How to Select Infrared Heaters

 

Infrared heaters use a reflective shield to direct radiant heat onto a heated surface.  Common types of infrared heaters include metal-sheathed tubular heaters, quartz tubes, quartz lamps; gas fired catalytic, flat-faced panels and ceramic emitters. 

 

Types

  • Infrared flat panel heaters are used to heat objects via radiant heat transfer. 
  • Infrared heater elements are replacement heater elements used with radiant flat panel heaters and radiant reflective heaters. Replacement elements are of the same types and configurations used in full heating systems. 
  • Infrared reflective process heaters use a reflective shield to direct radiant heat onto a heated surface. Many infrared reflective process heaters are so precise that heat can be directed to pinpoint locations.  Infrared reflective process heaters are used in food service, as well as in a variety of other applications.

Performance Specifications

Important parameters to consider when specifying infrared heaters are maximum sheath temperature, maximum AC voltage, watts, and maximum watt density. 

  • Maximum operating temperature is the maximum temperature that the sheath covering the heater may reach. The maximum sheath temperature does not represent the maximum temperature that a heated substance may reach. 
  • Maximum AC voltage represents the maximum AC voltage the heater can use. 
  • Watts represents the available wattage available from the heater. 
  • Maximum watt density is the amount of wattage per square inch that the heater is capable of delivering. Watt density is calculated by dividing the available wattage by the heated area. Watt density is a good measure of the heater's ability to quickly heat a substance. High watt density heaters should not be used with extremely viscous materials, materials that are not well-circulated, or explosive/volatile materials due to risk of fire.

Sleeve / Sheath Material

Most infrared heater types will have a protective sheath that covers the heating elements. Many IR heaters will be available with many choices of sheath material.  Sheath material for infrared heaters includes aluminum, brass, copper, iron, nickel alloy, stainless steel, and steel.

 

Features

Features commonly found on infrared heaters include cooling options, corrosion resistance, cryogenic use, explosion proof housing, internal temperature detectors, UL approval and weatherproof housing.  Corrosion resistant infrared heaters are suitable for use in a corrosive or chemical environment.  Infrared heaters with explosion proof housings have housing designed to withstand explosions, protecting the materials within.  This classification may also include housings, which can withstand sparking and flames.

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