A leading automotive OEM supplier of topping fabrics approached Tempco with a request for an industrial infrared radiant heater for a textile drying application. The customer was looking for a heater that is appropriate for a secondary drying operation for fabric coatings. After the fabric exits the convection oven, it is formed into a specific shape and dried. Tempco specializes in custom process heating systems and heater assemblies for various applications, and this was no exception. We offer a wide range of industrial infrared heaters that are ideal for drying and curing applications, so they came to the right heater manufacturer.
To effectively dry fabric quickly, the heater radiation must be at an ideal energy level to energize water molecules. The peak absorption of water is approximately 2.9 microns. Medium-wave heaters have emitted wavelengths ranging from 1.5 microns to 6 microns, making them effective infrared heaters for drying applications.
For this assembly, Tempco recommended our KTE E-Mitters – medium-wave, quartz mini-tube infrared heaters mounted in a highly reflective, rugged, aluminum-steel housing. The design features for KTE E-mitters include:
- flexible temperature range
- wavelength output of about 2.5-6 microns
- quick heat-up and cool-down rates, around 2.5 to 7.5 °F/s
- optional built-in type K or J thermocouple
- mounting plate with simple spring clips allows elements to be easily removed and replaced
Along with efficient drying, custom sizing and custom mounting was required for the heater assembly. Tempco designed a stainless-steel heater frame with all sheet metal parts. Designing completely with sheet metal allowed more flexibility in sizing and mounting for the assembly. The relatively compact 13” x 31” heater assembly produced up to 8KW of power. The final heater assembly consisted of:
- eight KTE E-Mitter heaters
- a 430 Stainless Steel frame
- KTE E-Mitter mounting plate made with 430 stainless steel to maximize reflectivity
Using 100% sheet metal to build the heater assembly frame is what makes this project unique compared to other Tempco-produced radiant process heaters. Array heater frames are typically made with Aluminum 6063-T6 extrusions, a medium-strength alloy with a smooth, corrosion-resistant surface. However, by using sheet metal we were able to design this particular frame without any loss in integrity. Tempco's flexibility and expertise in creating custom designs to suit customer application requirements makes us an ideal business partner.