Short- and medium-wave coated emitters offer a key efficiency advantage, says the one maker of industrial infrared heaters. The coating focuses the majority of the energy directly toward the product, says the engineering team at Anderson Thermal Devices Inc., Hawthorne, N.J., creating opportunities for lower energy use or faster run times.

While gold coated lamps offer this unidirectional advantage with 100 percent reflectivity, ceramic coated lamps offer 90 percent reflectivity. This indistinguishable difference in most processes comes with a number of key advantages:

  • Higher Operating Temperature. When exposed to the normal operating temperature of the heating element, gold will dissipate over time unless constantly exposed to an air cooling system. This results in losses in reflective efficiency. Ceramic coatings are applied in excess of 2192°F (1200°C) —(well over gold’s melting point of 1964°F (1064°C). This means air cooling is not required.
  • Lower Cost. Because of the cost of gold itself, gold-coated lamps are priced higher than their ceramic-coated counterparts.
  • Longer Operating Life. Because ceramic-coated tubes do not suffer from the same dissipation as gold-coated, they need to be replaced less often, providing additional savings over the long run.

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