UltraFlex efficiently preheating stainless steel cylinder using induction heating
The process was highly efficient compared to traditional, oven-based heating
This demonstration was set up for a company manufacturing water jet cutting equipment who was looking to optimize one of their manufacturing processes. In the process, a stainless steel cylinder having 3.0" OD (76.5mm), 1.125" ID (28.5mm) and 6.8" (172.72mm) length had to be preheated, so the inner surface wall could be coated and cured with proprietary coating. The target temperature for the inside wall had to be 250 °F (121 °C), while the outside surface temperature would not have to exceed 400 °F (204°C).
By far, the customer had been using traditional, oven-based preheating, using batches of cylinders. The process, however, took 6-8 hours per batch and the customer was looking to cut down the time and costs using induction heating.
UltraFlex application engineers considered the UltraFlex induction heater from the UltraHeat W series as most appropriate for this heating scenario. UltraHeat W is an advanced, cost-effective 5-15 kW induction heater utilizing the latest switching power supply technology. It has easily adaptable temperature and power settings, which was important for this heating case.
At 10 kW of power supplied, it took 30 seconds for the surface temperature to reach 400 °F. The induction power supply was then switched off and conductivity left to transfer heat to the inside surface of the cylinder, until it reached 250 °F.
It took mere 55 seconds for the entire heating process to complete, with all target temperatures met. The customer was convinced that he could successfully replace oven heating with induction heating, achieving huge savings in both time and costs and increasing productivity on the line. Which is more, he could achieve a process which was easy to control and would have consistent results, with no dependability on the operator skills. Finally, thanks to the lack of open flame, induction heating would be a safe and green operation, with no smoke, waste heat, and noxious emissions.
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