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How does Induction heating work?

A source of high frequency electricity is used to drive a large alternating current through a induction coil. This induction heating coil is known as the work coil. See the picture opposite. The passage of current through this induction heating coil generates a very intense and rapidly changing magnetic field in the space within the work coil. The workpiece to be heated is placed within this intense alternating magnetic field. Depending on the nature of the workpiece material, a number of things happen... The alternating magnetic field induces a current flow in the conductive workpiece. The arrangement of the work coil and the workpiece can be thought of as an electrical transformer. The work coil is like the primary where electrical energy is fed in, and the workpiece is like a single turn secondary that is short-

circuited. This causes tremendous currents to flow through the workpiece. These are known as eddy currents. In addition to this, the high frequency used in Induction Heating applications gives rise to a phenomenon called skin effect. This skin effect forces the alternating current to flow in a thin layer towards the surface of the workpiece. The skin effect increases the effective resistance of the metal to the passage of the large current. Therefore it greatly increases the induction heating effect of the induction heater caused by the current induced in the workpiece. Although the induction heating due to eddy currents is desirable in this application, it is interesting to note that transformer manufacturers go to great lengths to avoid this phenomenon in their transformers. !aminated transformer cores, powdered iron cores and ferrites are all used to prevent eddy currents from flowing inside transformer cores. Inside a transformer the passage of eddy currents is highly undesirable because it causes induction heating of the magnetic core and represents power that is wasted." And for #errous metals$ #or ferrous metals like iron and some types of steel, there is an additional induction heating mechanism that takes place at the same time as the eddy currents mentioned above. The intense alternating magnetic field inside the work coil repeatedly magneti%es and de&magneti%es the iron crystals. This rapid flipping of the magnetic domains causes considerable friction and heating inside the material. Induction heating due to this mechanism is known as 'ysteresis loss, and is greatest for materials that have a large area inside their (&' curve. This can be a large contributing factor to the heat generated during Induction Heating, but only takes place inside ferrous materials. #or this reason ferrous materials lend themselves more easily to heating by induction than non&ferrous materials. It is interesting to note that steel looses its magnetic properties when heated above appro)imately *++,- by induction heater. This temperature is known as the -urie temperature. This means that above *++,- there can be no heating of the material due to hysteresis losses. Any further induction heating of the material must be due to induced eddy currents alone. This makes induction heating steel above *++,- more of a challenge for the induction heating systems.induction heater. The fact that copper and Aluminium are both non&magnetic and very good electrical conductors, can also make these materials a challenge to heat efficiently. /e will see that the best course of action for these materials is to up the frequency to e)aggerate losses due to the skin effect."

What is Induction Heating used for ? Induction heating machine.induction heater.induction heating equipment can be used for any application where we want to heat an electrically conductive material in a clean, efficient and controlled manner. 0ne of the most common applications is for sealing the anti&tamper seals that are stuck to the top of medicine and drinks bottles. A foil seal coated with 1hot&melt glue1 is inserted into the plastic cap and screwed onto the top of each bottle during manufacture. These foil seals are then rapidly heated as the bottles pass under an induction heater.induction heating equipment.induction heating system on the production line. The heat generated melts the glue and seals the foil onto the top of the bottle. /hen the cap is removed, the foil remains providing an airtight seal and preventing any tampering or contamination of the bottle2s contents until the customer pierces the foil. Another common application is 1getter firing1 to remove contamination from evacuated tubes such as T3 picture tubes, vacuum tubes, and various gas discharge lamps. A ring of conductive material called a 1getter1 is placed inside the evacuated glass vessel. Since Induction Heating is a non&contact process it can be used to heat the getter that is already sealed inside a vessel. An induction heating coil is located close to the getter on the outside of the vacuum tube and the A- source is turned on. /ithin seconds of starting the induction heater, the getter is heated white hot, and chemicals in its coating react with any gasses in the vacuum. The result is that the getter absorbs any last remaining traces of gas inside the vacuum tube and increases the purity of the vacuum. 4et another common application for induction heating machine.induction heater is a process called 5one purification used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. This is a process in which silicon is purified by means of a moving %one of molten material. An Internet Search is sure to turn up more details on this process that I know little about. 0ther applications include induction melting, induction welding, induction forging and induction bra%ing or metals. Induction cooking hobs and rice cookers. 6etal induction hardening of ammunition, gear teeth, saw blades and drive shafts, etc are also common applications because the induction process heats the surface of the metal very rapidly. Therefore it can be used for surface hardening, and induction hardening of locali%ed areas of metallic parts by 1outrunning1 the thermal conduction

