Gas infrared equipment is ideal for drying and curing web-type substrates such as paper, cloth, aluminum and steel.
Typically, electric infrared lamps require a reflector, while porous screen gas infrared burners do not.
Gas or electric infrared ovens dry or cure coatings faster than hot air convection ovens. This offers many advantages and savings to the user.
One of the advantages is the much shorter length of the oven, which saves capital costs and plant space. The shorter length often allows it to be mounted vertically rather than horizontally, further reducing plant space requirements. When mounted vertically, the oven eliminates the problem of overhanging chain lines and/or curvature and allows the generator to be placed where there is minimal clearance to the strip or web.
Automatic Control Infrared Electrode Oven
When the coating is fully dried or cured in the infrared oven, the substrate temperature leaving the oven is lower than the same substrate and coating exiting the convection oven. The lower substrate temperature is primarily due to the high absorption of infrared waves by water or solvents, which often results in complete evaporation of the moisture in a short period of time without the need to heat the substrate to the evaporation temperature. In addition, lower substrate temperatures reduce the amount of heat to be removed - in some cases, eliminating the need for a cooling zone.
For a variety of reasons, infrared electrode ovens may use less energy than convection ovens. Shorter infrared ovens operate at a lower temperature, which reduces heat loss from the exhaust. Less heat transfer to and from the workpiece is required due to the lower substrate temperature. In some cases, large recirculating fans with high horsepower motors are eliminated, resulting in a significant reduction in electrical power.
Gas infrared vs. electric
In the past, most infrared ovens in this field were electric infrared. However, a properly designed gas infrared oven will offer the same operating features as electric infrared, including modulation control and flexibility, as well as many additional operating advantages.
Depending on local fuel prices and operating procedures, the fuel cost of using natural gas may be lower than the fuel cost of using electricity to accomplish the same job.
Maintenance costs for gas infrared ovens may be lower than for electric ovens. The average life expectancy of a gas burner's radiant surface is at least four to five years. Gas infrared ovens require some replacement of gas valves, flame safety devices and safety switches, but less per year than some electric infrared ovens that use T-3 lamps and require periodic maintenance to replace damaged or burned-out bulbs.
Gas infrared burners can be operated in an oven environment without any cooling air being supplied to the burner. Cooling is sometimes a requirement for electric infrared heaters. With gas infrared burners, the only exhaust air required is the amount of air needed to remove the combustion products from the gas infrared burner as well as any evaporated moisture and solvents.
Since the gas burner radiates all of its heat from a flat surface looking directly at the strip, no reflector is required. Most electric infrared ovens require a reflector and use some emitters such as T-3 tubes, where up to 50% of the infrared light is redirected by the reflector. Over time, the reflectivity of these reflectors may decrease and reduce the amount of energy re-radiated.
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