What Is a Ceramic Infrared Heater? A ceramic infrared heater is a industrial infrared heaters that uses infrared radiation housed by ceramics to produce heat. This form of radiation is less powerful than microwaves but more powerful than ultraviolet rays and visible light. Traditional sources of industrial infrared heating include quartz infrared heaters, tubular heaters, and gas-powered heaters.
IR heaters have different shapes based on their purposes; curved heaters create more focused heat, while flat ones heat large areas more effectively. When their radiation wavelength is within 3 and 6 microns, these industrial electric heaters are capable of operating between 300 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
It takes them up to 15 minutes to attain their maximum temperatures, and they need protective glazes to keep their ceramic infrared heating elements from cracking or oxidizing. We recommend pairing IR heaters with a k type thermocouple or j type thermocouple to more accurately track their temperatures.
How Do Ceramic Infrared Heating Elements Work?
To produce heat, each ceramic infrared heater has a coiled wire, normally made of nichrome or tungsten, embedded into a ceramic base. Usually, industrial heaters burn fuels such as oil, natural gas, or propane to heat the wire in the base.
As the ceramic surfaces heat up, they transmit their heat as infrared radiation. This process happens so efficiently that most IR heaters do not need fans to distribute their heat.
Benefits of Ceramic IR Heaters
Our ceramic radiant heat panels are popular because they are much more efficient than standard heaters. Normally, heaters function by burning fuel to heat the air and then distributing this air throughout the area in question. This process is known as radiative heat transfer.
With ceramic IR heaters, up to 96% of the fossil fuel energy is directly transmitted to the target. This efficiency level means that our customers minimize wasted fuels, preserving valuable resources and cutting down their costs.
Because so little of the energy is wasted, IR heaters have minimal need for air removal, so first-time users do not need to worry about revamping their vent systems. This characteristic also means that IR heaters are quiet, allowing our customers to run them without increasing their ambient noise or annoying their employees.
Additionally, our heaters are customizable. For customers who need to hyperfocus their heat to cook food or manufacture a metal product, we offer concave heaters. For customers who want to heat their buildings or keep their storage areas from getting too cold, we have flat heaters.
Are Ceramic Infrared Heaters Safe?
Ceramic IR heaters are safe; they do not create pollutants as they run, and they do not involve open flames the way wood heaters do. Because they do not rely on radiative heat transfer, they do not add dangerous levels of heat to employees’ working conditions.
Additionally, they prevent mildew and other molds from growing because they do not help humid air circulate. The heating process also does not get rid of any moisture or oxygen in the air, keeping the air quality high.
Another benefit of these heaters is that they last a long time. The average IR heater produces at least 10,000 hours of heat, or more than 416 days of constant heat production. Protective glazes keep the heaters from getting damaged by water or corroding when exposed to the air, making them more durable than most space heaters.
Finally, these heaters are much easier to maintain than traditional heat sources. Ceramic infrared heating elements do not move as they operate, preventing the need for lubricant application, calibrations, and other time-consuming maintenance tasks.
Common Applications of Ceramic HeatersCeramic heaters are popular in industries that require constant low-level heat, including food dehydrating, plaster or plastic mold pre-heating and heating, and sanitary packaging. The automotive, information technology, and medical industries also depend on IR heating to warm their sensitive components carefully and steadily.
Many manufacturers choose our IR heaters for non-contact drying, or drying processes that happen quickly without disturbing the material being dried. Thermoforming, which involves stretching a thermoplastic sheet into a mold, is one process that relies on non-contact drying. Similarly, if a home renovation company needs to finish a job quickly, an IR heater can help a fresh coat of paint dry.
IR heaters are also indispensable to composite manufacturing. Composite, which is mostly used in the dental industry, must be warmed before installation in people’s dental replacements so that it does not shrink. Heating composite with IR heaters allows its dimethacrylate monomers to combine with its binding agents and glass fillers.
This step, which many dentists have skipped until recently, ensures that water does not sink into cracks in the composite and break it apart, necessitating another trip to the dentist.
Types of Ceramic IR Heaters
There are many different kinds of ceramic heaters. We offer different colors to help our customers understand their chosen model’s temperature ranges, and some models’ colors change when the nichrome wire or ceramic heating elements aren’t working properly. Ceramic heaters are also available in flat and concave shapes depending on the desired heat intensity.
The different shapes also affect each heater’s radiant emission patterns. Flat heaters have uniform heating patterns, which are most helpful when heating large areas such as recently finished walls or thermoplastic sheets.
Concave heaters have concentrated radiation patterns, delivering compressed radiation that is ideal for both radiant and zoned heating. The third shape, convex, creates wide radiant emissions, which are best for heating a large area such as an industrial oven or a storage facility.
Another way to tell ceramic heaters apart is by looking at their power sources. A gas-powered infrared heater, also known as a radiant gas heater, gets its fuel from oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels. The combustion process happens within a ceramic or metal chamber, so there are still no open flames, and the resulting energy is emitted as infrared radiation rather than ordinary heat.
This type of heater has two subtypes: luminous (which is used in huge warehouses because of its power) and radiant tube (which relies on a metal tube and offers lower-level heating).
Electric ceramic infrared heaters are best for localized heating purposes. These heaters run electricity through a heating element made of nichrome, cupronickel, tungsten, or another alloy, and this process triggers the heater to give off infrared radiation. Most electric ceramic IR heaters must be plugged into outlets that produce 120 or 220 volts of electricity.
How To Choose a Ceramic Emitter
Choosing the right ceramic emitter starts with determining what you’re planning on heating. If you’re heating large, open spaces, flat ceramic emitters are the right choice. We also recommend this uniform style if you’re keeping food warm between preparing and serving it or if you are warming plastics with low melting points. Make sure that your chosen model operates within your desired temperature range, too.
If you want to heat a larger area but you still want the heat distributed well, our convex, wide-area heaters are good options. For the most concentrated heating applications, choose concave ceramic heaters. These heaters are perfect for installation in cooking ovens or manufacturing processes.
Industrial Electric Heaters
If you’re looking for clean and reliable heating sources, our ceramic infrared heaters are the perfect choice. Whether you need localized or distributed heat, consider adding one of our energy-efficient heaters to your manufacturing process today.