IR vulcanization ovens
Tunnel oven for IR vulcanization
Important functional characteristics of vulcanization ovens
1. The possibility of using in the rubber processing industry (medical, food)
2. Great configuration possibilities (length, width, radiator system)
3. Ergonomics - height adjustment, angular position, opening chamber of shock oven
4. Compact dimensions, position adjustment, height of shock oven adjustment
5. Energy efficiency
6. A short ready-for-use time
7. Advanced radiators power control system
8. Stainless steel or acid-proof steel interior construction
9. High durability of radiators due to the use of technology regarding controlled heating and cooling radiators
• Symmetrical and asymmetrical vulcanization of rubber mixture profiles
• Drying in infrared medium-wave radiation and hot air
• Other applications requiring delivery of thermal energy in the form of infrared radiation and hot air
IR tunnel oven structure
• Vulcanization tunnel ovens manufactured by Zamak Mercator are equipped with heating elements in the form of ceramic infrared radiators. These are heating elements made of a highly refractory ceramic material coated with a ceramic glaze. A heating coil made of resistance wire is embedded inside the body. The operating principle of the coil is based on the use of thermal radiation involving absorption and conversion of radiation energy emitted to the heated objects. Depending on power they emit an electromagnetic wave measuring 2 to 10 microns in length.
• Ceramic radiators are characterized by high corrosion resistance, resistance to aggressive environments, sterility (an important feature in medical technology and food industry), ability to control the operation, low temperature inertia.
• Radiators of this type radiate ca. 50% of heat energy. This energy directly reaches the vulcanized polymer in the absence of air. IR radiation energy penetrates into the vulcanized polymer, uniformly heating it from the inside. The remaining 50% of energy heats the air in the oven transferring energy to the vulcanized polymer via conduction and heats its surface. The heat is transferred to the polymer from the outside and the inside, which results in a more uniform course of vulcanization throughout the profile mass.
• Heating profiles by means of infrared radiation and hot air allows vulcanization of profiles with complex shapes and a large range of cross sections.
• The ovens manufactured by Zamak Mercator are composed of segments measuring 3 m in length, which can be connected forming a tunnel of a desired length. The connection of the segments is designed in such a way that it does not restrict access to the oven on its whole length.
• The width of the conveyor belt may be range between 100mm and 800mm. The used grid has a high coefficient of IR permeability reaching 70%. Thus, the radiation, to a large extent, reaches the lower zones of the material. The grid is resistant to the influence of high temperatures.
• The number and arrangement of radiators in the furnace chamber depends on customer expectations, for instance, in the case of vulcanizing complex profiles, radiators can be divided into 4 sections on the circumference of a circle allowing adjustment of power heating independently for each section. This ensures a steady heat energy supply to the polymer (symmetrical and asymmetrical profile vulcanization of rubber mixtures).
• The interior of the tunnel oven is made entirely of stainless steel, which makes it easier to keep clean and ensures durability.
• On request, the tunnel interior can be made of stainless steel or acid-resistant steel for medical applications, which combined with ceramic radiators allows a wide range of applications (medical industry and food industry).
IR vulcanization shock oven
• Shock ovens function in a similar manner as IR vulcanization tunnel ovens. The difference is that they are designed to work at higher temperatures.
• Their aim is to consolidate the profile shape through an immediate and shock impact of high temperature immediately after leaving the extruder head. In shock oven occurs The formation of a thin, pre-vulcanized coating on the profile takes place in the shock oven before it enters the appropriate vulcanization oven. This oven also improves the quality of the product by providing smoothness and soft gloss on the profile surface.
IR shock oven structure
• Zamak Mercator shock ovens are manufactured on the basis of short-wave halogen radiators.
• Halogen radiators radiate over 85% of the consumed electric energy in the form of thermal radiation with a wave length in range of IR 1.2μm - 5μm.
• Such radiation has high energy density, it immediately reaches the vulcanized profile (the air in oven is heated to a small extent). Since short-wave radiation transfers large amounts of heat energy and penetrates the profile to a smaller depth than a ceramic radiator medium-wave , it is very suitable for making the so-called film on the profile.
The shock oven built on the basis on this technology has small dimension, is light and easy to use. Halogen radiators have low operating costs, the radiation can focus on the vulcanized profile, radiator power can also be controlled within range from 0-100% of the power. There is no need for heating the whole oven to a high temperature as in the case of resistance ovens.
Digital control system
The Zamak Mercator automation department based on many years of experience had developed the allowing management of entire production lines. Our software allows for controlling, monitoring and managing both the extrusion and vulcanization process. Continuous monitoring of extrusion parameters such as temperature of oven zones, transport rate, energy consumption, allow for controlling the process and the device.
We use our own programs as well as Bernecker + Rainer Industrie Elektronik GmbH and Lenze Drives GmbH equipment to implement our solutions in the scope of automation and drives. We also cooperate with many other renowned companies.
The new design technology of vulcanization ovens has many advantages ranging from small environmental impact, in terms of pollution and energy saving, to increased operational safety and high quality of finished product. Tunnel ovens manufactured by Zamak Mercator are characterized by high energy efficiency as the heat energy is in approximately 50%, and 85% in the shock ovens delivered directly to the polymer and because the multi-layered thermal insulation measuring up to 100mm in thickness retains the heat inside the oven.
Vulcanization is chemical cross-linking molecules process of extruded polymer, leading to obtain a rubber of desired mechanical properties. Vulcanization occurs as a result of supplying heat energy to the polymer.