.The gas catalytic panels are available in standard sizes that can be combined to create large or small ovens depending on the application. Each system can be split into any number of individual PLC controlled zones for precise process control.

Electric IR or gas catalytic IR – which one is better?

electric or gas catalytic IR for industrial coating and finishing

Whether electric or gas catalytic infrared systems, both technologies offer advantages - if they fit the product and process exactly:

Electric infrared emitters:
- High thermal output
- Reaction time within seconds
- Focused heat
- Short to medium wave, heats even in depth

Gas catalytic infrared panels:
- homogeneous radiation distribution leads to uniform heating of large areas
- long wave infrared radiation for surfaces and heat-sensitive substrates
- reliable, robust heat sources

Gas catalytic infrared systems are particularly efficient in continuous operation, in gelling and curing of powder coating or where diffuse, widely distributed heat is required.

Electric infrared systems are particularly advantageous where a lot of heat is needed in a short time. The same is true for short cycle applications, for water-based coating systems or where sensitive substrates require a well-controlled heat source.

The application specialists at Heraeus Noblelight can also offer hybrid solutions that combine the advantages of both infrared technologies.