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Low Cost Infrared Light?

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  • Low Cost Infrared Light?

    heh..... where do I go on this one and not give up that I was a product of the late 70's/early 80's?

    The "grow" lights used in plant matter production are not close to an IR lamp....that works on a Ultra Voilet band as opposed to and Infrared spectrum. No use at all in powder coating unless you wish to give your parts a sun-tan. Let's focus on the lower level IR "french-fry" lamps instead,shall we?

    Imagine that you can actually see Infrared waves for a second. (IR is not visible to the human eye. Just like Microwaves aren't sorta principal). Next, imagine that you can see a value to the light. Long wave has a nice slow moving pattern to it and short/medium wave has a quick penetrating pattern. Think of water at low pressure and then high-pressure coming from your sprinkler attached to a garden hose. Can you visualize it now? Excellent. The long wave will most definately generate heat to what it sees, but it's very minute spread over a greater distance. Slow wide ribbons of IR waves. Now, the short/medium wave form of this same spectrum moves at a higher rate of speed and is more focused. It moves quickly to what it "sees" and keeps bombarding it rapidly so that there's no loss of value within a calculated distance. This is the difference between the round "french fry" type of lamps and the round tube powder coating type of lamps. A different value if you will. Hence, the reason in cost AND purpose. If you had a powder coating lamp above your french fries, they would burn within a few minutes. Not good. The rapid moving penetrating waves would see what is in front of it and keep hammering it until the sugars of the food burnt. If you had the french fry bulb near your part, it would get warm, but never reach an operation temperature possible enough to cure the powder and heat up the metal enough. Sure..... I suppose you could hook maybe 50-60 of them together and perhaps EVENTUALLY get the job done....but that's too slow, and the cost of electricity and purchase price of the bulbs would set you back a tidy sum making the powder coating lamp cheaper.

    People on this board know that I usually try to give the lowest cost/cheapest way out of any solution. After all....I know of nobody that grows money to be just spending on whatever they please. However, this is one of those areas where I say just buy the lamp and not try to fool with it. It's very purpose minded and there isn't any substitution for a spectrum like an IR lamp designed to be used industrially (like what Caswell offers here). Buy the Caswell lamp and it will do what it was intended to do. The only other alternative in this situation is get a bigger oven to get that coated part up to temperature. Hope that helps ya,bud.......Russ

  • #2
    I found some quartz heaters at the local hardware store on spring clearance. Two tubes each, mounted vertically, 1500w units. I paid $29 each for them. I've done two oil pans (too big for my oven) and had pretty good luck with them. I don't know how well they would work on tubular parts, but for relatively flat panel sheet metal parts they are working great. Just another low $$ idea. Good luck!



    • #3
      When I first started, I used a set of propane IR heaters that are made for heating up rooms and areas on construction sites. They look similar to this.

      I picked them up at a local Wal-Mart for about $60 I have used them to do all kinds of things, from truck bumpers to step bars and roll bars and still use them on such large items.


      • #4
        This will work, but can be dangerous. Powder is quite flamable until it is cured. One time I got too close to my part with the powder gun, and a spark jumped from the gun to the part. It just went "snap, POOF". A large flame erupted and swept across the part. It only lasted a second, but airborne powder in a room can be ignited by any little spark. Fortunately nothing was damaged, and I didn't get burned, but it sure scared the hell out of me! I would be nervous powder coating around a gas heater. I'm not trying to put down your heater, just relaying my own powder fire experiences. Now I'm a little more careful than I was before. Safety first.



        • #5
          HAHA, yea I have had the same experience with the powder igniting. Only took doing it once to realize this is some dangerous stuff. As for using the heater I mentioned before, the powder is not being applied while the heater is on. I coat my larger parts than move them to a clean "powder free" area to be baked. There isn't any air born powder, only the powder that has been applied to the parts. I really see no different in using this type of heater than using a gas kitchen oven and have great results with using it. "Knock on wood" I have made the mistake of sticking my head over the top of the heater while in the middle of baking. BIG BIG mistake. It was so hot that I burnt off every piece of hair on my face. Including my nose hair.


          • #6
            Boy...... some of these posts I wish I just left unread at times,lol. You guys live on the edge all in the name of finding a lower coast solution sometimes. If you buy the equipment intended for this specific use or one that has very little chance of deviating from the intended course of other than an indirect heat source (kitchen oven type) you wouldn't have to worry about the pyrotechnics or looking like that guy from the polaroid commercial with no eyebrow on his face,lmao. ( I gotta admit....that mental picture cracks me up). I wish I could learn how to post pictures on here as to what it looks like when a powder shop blows up so you'd think twice about "racing on the razor's edge" with powder coating. As much as I love's NEVER worth my health,home or time explaining to my friends why I have no eyebrows!(who knows how long it took you to live that one down) safe,k? sheeesh...... Russ


            • #7
              OK than explain this, if my way is so dangerous. This was taken from a very well know powder site. here is the add.

              INFRARED CURING
              Completely Portable and Adjustable from 1' to 6' High Parts. Cures in half the time it takes the Electric Light Infrareds
              This unit is Propane Driven and can be easily hook up at any place and any time for the most convenient way to cure your parts. Keep in mind because it is Propane Driven you will need a good ventilated area to run this Infrared Unit.

