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Applying Infrared Technology to Furniture and Wood Processing

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September 29, 2022 | Press Release

To keep high-quality wood furniture or precious parquet flooring appealing for a long time, their surfaces need to be elaborately prepared and sealed. Infrared heat processes are efficient without damaging the wood.

Infrared heat for wood processing
Wood processes benefit from infrared technology in a number of ways. Infrared radiation transmits energy without contact into materials where it creates heat and in this way can especially efficiently dry paints or primers, melt powder coatings or remove residual moisture without damaging the wood. In this way, quality is improved and further processing of the wood can be started sooner.

The targeted properties of infrared lamps from Heraeus Noblelight mean that heat is applied only where it is needed, and the quick heat-up of IR means that heat is provided only when it’s needed, on demand.

Infrared heat is particularly efficient for wood and furniture:
• Infrared Emitters Optimize Powder Coating of Fibreboards
• Targeted Heating Improves Laminate Embossing Line
• Infrared Heat Increases Quality of Chipboard
• Drying of Adhesives
• Drying of Wood Stains
• Gelling and Curing Wood

Case studies of drying wood stains provide some good examples. Infrared technology is ideal for process applications that require drying of water-based stains on wood; IR’s unique ability to apply heat evenly across a large are makes it a smart choice. And the high controllability and efficiency of infrared technology make it a cost-effective solution as well. Here are a few real-world examples of IR for wood stain drying:

A manufacturer of decorative wood panels uses Heraeus Fast Mediumwave IR technology to control process and save energy. Seamless integration of the infrared module into the production machine allows IR power to be constantly switched on and off, conserving energy. The process is controlled by limiting temperature rise of the wooden panels to between 20°C and 50°C. This efficient system now processes 10m of decorative wood per minute.

A maker of prefabricated wooden roof covering panels replaced their inefficient longwave infrared modular process heating system with a modular system from Heraeus. The new system uses NIR technology and provides greater safety, quick on/off cycles, flexible power control and a host of other benefits including better adhesion of insulating foam and longer heat conservation in the wood.

A pallet manufacturer needed a quick and efficient method to dry paint onto the wood pallets. The chose a modular system of infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight. Power oscillates left/right between modules to provide even, uniform heat to the process. The system provides very short drying times (as little as 20 seconds!), and quick on/off power switching during pallet transfer.

A manufacturer of wood-based panels wished to replace their solvent-based staining system. They chose a mediumwave IR system from Heraeus Noblelight to dry water-based stain prior to UV lacquering. The new system is faster (the water-based stain is completely dry prior to lacquering), the design is compact, and installation was facilitated within the existing line.

A furniture manufacturer required heat to apply and dry polyurethane varnish to its wood products. The convection ovens originally installed in the process plagued the line with long drying times. Retrofitting the production line with medium wave infrared heaters from Heraeus Noblelight allowed the drying time to be reduced from two hours to only fifteen minutes. As a bonus, the infrared heaters allowed greater control over the process.

A manufacturer of high-end consumer retail products required a fast and high-quality means of drying water-based paints and lacquers on its products. Working closely with the applications experts at Heraeus Noblelight, the manufacturer chose medium wave carbon infrared lamps because of their energy-saving qualities and unique ability to apply heat evenly across contoured surfaces.

Comprehensive tests demonstrate that carbon lamps require up to 30% less energy than conventional heaters in the drying of lacquers and water-based coatings. High power and very fast reaction times are characteristics of carbon lamps from Heraeus Noblelight.

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