Radiant Gas Heaters
Radiant gas heaters are a type of infrared heater that efficiently heat spaces, materials, and objects. To work, they enlist the help of invisible infrared light, known more commonly as electromagnetic radiation, which they generate from a natural gas flame or propane. This electromagnetic radiation produces long waves near the border of the visible section of the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves, called infrared heat waves, emit a huge amount of heat. Using both radiation and electricity, radiant gas heaters are known to heat objects and spaces with extreme uniformity and rapidity.
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Benefits of Radiant Gas Heaters
A radiant gas heater is an excellent investment for a number of reasons. For one, radiant gas heaters are highly efficient in both speed and energy usage. This saves an operator time and money, but it takes less of a toll on the earth. In other words, radiant gas heaters may be considered “green” or environmentally sustainable, especially when compared to less environmentally friendly heating mechanisms, such as regularly forced air heaters, convection heaters, and UV lamps. In another reference to their efficiency, because infrared light generates an immediate reaction and source of heat when a heater is turned on, users of radiant gas heaters do not have to suffer the usual lag experienced between the moment when a heater is turned on and the moment when the heat is first felt. Another major advantage of radiant gas heaters is instead of merely heating air molecules, they heat surfaces and objects directly. This is especially useful for outdoor applications, where the air molecules are at the mercy of the wind, rain, and other whims of the weather.
Design of Radiant Heaters
Radiant heaters typically consist of a combination of a heating element, a reflective shield, and a radiating tube. Heating elements are those devices that convert the heat energy from the gas flame into infrared electromagnetic radiation. These elements usually come in the form of wire. In this case, manufacturers usually use coiled wire, as it increases the surface area reached and increases electrical resistance, which is required to make heat. Usually, the heating element is made from tungsten wire, but it may be made from other elements and alloys, including carbon, aluminum, iron alloys, chromium, nichrome, kanthal, and cupronickel. Nichrome, also known as chromel, is a mixture of nickel and chrome, with the dominant element being nickel. It exhibits high levels of resistance, and the first time it is heated, it forms an adherent layer of chromium oxide. This layer later serves the heating element well, preventing the material beneath it from oxidizing and deteriorating faster. “Kanthal” refers to an entire class of alloys. Alloys in this class are highly resistive and are composed primarily of iron, chromium, and aluminum. Cupronickel, also known as copper-nickel, is another resistive wire. This alloy is composed of, as its name suggests, copper and nickel. Next, reflective shields help direct the infrared heat waves they produce, thus eliminating the need for an additional medium, such as air molecules, to create a roadway to objects and surfaces. It is because of this aspect of radiant gas heater operation that radiant gas heaters are able to saturate and properly heat gasses, liquids, and solid materials with such efficiency. They work far better than traditional convection heaters, which do not nearly as easily penetrate surfaces. They exhibit superior effectiveness compared to UV lamps; UV lamps cannot properly heat an object unless light waves are present. Heating elements are contained within a tube, which helps direct the infrared energy generated by the heater as a whole. Because the heating elements of radiant gas heaters are so often encased within a radiating tube made of metal, ceramic material, or glass, gas heaters are also frequently known as tube heaters.
Radiant Gas Heater Applications
Radiant gas heaters can be found benefiting applications in a variety of industrial, commercial, and residential settings. In the industrial world, radiant gas heaters can assist the progress of plastic welding, plastic heating before forming, plastic shrinking, the drying of coatings, glass heat treating and processing, metal heat treating and processing, general heating, and curing. Commercially, radiant gas heaters can be used as heaters for rooms of various sizes and can help with cooking. In a residential setting, radiant gas heaters can be used in space heaters and for cooking.
Radiant Gas Heater Accessories
In addition to the essential features, some manufacturers may choose to equip radiant gas heaters with additional accessories and coatings. These include weatherproof finishings and/or materials that promote corrosion resistance, temperature detectors, cooling options that allow for heater use with cryogenic applications, and fans that contribute to the redistribution of air molecules and accelerated heat distribution around a room.