Gas Catalytic Infrared Heaters: Why They Are Used for Solvent Curing?

Derek Burkholder
July 17, 2020
Gas Catalytic Infrared Heaters: Why They Are Used for Solvent Curing?


Gas-Fired drying systems have been used for years across numerous industries due to the relatively inexpensive cost of heating in this manner.  However, when it comes to a process with high solvent loads gas-fired systems are less utilized because of the risk of combustion. Gas Catalytic Infrared Heaters removes this risk, as these units are able to generate heat using a chemical reaction, eliminating the need for an open flame.  This post discusses these heaters in detail.

A Brief Introduction to Gas Catalytic IR Heaters and Their Benefits

Gas catalytic IR heaters utilize a catalytic reaction to create infrared energy.  Natural gas and propane are some of the fuels that these heaters can make use of to product heat. The heat is produced in the form of medium-to-long wavelength energy that is directly absorbed by the materials exposed to them. They are typically used to cure and dry products containing combustible solvents.

  • These heaters use catalytic reaction to convert propane or natural gas into infrared energy. To operate they require a fuel supply and a minimal electrical supply to pre-heat the catalyst.
  • Since these heaters require no open flames, they can be used in combustible environments for solvent drying. Historically, these applications required electric heating, which can be more expensive to operate.
  • Gas catalytic heaters are environment friendly as they produce only water and carbon dioxide as byproducts.
  • The IR energy produced by these systems is absorbed directly by the products that utilize them. The benefit of using IR energy is that the air inside a dryer does not readily absorb the energy, so the majority of the heat produced goes into the product.
  • Gas catalytic IR heaters have no moving parts that require regular replacement or servicing. Thus, the operation is largely maintenance-free.  
  • Propane, butane, and natural gas are cheap fuels so the cost of running a system using these heaters is reduced.
  • The face temperature of IR radiation is below the temperature of gas and solvent combustion, meaning even an accidental release of fuel onto the face of the heater when operating at maximum temperature will not cause combustion.

Features of Gas Catalytic Infrared Heaters Provided by Casso-Solar Technologies

Over the years, gas catalytic infrared heaters designed and manufactured by Casso-Solar Technologies have gained immense popularity. The following features contribute to their benefits:

  • They are manufactured in convenient sizes to match industry standards. This enables users of similar heaters to easily switch.
  • The heaters can be controlled with closed loop thermocouple control. This mechanism enables a user to control the heat output effectively. In addition to this, these systems are also available with open loop control or manual control.
  • The compact size allows for drying processes to be completed with much shorter oven lengths than an equivalent gas-fired system.
  • Essentially maintenance-free operation due to no moving or wear parts.  Heaters can last up to 15 years depending on fuel and environment cleanliness.

The experts at Casso-Solar Technologies will work closely with you to understand your requirements before suggesting the right size for your application. The company has been serving its clients for the last sixty years by providing quality and performance-driven IR heating solutions.

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Written by:
Derek Burkholder
Vice President of Sales & Engineering
Derek Burkholder holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and is Vice President of Engineering & Sales at Casso Solar. Previously holding the title of Engineering Manager, Derek draws upon over a decade of industry knowledge to write extensively about the construction & application of heating systems such as industrial ovens, dryers, furnaces, and infrared heaters for industrial manufacturing processes.