Infrared ovens are thermal processing machines that transfer heat
directly to objects. In conduction and convection ovens, heat is first
transferred to the air inside the oven, which is then transferred to the
object for which the heating treatment is intended. Infrared ovens are,
because they can transfer heat to objects directly, the most efficient
variety of industrial ovens.
Infrared ovens are so effective and efficient that they have become near-standard machinery for some industrial tasks. Because infrared heating is far more efficient than convectional or conductive heating, infrared ovens are useful in applications that involve the drying or curing of highly complex objects. Infrared ovens can quickly pre-heat coated products in initial curing stages; ovens using a combination of convection and infrared heating are becoming common for these types of processes. Conveyor ovens that use infrared heating elements are far more cost and energy-efficient than convection ovens, as maintaining oven temperature is not crucial with infrared heating. While conventional conveyors waste energy by releasing unrecuperated heat, infrared ovens transfer heat directly from filament to object, releasing little waste heat. In recent years, infrared ovens have been developed and marketed for consumer industries as well as industrial processes, and home "infrared cookers" have met considerable success. Infrared ovens use electromagnetic radiation to transfer heat directly to an object without using gas-to-solid transfer. Infrared radiation is transferred directly to an object through a beam which is projected from an electrically heated flat panel emitter (a type of filament). Infrared emitters are typically made from coiled tungsten wire, although infrared heaters may be gas-powered as well. Because infrared ovens use long wave infrared beams of electromagnetic radiation to heat objects, maintaining a direct line (or "line of sight) between the flat panel heat emitter and the object to be heated is ideal. The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum which is responsible for producing heat within the range of invisible light are long wave infrared beams; long wave infrared within the range of 700 to 3.4 microns is most effective for most industrial heating, curing and drying operations.Infrared heat is particularly suitable for processing two dimensional products like web, fabric and products that require powder curing. Infrared ovens are capable of projecting heat at 90 degree, 45 degree and 30 degree angles in addition to straight lines.