Infrared Ovens for Preheating of a Surface
In many coating lines, especially powder coating lines, a product must be heated prior to having powder coating applied. Without proper elevation of the substrates temperature you can have issues with your powder or liquid coating applying unevenly. Compared to traditional convection ovens infrared ovens can provide faster preheating of a product. This ability to elevate a products surface rapidly and at a lower cost is one of the primary benefits of infrared oven technology. While this is a significant benefit of infrared ovens, there are considerations that should be evaluated.
Important considerations about infrared ovens for preheating a surface
The biggest considerations if you are considering an infrared preheating oven is the substrate you will heat, the desired temperature elevation, and the characteristics of the substrate. Each of these factors will be discussed
The substrate you will heat
Infrared uses radiation to achieve rapid elevation of temperature. This can help with keeping the length of a curing oven to a minimum. However, there are limitations that result from Infrared’s dependence on radiation waves, mainly that it can have trouble effectively curing what it cannot see. Additionally, if your product is extraordinarily dense infrared may not be able to rapidly elevate the surface temperature rapidly. This can be the result of a heat sink where the elevated temperature is drawn into the dense product body rather than achieving elevation of the surface temperature. This is often a potential issue when trying to use infrared ovens to preheat dense steel or when trying to accommodate products of varying densities in the same infrared preheat oven.
The desired temperature elevation
In addition to knowing about the substrate you plan to heat you will want to verify how high of a temperature you want to achieve in your preheat infrared oven. Knowing your goal for the preheat oven temperature will allow for evaluation to determine based on your substrate your heating, length of space you want to achieve heating in, and overall product size whether infrared will be able to successfully preheat your product before moving on to the next step.
How to ensure an infrared oven will work for your preheat oven needs
Once you have a general idea whether infrared will be able to work with your substrate and temperature requirements you will want to take a few additional steps to ensure that it is truly ideal over other preheat oven options like convection preheat ovens. The most important step to take is to work with an infrared oven solution provider to test a sample of your actual product (ensuring that you match the sample to the same product density and material as the original product). With the test you want to verify that you can actually achieve the needed preheat temperature in the oven length that will be placed in your coating line. Failure to take this step can lead to making an expensive investment in an infrared oven that won’t meet your needs. However, by successfully testing the infrared oven concept before purchase and implementation as your preheat oven you can ensure it will be able to properly heat your substrate in the given amount of time that you have planned for your coating line or whatever application you are considering. If you want help knowing whether infrared ovens could be right for your application you can contact us for a free consultation.