              Contrary to most beliefs Powder can be cured with open flames. 95% of the industrial market uses Natural Gas or Propane to cure Powder Coated Parts. Powder cures by metal temperature only and not with just air temperature. That is the reason why parts have to be cured for 20-30 minutes in a conventional oven to allow for the heat to bring up the actual metal temperature for powder curing of 8-10 minutes at 375-400 degrees. As you can see below the pictures speak a thousand words because you can actually see the powder curing around the bicycle frame because the metal is heating and not the powder. We recommend curing parts with unit 6-10 inches away from part. Time will depend on metal thickness. We do express that a laser thermometer is the best way to judge the curing of the powder as it reads the exact metal temperature. We should have one available in approx. 1 week. With this unit you can virtually cure any size part from a bicycle frame to a car frame provided you can get to every angle for the heat to access. This unit by far exceeds our competitors product because of many reasons. One is that it is made of more durable components and heavier steel. The other is that it is completely mobile to allow you to move all around your parts for a better and faster cure. Because of the Propane we can reach a much higher and faster temperature than the 110 electric can ever achieve because of the limitations only a 110 plug can achieve in wattage output.

              Other Reasons Are:

              No Electricity Required. (Means it is completely Versatile)

              Variable Controlled Heat for Small and Large Parts

              Convenient (Portable and Easy to Light)

              Fast (Gives You Heat When and Where You Want it)

              Economical (Cost Pennies Per Hour to Operate)

              Automatic Safety Shut-Off Valve Cuts Gas Flow if Heater Goes Out

              No Unnecessary Heat, No Waste, Efficient (Just the Right Amount of Heat Where and When You Need It)

              Durable Materials & Quality Construction


              • #8
                lol.....your way is only dangerous if you lean over and burn your eyebrows off again. I have no doubt the same would happen with that model as well. A lot of people use that method to cure powder with little to no incident. I kinda lumped ya'll in together as a blanket statement up there,no biggie or hard feelings intended. The situation only becomes slightly off center is when the equipment is used contraindicatively to it's intended purpose or something else unforseeable happens. The same holds true for most any "tool" you use anywhere. I'd love it if you all found your equipment for free in a nice forgotten attic somewhere, believe me. I just think safety is more important than cost sometimes is all. You are correct to use gas-fired IR. Heck....the larger industrial ovens have huge gas burners in them so your way is actually safer! But then again.....when they don't apply powder correctly, or something happens....VOOF! I say as long as you find success with it (which I have seen that you have) and you are careful and know what you are doing (which I also know from speaking with you) g'head and use it. Just wouldn't be my first choice as an "introductory" thing is all (looks up at the original post). Didn't mean to have a playful jab at your expense,bud. Boy, if we were sharing embarrasing stories, I'd tell you all about the time where the seat of my pants go ripped off from a conveyor and I didn't have a change of clothes until I went home later that day,lol. Try living down "chaps-butt" in the shop for a while and watch how careful of equipment you are from then on . heh heh heh


                • #9
                  I should rephrase the earlier post to "When I finally started doing parts bigger than what my oven could handle" I never did anything larger than a valve cover for about the first 6-8 months of coating. I wanted to make absolutely sure that I could handle something as large as triple bar roll bar or car frame without screwing it up. Trust me, the peaking over the top won't be happening again any time soon.


                  • #10
                    Re: Low Cost Infrared Light?

                    have any of you used Infratech Ir lights? right now on ebay you can get a 1500 watt 36 in w/ 6' stand for $160 shipped (same as you can get from here). thats the best price i have seen anyware! will this light work for pc? i'm just getting started in pc and all i have is an old oven that limits me to 12x16x22. ($9 for oven, $6 power cord) it does fine for small parts, but i would like to do larger things like my truck frame. and i have had other people ask me if i could do parts that were larger then my oven could handle. if this light will work then i think the $160 would be worth it.


                    • #11
                      Re: Low Cost Infrared Light?

                      I got Three of them Iwill sell for $100 ea. Only used one, Could never get enough heat out of it for a small part.


                      • #12
                        Re: Low Cost Infrared Light?

                        Hey Didde that's a great sales pitch, I'll sell them for $100 cause they don't work on parts
                        I know what you mean though.

                        Where they at, part of the country? And any details what you have? They Caswells, other types, what's the heat ratings, etc... Links or pictures?


                        • #13
                          Re: Low Cost Infrared Light?

                          well i guess i will save my money then untill i can get the proper light. i was waiting to get one untill i ask some one that has used them because i was afraid they wouldnt work and i would be stuck with it.


                          • #14
                            Re: Low Cost Infrared Light?

                            i have read that some people have been useing the propane heaters for curing, the kind that mount to the top of the tank. i need to get a heater for my garage anyway so i might as well get one that will work for curing too. what i need to know is what is the btu ranges on the ones that are being used? the most common one i have seen is a 2 burner one that has a 9k-48k btu rating. will that work, or do i need one with a higher rating?