Induction heating occurs when an electrically conducting material is placed within a varying magnetic field. The heating is due to eddy-current losses within the material (in magnetic materials such as iron, some heat is also generated by hysteresis losses). 

An important aspect of this process is that the heat is generated by the material itself without the need for an external radiant heat source. This means that induction heating is clean and fast. It also highly repetitive; once the equipment has been set up, part after part can be heated with identical results.

Induction heating finds applications in many industries for heat treating activities such as annealing, forging, welding, brazing, curing and sealing.

INDUCTION HEATING INDUSTRIES AND APPLICATIONS

Induction heating is a natural fit for automated production lines and, because magnetic fields can permeate glass and similar materials, it works in controlled environments.

Some of the industries that use induction heating in a big way are:

  • The automotive industry for treating bearings, brakes, drive trains, gears joints and shafts. Frames, seats, bumpers and steering wheels are also heat treated.
  • The bus and truck industry for similar, albeit physically larger, applications and the ship-building industry for larger still; It is also used for repairing and reshaping damaged hulls. The commercial and recreational marine engine industry uses induction heating processes in production.
  • The sports and fitness industry for golf clubs, goal posts and exercise equipment.
  • The wind-turbine industry for gear-handling systems.
  • The aeronautics and aerospace industries for heat treating components and producing special alloys. 
  • The oil and mining industries for pipe and tool manufacture.
  • The railroad industry for an array of locomotive parts.
  • The commercial, residential and industrial construction industries for the production of structural sections.

 Induction Heating Equipment

The design and manufacture of induction heating equipment is a major industry in itself, and machine types are many and varied. 

Some types are:

  • large industrial heat treatment and processing systems
  • mobile heat generators
  • solid state welders
  • modular forging systems
  • custom configurations 

Induction Heating Capacitors

The three main constituents of an induction heating machine are the working coil, the power supply and the tank circuit. The working coil generates the electromagnetic field that produces the heat, the power supply converts the line signal to an alternating current and delivers it to the workhead, and the tank circuit generates the operating frequency.

Capacitors for induction heating machine tank circuits are an important market for some capacitor manufacturers. Manufacturers such as Alcon Electronics, Celem and Illinois Capacitor produce conduction or water cooled plastic film capacitors primarily for the induction heating market, while many high RF power water-cooled ceramic capacitors from manufacturers such Vishay and High Energy Corp. are well suited to the task.

The interactive table below features 80 conduction or water-cooled plastic film or ceramic capacitors suitable for use in induction heating equipment. Other types are available. Please contact me to learn more.

 

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