Types of Process Heating Applications and Operations

Process heating finds its application in various type of industrial application across different industry verticals. Single manufacturing process involves different type of heat treatments. Hence, it’s important to understand which type of heating application is required in your processing. In layman’s language process heating is just generation of heat and transfer to product under process, however there are lot of technicalities involved based on type of product, time of manufacturing, desired output quality, intermediate processes and etc.

Process heating applications can be grouped into 14 key categories:

Agglomeration and Sintering Incineration/Thermal Oxidation
Calcining Melting: High-Temperature
Curing Melting: Low-Temperature
Drying Metals Reheating
Heating Fluid Separating
Forming Smelting
Heat Treating Other Heating Processes

* Application of Process heating is not limited to only these 14 categories, there are endless potential application of process heating. Above categories are based on various study materials and our experience.  

In this article we will try to cover 7 of them and other 7 will follow in upcoming articles.

Agglomeration and Sintering

Agglomeration and sintering is process of heating of a mass of fine particles below the melting point to form larger particles or solid parts. Sintering is normally used in the manufacturing of advanced ceramics and the production of specialty metals.

Application:

  • Metals Production

Equipment Type:

  • Various Furnace Types, Kilns, Microwave

Industry:

  • Metal
  • Ceramic

Calcining

Calcination is a process of heating a substance under controlled temperature and in a controlled environment. The process is done for decomposition of calcium carbonate to calcium oxide and carbon dioxide, through direct or indirect heating. Calcining is performed to improve the chroma, tinctorial strength, pigmentary texture, weather stability, light-fastness and thermal stability of pigment.

Application:

  • Lime Calcining

 Equipment Type:

  • Various Furnace Types

Industry:

  • Cement
  • Wallboard
  • Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
  • Primary Metal

Curing

Curing process employed in polymer chemistry and process engineering applications that produces/increase the toughening or hardening of a polymer material by cross-linking of polymer chains. Curing is also used to speed up the cure of polyurethane rubbers and plastics, platinum silicone rubbers, epoxy resins and other type of materials. This process is usually performed in controlled heating environment. In the manufacturing of plastics, curing is the cross-linking reaction of a polymer, also common step in the application of coatings to metallic and non-metallic materials.

Application:

  • Coating
  • Polymer Production
  • Enameling

 Equipment Type:

  • Various Furnace Types
  • Ovens
  • Kilns
  • Lehrs
  • Infrared
  • UV
  • Electron Beam
  • Induction

Industry:

  • Ceramics
  • Stone
  • Glass
  • Primary Metals
  • Chemicals
  • Plastics and Rubber

Drying

Drying process is performed to eliminate or remove moisture, water and other solvents from the material under processing through direct or indirect heating. Drying is very common application found in almost all type of industries such as stone, clay, glass industries, food processing, sand, textile, pharmaceutical, chemical and ceramic are only few of them. There are several types of dryer’s present operation in batch and/or continuous mode like Conventional Dryers, Microwave Dryers, Radio Frequency Dryers, Infrared Dryers, HOT AIR Dryer – Stenter, Tunnel Dryers, Pneumatic/ Flash Dryer, Drum Dryers, Spray Drying, Contact Drying- Steam Cylinders/Can, Fluid Bed Dryers, Rotary Dryers and etc.

Application:

  • Water, Moisture and Organic Compound Removal

Equipment type:

  • Fuel-Based Dryers
  • Hot Air/steam
  • Infrared
  • Resistance
  • Microwave
  • Radio-Frequency

Industry:

  • Stone
  • Clay
  • Glass Industries
  • Food Processing
  • Sand
  • Textile
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Chemical
  • Ceramic
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Agricultural
  • Pulp and Paper

Fluid Heating

In process of fluid heating the temperature of a liquid or gas increased, to achieve the complete or partial vaporization of the fluid, and is performed for a wide range of purposes in many industries, including chemicals, food processing, and petroleum refining. In chemical manufacturing, fluids are heated in both batch and continuous processes to induce or moderate a chemical reaction. Food processing applications include cooking, fermentation, and sterilization. In petroleum refining, fluid heating is used to distil crude oil into several component products.

Application:

  • Food Preparation
  • Chemical Production
  • Reforming
  • Distillation
  • Cracking
  • Hydro-treating

Equipment Type:

  • Various Furnace Types
  • Reactors
  • Resistance Heaters
  • Microwave
  • Infrared
  • Fuel-based Fluid Heaters
  • Immersion Heaters

Application:

  • Agricultural and Food
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Petroleum Refining

 Forming

Forming operations, such as extrusion and molding, use process heating to improve or sustain the workability of materials. Examples include the extrusion of rubber and plastics, the hot-shaping of glass, and plastic thermoforming.

Application:

  • Extrusion
  • Molding

Equipment Type:

  • Various Ovens and Furnaces

Industry:

  • Rubber
  • Plastics
  • Glass

Heat Treating

Hardness, strength, flexibility, and the reduction of residual stresses are achieved by heat treating the material in controlled heating and cooling environment. Heat treating processes need the accurate control of temperature over the heating cycle. Heat treating is used extensively in metals, glass, ceramic and plastic industry for tempering and annealing.

Application:

  • Hardening
  • Annealing
  • Tempering

Equipment Type:

  • Various Fuel-Based Furnace Types
  • Ovens
  • Kilns
  • Lehrs
  • Laser
  • Resistance
  • Induction
  • Electron Beam

Industry:

  • Primary Metals
  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Plastic

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