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Industries and Applications Using Infrared Heaters

Heating of Materials
    Thermoforming / Vacuum Forming
    Pet and Animal Warming
Cooking and Warming Food
Curing of Materials
Drying, Evaporation and Dehydrating of Liquids

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Applications listed alphabetically by industries and cross-referenced by processes:

Industry Product Process
Agricultural Animals Incubating, warming
Bottling   Drying
Car Washing   Drying
Comfort Heating    
Environmental Chambers   Heating
Food   Cooking
    Food Warming
    Dehydrating
    Broiling
    Toasting
    Melting
Glass Mirrors Curing the varnish or paint on back
  Layers Tempering
    Drying
Medical   Incubating
    Warming
Metal Treatment Aluminum Preheating
  Steel Preheating
Paint Steel panels Primer, Top coat alkyd, epoxy, acrylic
  Steel boxes Baking lacquer finishes
  Bicycles Drying
  Car bodies Drying
  Aluminum panels Drying
Pharmaceutical Tablets Drying water from powder
Paper   Laminating
  Rolls Calendering
  Labels Adhesive
  Towels Drying water from
Plastics   Laminating
    Annealing
    Embossing
  Belting, Heavy cable PVC paste curing
  Steel mask Plastisol coating
  Film Vinyl embossing
  Film Vacuum forming
  PVC Shrinking
  Laminate Preheating
  Sheets Thermoforming
  Molds Preheating
  Extrusion Preheating
  Plexiglass Drapeforming
People Portable Spot Heaters Warming
    Therapeutic
Powder Coating Epoxy, PVC or nylon cure after dipping  
  Metal  
  Wire  
Rubber   Embossing
    Preheating
Screen Printing Instrument Dials  
  Fascia panels  
  Printed Circuit Board  
  Fiberboard  
  Jar lids  
Shoes   Cementing soles
Textiles    
  Garments Screen Printing
    Flock Coating
    Flock Printing
    Moisture removal
    Heat setting synthetics
    Heat setting transfers
  Carpets Moisture removal
    Latex & PVC backing
    Moisture removal from dyes

Electrical Applications
Reprinted with permission of Fostoria Industries. We are an authorized distributor for Fostoria, a manufacturer of infrared heating elements, reflectors, assemblies and complete infrared heating systems.

Enamels, including solvent-based, water-based and combination of the two, are the dominant class of industrial finishes today. Most require evaporation of solvents and curing at elevated temperatures to polymerize a cross link of finish, then final cure by oxidation. Fostoria electric infrared ovens provide the even, mar-proof finish required, in one-third the time of convection systems. In addition, the ability to control intensity of cure prevents a "too hard" finish which would result in brittleness.

Plastisols are ultra-tough coatings that are 100% solids. The optimal cure is 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Two critical considerations make infrared the most effective curing method. First, as plastisol cures, it emits plasticizer, which vaporizes, smokes and condenses as a heavy liquor. This material must be collected in a predictable way to prevent contamination of the part and the process and to allow a thorough cure. Second, to achieve a fusing temperature, the substrate must exceed the curing temperature by a specified degree. Both are only possible through the precise control of heat sources and the oven environment found with electric infrared ovens, such as those designed and manufactured by Fostoria Industries.

Special Effects such as Hammers and Wrinkles are essentially enamels with a heavy content of metal flake or powder that separates and "floats" into a desirable pattern. The wrinkles contain slow-drying oils which separate from the base coat and require an "interrupted" cure. A 1-10 minute hold allows the oil to separate. Infrared curing for 3-5 minutes in a Fostoria electric infrared oven produces the ideal "soft" cure.

Liquid Paint Systems
Vertoven.gif (53853 bytes)

Fostoria electric infrared process heating equipment is the curing technology of choice for manufacturers of metal, plastic, and composite parts using either liquid paint finishes or powder coating systems.

Fostoria engineers have designed process heating systems that effectively cure oil finishes, advanced lacquer finishes, enamels, plastisols and special effect finishes such as wrinkles and hammers.

