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Using infrared radiation thermometers in conjunction with infrared heater systems requires special considerations to ensure that accuracy will be achieved. If the thermometer picks up infrared radiation from the heaters, faulty readings can occur. Two methods are generally employed to eliminate this interference.
Sight tubes are used to block stray infrared rays from entering the sensor lens, and a thermometer is chosen which responds to a different wavelength than that being emitted from the infrared heaters.
The main types of electric infrared heaters are: (a) screw-in bulbs (shortwave); (b) evacuated tungsten filament tubes (shortwave); (c) quartz tubes (medium wave); (d) quartz panel heaters (medium wave); (e) Ceramic heaters (medium-long wave); (f) metal sheath heaters (medium-long wave).
Positioning of a sensor on a production line is dictated by the product being processed and the desired use of the temperature information.
The most common location for a sensor is just after the infrared unit. The pyrometer information can be used for setting up the process, for quality control, for heater failure detection, and for control of the heaters.
For wide web application in which uniformity across the web is essential, traversing sensors can be used to scan the web to ensure a uniform heating of the product. This information then can be used to control infrared profiling zones which are positioned across the web.
In plastics applications, the thermometer most commonly is positioned also at the exit end of the infrared unit. Control functions are similar to those just listed. In some indexing machines, the plastic is sensed while still in the last index station, and the index can be initiated by the thermometer.
electric infrared ovens, electric infrared heaters, infrared radiation thermometers, plastics industry, paper industry, infrared process control, thermoforming
Southern regional sales manager, Casso-Solar Corp., Pomona, NY