About the Induction Heating Process
What Is Induction Heating?
Induction heating is a manufacturing process normally used to bond, harden or soften conductive metals. The advantages of induction heating - speed, accuracy, repeatability and economy - often make it the preferred choice for brazing, soldering, heat treating, bonding and many other applications.
Induction heating is non-contact; heat is almost instantaneously "induced" within the part itself by circulating electrical currents. There is no product contamination because the part never comes into contact with the heat source. So there is no oxidation, heat damage or distortion, and part quality is very high.
With most other heating methods, an open flame is directly applied to the part. Time and temperature are often difficult to control, and extra time to heat up the part to the proper temperature, and then cool it down, must be factored into your overall process time. With induction heating, process time and temperature can be controlled within tight parameters.
And finally, modern induction heating systems are much kinder to the environment that older fossil fuel powered systems that generate substantial waste heat, harmful emissions, belching smoke and loud noises.
Induction Heating Systems
In a basic induction heating setup, a solid state RF power supply sends an AC current through a copper coil, and the part to be heated is placed inside the coil. When a metal part is placed within the coil and enters the magnetic field, circulating eddy currents are induced within the part. These currents flow against the electrical resistivity of the metal, generating precisely localized heat.
A basic induction heating system includes the power supply and induction coil. Some type of cooling mechanism is also required to remove waste heat from the system. Normally a water chiller or heat exchanger is used, but some power supplies utilize forced air cooling. #017
Power supplies and complete turnkey induction systems are available from a wide variety of manufacturers at various power levels. Small 1-2kW models effectively heat small parts; larger parts generally require more power, which increases the size, weight and cost. The power supply's operating frequency can range from 3kHz to 60MHz; Low frequencies in the 3 to 50kHz range are most effective for heating larger parts which require deep heat penetration. Relatively higher frequencies, up to 450 kHz, are more effective for smaller parts.
Fairview Coil Fabrication has worked with a wide variety of systems from many leading manufacturers. We'll be happy to provide you with an unbiased system recommendation - just let us know your application and process requirements and we'll give you our best advice.