Industrial Ovens can be modified to a plethora of applications, a good many of these uses being suitable to environmentally-friendly utilizations.
Industrial ovens can be used for a good many purposes. For instance, curing ovens intended to solidify polymers and metals actually effect a substance’s molecular structure. Drying ovens eliminate moisture from a product or coating, and often provide an assist in the creation of sundries such as wheat thins and a potpourri of dry foods. Convection ovens are utilized in baking everything from plastics to foods, again while rearranging a substance’s molecular structure. Heat is transferred, or convected, from hot circulated air to solid objects. Metal parts sometimes need low-temperature curing in a similar fashion.
The use of convectional heating can be considered the process of objects being transported continuously in the manner of a conveyor belt. So-called continuous ovens are quite germane to food production and textile painting. A downside of such continuous ovens is the wasteful expenditure of heat energy so that heat regenerators and recuperators may be needed to recycle any heat energy that may be wasted.
Another type of industrial oven is the batch oven. One batch at a time is processed, then the contents are removed and the oven is refilled. Batch ovens are usually smaller than ovens designed for larger processes; booth ovens are a sub-type of tabletop oven designed to process very small batches.
A vacuum oven maintains an interior pressure level that is lower than atmospheric pressure. These protect against such intrusive factors as oxidation and contamination – neither of which is typically desirable. Perhaps the most intriguing kind of industrial ovens use electromagnetic radiation to transfer heat directly to an object without using gas-to-solid transfer like convectional heating. Infrared radiation is transferred directly to an object through a beam without heating the air around it. While infrared heating is extremely energy efficient and precise, it must have direct contact between the beam and the object, making the infrared curing of complex 3D objects difficult to achieve through infrared heating alone.
Process heating is extremely versatile and increasingly “green” as Global Warming and anthropogenic issues have achieved prominence in the public sector. Perhaps the most environmentally pertinent oven types are the various infrared technologies. Infrared has become synonymous with “energy efficient.” Sister technologies involving recuperation and regeneration of excess heat energy can be used in tandem with infrared ovens to help enhance “eco-friendly” utilizations and to simultaneously reduce the costs of energy as it is produced. Tough economic times only increase the need for such proactive applications of industrial oven technologies.
Derek Lang is with Epcon Industrial, a manufacturer of air pollution control systems, thermal oxidizers, and industrial gas fired ovens. To learn more about thermal oxidizers, catalytic oxidizers, air pollution control systems, industrial ovens at Epconlp.com.