Oil finishes incorporating solvents or reducers are cured to tack-free using low temperature infrared; the final cure occurs through oxidation of the finish. Because such finishes are applied at heavier millages than other coatings, convection ovens are prone to scorch the paint surface before the area nearest the substrate had cured. This results in wrinkling of some finishes, uneven drying, and sealing of the surface before the solvent has been liberated. These problems are avoided with electric infrared ovens due to infrared's ability to quickly and evenly penetrate the film, particularly during the initial stages of the heating cycle.

Advanced lacquer finishes are typically applied in several coats, with drying between each. Unassisted drying between coats is possible, particularly when finish quality is not critical. However, unless humidity is constantly low, moisture in the air will deposit on the surface, causing blushing of the lacquer. This is repaired through time consuming and costly polishing. Best results are achieved with a Fostoria electric infrared oven producing a cure in 15 seconds to 2 minutes for each coat. Highly consistent drying temperatures (between 150 and 200 degrees F. depending upon the individual coating) produce an even finish and eliminate the blushing problem.

Adhesives - Fostoria Electric Infrared Ovens accelerate the cure rate of adhesives including acrylics, anaerobics, silicones, epoxies, methacrylates and urethanes.

Often, infrared can improve cure quality and reduce fallout ratios. Where adhesives are ingested with peroxide-containing photoinitiators, Fostoria infrared ovens in many cases offer a higher performance, more cost-effective alternative to UV.

Fostoria ovens produce a complete and precisely repeatable cure in 30 seconds, and as short as 1-3 seconds for specialty applications such as medical needle bonding.

Fostoria Infrared Ovens are engineered to the application, or group of applications. Short to long wave emitters, varying watt densities and near infinite programmable control give these systems the highest degree of flexibility.

Specific applications include the cure of surface mount adhesives on printed circuit boards, conformal coatings and USP adhesives using medical grade items, food packaging, toys, honeycomb (used in the construction of walls, doors, and partitions) and other products.

Powder Coating Systems
Cure.gif (28783 bytes)

For precise curing for thermoset and thermoplastic powders, industry has come to rely on Fostoria Electric Infrared Ovens.

There are more than 300 powder formulations in use today. Film thicknesses range from under 1  mil to over 15 mil and the range of colors, gloss and applications is equally as vast. What these diverse powder formulations do have in common, is near-perfect compatibility with infrared radiation as a method of curing.

Existing convection ovens are in many cases totally replaced with Fostoria Infrared Ovens. In other cases existing convection ovens are supplemented with an infrared booster ahead of the convection line. Infrared can be applied before the powder application and for primary curing.

A wash cycle always precedes the application of the powder, and removal of residual water is essential before powder is applied. A Fostoria oven rapidly brings parts to 225 degrees F (or higher if desired), and evaporates all moisture. Fostoria ovens can also combine drying and preheating cycles into a single process when necessary.

During primary curing electric infrared offers the advantages of producing no combustion products to contaminate the curing area, and more importantly, does not rely on moving air to distribute heat. Air movement will disturb powder, resulting in uneven curing, and will deposit dirt and other contaminants on the surface being coated, resulting in rejects.

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Reconditioning Semi Truck Wheels
Curing of Powder Coated Metals

Fostoria has designed and tested an 80 KW quartz-lamp infrared oven for a re-manufacturer of semi-truck wheels. The customer switched from a liquid solvent based paint to powder coating due to the demand for a more durable finish on the product.

Fostoria had developed curing processes for powder coatings before. But the cost, cure time and finish quality were only part of the customer's concern. They needed the flexibility to cure many parts in the same oven. So, we designed and tested a "zone controlled" batch oven with the capacity to cure two wheels at a time.

We were not only able to give the customer the versatility they needed, but at the same time, we offered a solution that reduced cure time by 20%.

Because the customer has a variety of wheel shapes to cure, the "zone control" flexibility of infrared was important. The oven was designed with zone control to redistribute the heat "footprint" and intensity of the heat to match individual products without delaying production.  

The additional benefit of this solution is a reduction in paint contamination because of the accelerated curing speed and the absence of air movement, which would be necessary in a convection curing system.

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We are a distributor of infrared heaters. Always consult manufacturers installation instructions for proper installation of the products or systems shown on this website. © Copyright 1999-2015 Mor Electric Heating Assoc., Inc.

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5880 Alpine Ave. NW - Comstock Park, MI 49321  USA
Tel 616-784-1121 - 800-442-2581 - Fax 616-784-7775
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