What Is Induction Heating?

What Is Induction Heating?

To the typical engineer, induction is an interesting method of heating. Watching a bit of metal in a coil turn cherry red in a matter of seconds can be surprising to those unfamiliar with induction heating. Induction heating equipment requires an understanding of physics, electromagnetism, energy electronics and process management, however the fundamental concepts behind induction heating are simple to understand.

The Fundamentals
Discovered by Michael Faraday, Induction starts with a coil of conductive material (for example, copper). As current flows by way of the coil, a magnetic discipline in and around the coil is produced. The ability of the of the magnetic field to do work is dependent upon the coil design as well as the amount of present flowing through the coil.

The direction of the magnetic subject relies on the direction of present move, so an alternating present by the coil will end in a magnetic field changing in direction on the same rate as the frequency of the alternating current. 60Hz AC current will cause the magnetic discipline to switch directions 60 instances a second. four hundredkHz AC current will cause the magnetic field to switch four hundred,000 times a second.

When a conductive materials, a work piece, is placed in a changing magnetic area (for instance, a discipline generated with AC), voltage can be induced in the work piece (Faraday’s Law). The induced voltage will outcome within the flow of electrons: present! The current flowing by way of the work piece will go within the opposite direction as the present within the coil. This means that we will management the frequency of the present in the work piece by controlling the frequency of the current within the coil.

As current flows via a medium, there might be some resistance to the movement of the electrons. This resistance shows up as heat (The Joule Heating Effect). Materials that are more resistant to the circulation of electrons will give off more heat as current flows by them, however it is certainly possible to heat highly conductive supplies (for instance, copper) using an induced current. This phenomenon is critical for inductive heating.

What do we'd like for Induction Heating?
All of this tells us that we want fundamental things for induction heating to occur:

A altering magnetic discipline
An electrically conductive material positioned into the magnetic field

How does Induction Heating evaluate to different heating methods?
Diagram to signify traditional heating flow
There are a number of methods to heat an object without induction. A number of the more frequent industrial practices embrace gas furnaces, electrical furnaces, and salt baths. These strategies all depend on heat transfer to the product from the heat supply (burner, heating aspect, liquid salt) by way of convection and radiation. As soon as the surface of the product is heated, the heat transfers by means of the product with thermal conduction.

Diagram to symbolize induction heating move
Induction heated products will not be counting on convection and radiation for the delivery of heat to the product surface. Instead, heat is generated in the surface of the product by the move of current. The heat from the product surface is then transferred by the product with thermal conduction. The depth to which heat is generated directly using the induced present relies on something called the electrical reference depth.

The electrical reference depth relies upon drastically on the frequency of the alternating current flowing via the work piece. Higher frequency present will lead to a shallower electrical reference depth and a decrease frequency current will result in a deeper electrical reference depth. This depth additionally relies on the electrical and magnetic properties of the work piece.

For many processes melting is the first step in producing a helpful product; induction melting is fast and efficient. By altering the geometry of the induction coil, induction melting furnaces can hold fees that range in size from the volume of a coffee mug to hundreds of tons of molten metal. Further, by adjusting frequency and energy, corporations can process virtually all metals and materials together with however not limited to: iron, metal and stainless steel alloys, copper and copper-based mostly alloys, aluminum and silicon. Induction equipment is custom-designed for each application to ensure it is as environment friendly as possible.

A serious advantage that's inherent with induction melting is inductive stirring. In an induction furnace, the metal cost materials is melted or heated by present generated by an electromagnetic field. When the metal turns into molten, this discipline also causes the tub to move. This is called inductive stirring. This constant motion naturally mixes the bath producing a more homogeneous mix and assists with alloying. The amount of stirring is determined by the dimensions of the furnace, the ability put into the metal, the frequency of the electromagnetic field and the type/amount of metal within the furnace. The amount of inductive stirring in any given furnace could be manipulated for special applications if required.

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