Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Induction Heating Basics

Induction Heating
Induction heating coils
around large pipe for
pre-weld heat treatment.
Induction heating occurs when passing alternating magnetic fields through conductive materials. This is accomplished by placing an alternating current carrying coil around or in close proximity to the materials. The alternating fields generate eddy currents in the materials. These currents interact with the resistance of the material to produce heat. There is a secondary heating process called hysteresis. This disappears at the temperature at which the material loses its magnetic properties.

Direct Induction
Direct induction heating occurs when the material to be heated is in the direct alternating magnetic field. The frequency of the electromagnetic field and the electric properties of the material determine the penetration depth of the field, thus enabling the localized, near-surface heating of the material. 

Comparably high power densities and high heating rates can be achieved. Direct induction heating is primarily used in the metals industry for melting, heating, and heat treatment (hardening, tempering, and annealing).

Indirect Induction
With indirect induction heating, a strong electromagnetic field generated by a water- cooled coil induces an eddy current into an electrically conducting material (susceptor), which is in contact with the material to be treated. Indirect induction heating is often used to melt optical glasses in platinum crucibles, to sinter ceramic powders in graphite crucibles, and to melt materials in crucibles prior to drawing crystals. Indirect induction is also used to heat susceptors used for joining operations.