Good to know – basic Infrared heating information

Infrared heat for drying and sintering

What is infrared radiation?

The sun sends IR radiation to the earth, similar to an IR emitter which sends radiation to the product, without any contact or transfer medium.
Unlike the sun, an IR emitter can be switched on and off whenever it is needed.

What are the benefits of Infrared heating?

- Infrared radiation requires neither contact
nor intermediate transfer medium
- Fast response times allow controllable heat
- Heat is applied precisely where and only for so long
as it is required
- Infrared emitters are precisely matched to the materials to be heated

Medium wave infrared heaters match exactly to absorption characteristics of water

What about IR wavelength?

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.
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 kW/m2 (power density). 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.