The Process of an Induction Heater

by | Apr 17, 2013 | Science And Technology

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In a laboratory, there are different ways to heat up various materials. One common method is through the use of an induction heater. This heater, which works with electricity rather than a flame, offers a uniform source of heat for the entire material on which it is used. It offers non-contact heat, which avoids the risk of contamination of the material you are heating up.

How It Works

The heater is powered by high-frequency electricity. The electricity drives a current through the coil, which is the main component of the heater. As the current passes through the coil, it creates a magnetic field within it. It is this field the material is placed in to receive the heat required. Once the material is placed in the heater, a current flow is created. The currents that are created and transferred to the material are called the eddy currents.

What You Need

It is fairly simple to operate an induction heater; there are three simple requirements to make it work. Of most importance is the source of electrical power. The source must provide high-frequency electricity to give the heater its immense power. In addition, you need a coil, which is how the magnetic field is created to begin to heat up the material. Lastly, you need the work piece that needs heating. The piece must be electrically conductive to react in the magnetic field.

Two Processes

There are two ways the magnetic field can heat up your work piece. The use of eddy currents is the most common. This method uses electric current that reacts on the piece, causing the heating process without any contact. The other process, called the skin effect, which is a slower process that delivers electric current in a thin layer, slowly heating up the piece.

An induction heater provides many uses in any laboratory and in many industries.  Before you purchase one, you need to determine what your exact needs are since each one has its own requirements and capabilities. The first step you should take is determining exactly what you need to use it for and to ensure non-contact heat is acceptable for the process you need to undertake. When you understand your exact needs, you can determine if this type of heater will work best for your products, providing you with the desired results.