The use of induction heating in the manufacture of industrial equipment

Induction heating is a method of heating conductive materials that is gaining more and more popularity in industrial applications. Compared to conventional heating methods, induction heating provides the highest safety for workers through contact-free operation.

The technology is developing rapidly and there are more and more solutions and devices using it on the market. The vast majority of companies decide to switch to such a solution, due to the savings of time and money associated with heating processes.

What is induction heating?

Induction heating is a method of heating conductive materials used in the production and machining of mechanical parts or industrial machine components. The process involves placing the workpiece near an induction coil through which an alternating current is passed. As the current flows through the coil, an alternating magnetic field is generated in its field, which initiates eddy currents within the workpiece material. Unlike common heating methods, in induction the heat is not supplied from outside, but is generated in the workpiece itself. This gives many advantages for production processes, energy consumption and working conditions.

The benefits of induction heating:

  • Saves energy and reduces CO₂ emissions, thanks to short heating times;
  • All induction processes are easily repeatable;
  • Precision heating significantly reduces scrap and rework;
  • Ability to automate and integrate with other manufacturing processes;
  • Even the largest induction systems take up relatively little space;
  • Induction processes are easy to use;
  • Each solution can be easily selected and adapted to each application.

Induction heating systems

Each induction heating system consists of an induction generator, a workstation and an induction coil. Additionally, depending on the application, peripheral devices supporting the system operation can be added, such as chillers for the coil cooling water, pyrometers for measuring the heating temperature, industrial regulators for controlling the generator operation.
Induction generators are responsible for converting input current into alternating current at a specific frequency. By selecting the appropriate power and frequency range of the generator, we can adjust the heating time and heat penetration depth of the heat-treated material, depending on the size and weight of the work insert.

Workstations are components of a heating system in which induction coils are placed. Depending on the solution, the workstation may be built into the generator or may exist as an independent part of the unit to facilitate equipment operation. In most cases, cooling water also flows through the workstation and is then directed to the heating coil.

The coil itself is the element through which heat is generated in the workpiece. By selecting the size, shape and design of the coil, we can achieve different types of heating - from spot heating to area heating. The coils are usually made of copper, because copper conducts electricity very well, and by using a cooling system, we can reduce excessive heating of the coil.

Induction heating applications

  • Induction heating is used in many heating processes. The most important of these are:
  • Soldering and brazing;
  • Heating, bonding;
  • Shrink fitting;
  • Annealing, hardening, tempering and curing;
  • Melting and hot forming;
  • Forging;
  • Stacking;
  • Sealing;
  • Glaze removal;
  • Material testing.

Except for the aforementioned applications, induction heating is used in high-tech applications where specific standards and high hygiene are required, e.g. medical applications (nanoparticle technology), chemical industry, etc.

chevron_leftPrevious Nextchevron_right