The Benefits of Infrared in Finishing and Curing
- Category: About Infrared Heat
The radiant energy of infrared heat is ideally suited to the process of finishing because the infrared radiation heats from the inside out, ensuring that water or solvents are forced to the surface and evaporated so they cannot cause blemishes and blistering.
The infrared heating process is the purest and most direct application of heat. Since infrared energy heats only what needs to be heated - your product and its coating - less energy and time are required. Infrared curing avoids circulating dust particles that can ruin your product's finish - unlike conventional convection methods that are unreliable to control finishing results.
Infrared curing, as occurs in an industrial oven application, applies radiative energy to the receiver, or part, by direct transmission from the emitter. Some of the energy emitted will be reflected off of the part surface, some is absorbed into the coating and some is transmitted into the substrate. This direct transfer of energy creates an immediate reaction in the coating and crosslinking with the part at the molecular level begins quickly once the surface is exposed to the emitter.
Infrared emitters provide a fast cure for coatings but they are sensitive to differences in the part structure. Radiant energy transfer is dependent on a precise and consistent relationship to the product for even distribution of energy and uniform curing. Areas of a part that are obscured from the emitter by their geometry will not heat up at the same pace as areas that are flush to the emitter. The distance of the part surface from the emitter will also have a profound influence on the curing of the coating.