An industrial technology commonly used in the plastics industry, the infrared rotary drum, may soon enter the process heating market for bulk solids, particularly food and pharmaceutical industries.

The infrared rotary drum technology developed by 42Inventions ensures consistent radiation and mixing of the bulk solid to be dried.

The technology was developed by Urban Stricker, a graduate engineer in material science, for the drying of plastics resins. Introduced in 1998, it takes the opposite approach to traditional techniques for drying. Instead of heating the particles from the outside for an extended period of time by means of hot air and then expelling the water, it uses infrared heaters. The drying process takes only minutes. This technique can be coupled with an individually synchronized rotating-drum-technology, leading to the a direct and continuous conveyance of material in processing.

Stricker has made the technology available through licensing to partners over the past year through his company, 42Inventions, Vormwald near Siegen, Germany.

“We already have experience in the drying of powders, as are necessary in the production of pills, for example,” said Stricker. “And materials such as coffee or rice are very similar in shape to texture to granulates. Customizing the technique to the given material is a relatively simple process.”