Small steps—huge impact
Gas and electric-arc heating are used in a wide range of applications such as the joining, forming and cutting metal, as well as hull straightening. But there are of course other, more environmentally sound, heating methods. The three most common alternatives are induction heating, heating elements and resistance heating. Heating elements, however, are usually confined to applications with long exposure times such as construction and pipe work. While resistance heating is limited to very few applications. This leaves fast, accurate and repeatable induction heating as the only viable alternative.
So how do induction, gas and arc heating compare in terms of environmental impact? One major drawback of gas and arc heating is the production of hazardous gases such as ozone, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. Induction heating on the other hand doesn’t produce any gases. Then there’s energy consumption. Induction heating offers unrivalled energy efficiency, as it only heats precisely defined zones directly in the workpieces. Gas and arc heating are not only wasteful, the high temperatures generated in the heating sources can be dangerous.
Moreover, gas and arc heating raise ambient temperatures, leading to uncomfortable and less productive working conditions. Induction heating however is a ‘cold’ heating source—the induction coil does not heat up.
The fast and flameless accuracy of induction makes it ideal for awkward working areas . But there’s another feature that helps make it superior to gas and arc heating: its virtual silence. Noisy gas and arc heating not only endangers worker’s health and safety, it also lowers productivity. So next time you have to choose a heating technology, take a closer look at induction. It’s a wise choice for the environment—and an equally wise one for your bottom line.