Infrared Curing and Drying

Why Electric Infrared Curing Has Become So Hot

April, 2018

Jeffrey W Lehman, PE
Customer Energy Solutions Lead
​American Electric Power

When your great-grandparents replaced their wood-burning stove with a gleaming-white electric oven and, later, a microwave, everything in the kitchen changed for the better: food cooked faster and energy usage became more efficient — without leaving the kitchen roasting hot and smoky.

Gas convention curing ovens are becoming the wood-burning stoves of curing technology, sharing many of those limitations. That’s why curers are increasingly converting to electric infrared (IR) curing. Adopting a new technology using a different energy source is not a small investment, but with electric IR, the payback is fast. The advantages of electric IR curing and drying not only deliver a rapid ROI, but also offer quality, flexibility and safety advantages that can transform your curing operation.

  • Cut your curing and drying time in half . Electric IR curing is 100% faster than gas convection. You can double your productivity or replace two curing units with one — and electric IR units have much smaller footprints.
  • Energy efficiency. Electric IR converts up to 90% of its energy into heat. Gas only converts up to 60% — wasting energy and heat.
  • Precision and consistency. Some modern coatings require temperatures controlled to ± one degree. Gas ovens don’t have that level of precision. Electric IR maintains the right temperature to ensure a top-quality cure of every coating.
  • No emissions and less ambient heat. Gas ovens waste heat and generate emissions, putting a strain on your HVAC and even contaminating coatings. With no emissions and less ambient heat, electric IR heaters can make a workplace cleaner, cooler and quieter.
  • Flexibility. Because electric IR heaters can generate energy across the entire infrared spectrum, they can heat to the exact temperatures needed to cure modern coatings and powders. All gas convection ovens can do is warm up air to bake the new coatings — and that’s not good enough.

If your gas convection ovens can’t properly cure modern coatings, they’re becoming as obsolete as wood-burning stoves.

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