of heat deeper into the part or to surrounding areas. The non contact nature of Induction Heating also means that it can be used to heat materials in analytical applications without risk of contaminating the specimen. Similiarly, metal medical instruments may be sterili%ed by heating them to high temperatures whilst they are still sealed inside a known sterile environment, in order to kill germs. What is required for Induction Heating? In theory only 7 things are essential to implement Induction Heating8 A source of 'igh #requency electrical power, A induction coil to generate the alternating magnetic field, An electrically conductive workpiece to be heated, 'aving said this, practical induction heating machines.induction heater are usually a little more comple). #or e)ample, an impedance matching network is often required between the 'igh #requency source and the induction coil in order to ensure good power transfer. /ater cooling systems are also common in high power induction heaters to remove waste heat from the induction coil, its matching network and the power electronics. #inally some control electronics is usually employed to control the intensity of the induction heating action, and time the induction heating cycle to ensure consistent results. The control electronics also protects the system from being damaged by a number of adverse operating conditions. 'owever, the basic principle of operation of any induction heater remains the same as described earlier. The Importance of Induction Coil esign

The induction coil, typically made from copper tubing with a 9.:1 to 7.9;1 diameter, is normally cooled with water. The si%e and shape of the coil & single or multiple turn< helical, round or square< internal or e)ternal & should reflect the shape of your workpiece and variables of your process. /ith good induction heating coil design, the proper heat pattern is achieved and the efficiency of the Induction Heating power supply is ma)imi%ed without making it difficult to insert and retrieve your part. 4ou can read more about this important aspect of induction heating in our free tech note. Typical applications8 Typical applications of the induction heater.induction heating machine are the induction melting of metals, the heating of metals for design, the induction bra%ing and induction welding and all sorts of surface induction heating treatments. 'owever, by using electric conductive recipients e.g. graphite" also

other materials like glass can be heated 9.Induction melting of metals by means of induct ion crucible furnaces An induction crucible furnace essentially consists of a crucible with refractory lining, that contains the material to be melted and that is surrounded by the induction coil. The induction heating coil is water&cooled and is surrounded by an iron core, in order to improve magnetic coupling. There are applications at =+'% as well as mid&frequency applications. The power range up to 9+6/ and more" and the specific powers up to 9>++ k/.ton" are e)tremely high. The induction melting can therefore occur very quickly. !ow&frequency induction crucible furnaces >+'%" are usually applied for big applications large power and large capacity". 6id&frequency furnaces are rather used in smaller applications. They offer more fle)ibility and are more compact. In general there is a trend towards using mid&frequency furnaces at the e)pense of low& frequency furnaces.

>. Induction !ra"ing Induction !ra"ing is an assembly technique where two pieces are ?oined together by means of a third material that is brought to its melting temperature. In the connection %one both pieces are heated up to a temperature higher than the melting temperature of the third material. Induction is frequently applied because of the precise locali%ation of the heating. 6oreover the heating happens very quickly which makes that the o)idation or structural or compositional changes can be controlled. (ra%ing under inert atmosphere is possible. Induction heating is suited for high production speeds in automati%ed production lines.

7. Inducti#e hardening of steel Steel with a carbon percentage of at least +.7@ is qualified for surface
induction hardening. #or this the workpiece is heated up to appro)imately

A++,- and after that it is chilled. The technique is used for the hardening of gear wheels, crankshafts, valve stems, saw blades, spades, rails, and many other things.The inducti#e process has the advantage that the induction heating treatment can be localised very accurately. 6oreover, the chemical composition of the surface layer doesnBt change, which is the case for other surface
induction hardening techniques. (ecause of the selective induction heating less

energy is required than for a complete heating of the product and distortion can be avoided. Typical for inductive hardening are the very high energy densities 9.= to =k/.cm>" and the short treatment times > seconds".#igure C shows some realisations of inductors. Some inducting heating machines.induction heater are equipped with a spraying system that allows chilling of the workpiece right after the heating.
Induction hardening equipment.induction heater Inducting hardening is especially applied in automated production processes

with sufficient production volume. /ith Induction Heating a constant, high production quality can be reached. The energy consumption and the production losses are lower than for conventional techniques.dielectric heating Dolycondensation glues and polyvinyl acetate glues are especially suited for high frequency bonding. It has already been used in woodwork and wood processing, drying and bondingEE