Air Heaters

Air heaters are used to heat air with forced convection, radiant heat, or resistive heating elements. Forced convection moves air past a heat source with a fan or blower. Radiant heaters radiate heat from coils that contain a heated, circulated media such as oil, hot water, waste oil, or steam. Resistance air heaters consist of sheaths that surround a resistive heating element. The functional use of these tubular heaters is limited only by available space, maximum sheath temperature, and watt density. Air heaters use a variety of power sources, including electricity, fuel oil, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, and propane. Solar heaters and devices that burn wood products are also available. Air heaters with fins provide improved heat dissipation.

Many types of air heaters are available. Examples of forced convection devices include heat torches, fixed electric fan heaters, fluid and unflued gas heaters, and slow combustion wood heating. Duct heaters mount in air delivery ducts and supply supplementary heat to delivered air.

Parameters for air heaters include maximum air temperature, maximum air flow, and heating capacity. Maximum air temperature is the maximum temperature of air exiting from the heater. Maximum air flow is the maximum flow of air through the heater. Heating capacity is the wattage which the heater can deliver. In terms of features, air heaters may be corrosion-resistant, explosion-proof, finned, microprocessor-controlled, portable, or UL approved.
Air heaters are used in a variety of packaging, automotive, plastics, rubber, textile, and electronics applications. For example, air heaters are used to cure adhesives, de-flash molded parts, weld plastic or vinyl fabrics, and dry ink. In the semiconductor industry, air heaters are used in preheating process gases, soldering lead frames, wafer and PC board drying, and heat shrinking wire insulation.

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