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Industrial Oven

Industrial ovens often serve a wide range of assorted purposes in addition to food preparation.

Most restaurants employ modern industrial ovens. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Most restaurants employ modern industrial ovens.

Industrial Oven

The industrial oven plays a strategic role in many high-tech industries and in the more traditional niches of our daily lives. They cure exotic materials in the laboratory so ultra-light and super-strong materials can be processed, bake sand cores in the foundry so modern castings can be made, mass-produce delightful pastries at commercial bakeries throughout the country, preheat metals and other materials for anti-corrosion coatings and function as diffusion furnaces for the semiconductors that bring our computers to life. Our world would not be the same without the industrial oven.

Definition for Each Oven Type

An industrial oven is a heated chamber that may be used for any number of applications. There are six basic kinds of industrial ovens: a curing oven, a drying oven, a baking oven, a batch oven, a conveyor or continuous oven and a clean process oven. Details about each are as follows:

  • Curing ovens are used for curing a wide variety of composite materials. They are commonly used in the aerospace and automotive industries. Curing ovens are ideal for preheating or drying parts and curing various coatings. Preheating prepares metal or other materials for the coating process.
  • Drying ovens are essentially closed chambers designed for drying objects by heating them at relatively low temperatures. These ovens are typically used to eliminate moisture from water-based adhesives and coatings. Drying ovens are also used for removing water from the surface or interior of certain products or substances.
  • Baking ovens can be industrial-size ovens for large food baking and pastry production. They can also be foundry core bake ovens used in iron and steel foundries to bake the sand cores used in the production of metal castings.
  • Batch ovens come in different configurations and sizes to accommodate the needs of various industries. A batch oven can be a truck oven, a walk-in oven or a roller hearth oven. Batch ovens are typically used for processing low to moderate quantities or for applications that require long periods at a specific temperature.
  • Conveyor or continuous ovens typically use a belt to transport foods through a cooking cavity. Conveyor ovens cook food products by blowing hot air from the top and bottom heat sources. Gas and electric versions come in countertop and floor models.
  • Clean process ovens are typically used for die-bond curing, semiconductor packaging processing, depyrogenation (the removal of fever-causing substances), sterilization and drying in life sciences applications. They can also be used for high-temperature applications such as the curing of polyimide films.

Industrial Heating Options

The primary types of heating for industrial ovens are convection and radiation heating.

Convection heating is carried out by heating the air in the heating chamber of the oven. This heated air is then circulated inside the oven by means of a fan or series of fans. The heat for this circulating air can come from many sources: electricity, natural gas, oil or steam. Convection ovens are suitable for both batch and continuous operation.

Normally, the temperature in a convection oven is thermostatically controlled so the heat and fuel consumption can be regulated in accordance with the work to be done. Because heat is supplied by the circulation of air, an object of any shape or size can be dried by convection heating. Convection heating is typically used for drying large casting, machined components and objects having non-uniform weight distribution.

A convection oven must be started 20 to 30 minutes before it can be used, because the air inside the oven will first have to be heated to the desired operational temperature.

Radiation heating starts with the source of heat, which is usually generated by infrared burners using natural gas or infrared bulbs and electrical heaters. This infrared radiation can be directed to the object to be heated by means of suitably shaped reflectors if necessary. The majority of the heat and infrared radiation is absorbed at the surface of the heated object. Thus, radiation heating is essentially a surface heating process ideal for curing painted surfaces.

The temperature attained by the surface of the object depends on the intensity of the radiation, the time of exposure and the mass of the article. The color of the object being heated can also play a role in how quickly the objects surface reaches the desired temperature. Black objects tend to absorb heat faster, while glossy white objects require longer exposure times.

Where to Buy Industrial Ovens

The Internet makes finding the best oven and the best price easy; Despatch Industries and Precision Quincy are excellent places to start in researching industrial ovens.

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