How to Select Radiant Heaters
Radiant heaters use a reflective shield to direct radiant heat onto a heated surface. Many products are so precise that heat can be directed to pinpoint locations. Radiant heaters are used in food service, as well as in a variety of other applications. Radiant flat panel heaters are used in industries and applications such as space heating, drying and curing, water evaporation, food processing, sterilizing, material preparation, bonding and joining, and industrial manufacturing and production.
Important parameters to consider when specifying radiant heaters are maximum operating (sheath) temperature, AC voltage, kilowatts, and maximum watt density.
Maximum operating temperature is the maximum temperature that the sheath covering the radiant heater may reach. Note that the maximum sheath temperature does not represent the maximum temperature that a heated substance may reach.
AC voltage represents the amount of AC voltage necessary to operate the heater.
Typically, the available wattage from radiant heaters is measured in kilowatts (kW).
Maximum watt density is the amount of wattage, per square-inch, that a radiant heater can deliver. 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.
Radiant heaters differ in terms of heating element configuration and available options. Common designs include: straight, hairpin or “U” shape, sheathed tubular element, and quartz element.
The most important dimension of the radiant heater is the heated length, which is also sometimes referred to as the effective length.
Sleeve / Sheath Material
Radiant heaters are generally available with a protective covering, or sheath. Many heaters are available with multiple sheath material options. Sheath materials for radiant heaters include aluminum, brass, copper, iron, nickel alloy, stainless steel, and steel.
Radiant heaters can be installed several different ways. Mounting options for radiant heaters include sliding clamp or bracket, threat mounting bolts, or no mounting hardware.
Features common to radiant heaters include cooling options, internal temperature detector, liquid tight housing, cryogenic use, UL approval, explosion proof housing, weatherproof housing and corrosion resistance.
Related Products & Services
Band heaters are ring-shaped heaters that clamp onto a cylindrical object and heat via conductive heat transfer.
Cartridge heaters are cylindrical devices generally inserted into a heated substance.
Circulation heaters are used to heat moving or circulating fluids.
Coil Heaters and Cable Heaters
Coil heaters and cable heaters are heating elements formed from straight (uncoiled) segments of round or square heating cable.
Cylindrical Ceramic Fiber Heaters
Cylindrical ceramic fiber heaters consist of an iron-chrome-aluminum (ICA) heating element and a thick layer of ceramic fiber insulation within a cylinder-shaped housing.
Flat Ceramic Fiber Heaters
Flat ceramic fiber heaters consist of an iron-chrome-aluminum (ICA) heating element and a thick layer of ceramic fiber insulation within a non-curved housing.
Immersion heaters are used in applications that require immersing the heater in the substance to be heated.