Paint drying using infrared heaters

TCS Shipwrights used ATEX certified infrared heaters to successfully reduce paint drying time by 20%.

Waiting for paint to dry can be quite a problem when scheduling projects. A sudden cool change or rise in humidity will delay drying time. This can lead to a backlog of work to be done, rescheduling issues for production staff and customer complaints.

A popular solution in Europe is the use of short-wave infrared heaters. These heaters have reflectors that project heat to a wide area –up to 3 m away. This allows overhead mounting, freeing up floor space that would otherwise be cluttered by floor-mounted heaters. The heaters are very efficient, for like sunlight, short wave infrared travels loss-free through the air to transfer maximum energy to the target area.

Infrared heaters are suitable for a diverse range of drying applications. They can be mounted overhead in a drying booth or on a production line. The heaters are lightweight so can also be used on a floor stand.

There are also ATEX heaters certified for a Zone 1 hazardous area such as flammable electronic board coatings. In Adelaide, unsafe halogen lamps were replaced with certified heaters-a very effective method for drying the coatings.

At TCS Shipwrights in Cairns, the company purchased five ATEX heaters for reducing the drying times. “The lamps successfully raise substrate temperature to 50degrees with fan running-reducing drying time by 20%-allowing a second coat comfortably within a normal working day.”

The heaters have glass covers for splash resistance and are rated for use in an industrial area. And being electric, they can easily be wired in with temperature controllers or timers to operate only when required.

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