Phone: +1 678 835 5980Get Quotation
Industrial Gas Catalytic Infrared Systems

Gas Catalytic Infrared Heat Technology - How It Works

Heat The Part - Not The Air

Gas Catalytic IR heat technology emulates the efficiency of the sun by generating radiant energy that is converted into heat when absorbed by objects in its path. Once the infra-red energy is absorbed by the floors, machinery, stock and people, it is then re-radiated to warm the surrounding air.

This method of heating, as opposed to filling a room with warm air (such as a forced air unit) allows the source of heat to begin at the floor level and not the ceiling. This makes it the most efficient and effective method in which to heat under the diverse conditions present in warehouses, storerooms and even the most immense structures imaginable.

Heraeus Vulcan manufactures natural gas or propane fired industrial catalytic heaters that emit infrared heat through a safe, flameless heater technology producing a uniform low intensity heat. This heat is in the form of medium to long wavelength energy which is readily and evenly absorbed by a wide range of organic materials.

Why Hotter Is Not Better

  • The natural absorbance wavelength for organic substances – water, epoxy, polyester, ABS, acrylic – is 3-4 microns
  • The maximum energy output from a Heraeus – Vulcan Catalytic Heater matches these absorbance wavelengths
  • Net result is a diffused “Soft Heat” as opposed to higher temperature heat sources that emit a wavelength that is shorter, more intense with more convection – inefficient heat source
  • Quickest method to heat “heat sensitive” materials without burning the coating is to match absorbance with emittance

To understand more about the IR energy emitting, we need to look at incandescent light.

Incandescent Light

Incandescence is the emission of light by a solid object that has been heated until it glows or radiates light. When an iron bar is heated to a very high temperature, it initially glows red and then as its temperature rises it glows white. Incandescence is heat made visible – the process of turning heat energy into light energy

In the English language, we understand “white hot” to be hotter than “red hot”. A volcano is a vivid example of incandescent molten rock, that shows the many incandescent colors that are directly related to how hot the rock actually is.

The areas of infrared that Catalytic heaters emit is in a range that corresponds with the color of the heater panel when it is operational. This range starts in the long wave area going up to a maximum temperature of 900 deg.F (480 deg.C).

Infrared Heat Technology Uses Long to Medium Wave Infrared Energy

The long – medium wave infrared energy emitted by the catalytic heaters is optimally absorbed by organic materials such as water, polyester, epoxy, ABS, styrene and HDPE. The emitted infrared energy has wavelengths that are in the 3.5 to 10 microns in length, this coincides with the ideal range of 3 to 4 microns for absorption by organic materials. Matching the emitted IR with what is the ideal absorption range is the key to rapid temperature increase of the organic coatings or objects to be heated, a typical industrial application would be in a powder coating oven, a thermoforming system or other process heating system.

This energy in the form of infrared, it is completely diffused into multi 180 degree axis across the entire face of the heater. Long to medium wave IR is able to be reflected and is able to be reflected galvanized or stainless steel as well as aluminum foil.


E CoatingLiquid FinishingATEX Catalytic IR HeatersPowder Coating - Pre GelPowder Coating - Full CurePowder Coating - Batch OvensWood Products FinishingIR Applications Test Center

IR Technology

Gas Catalytic IR - TechnologyGas Catalytic IR - The BenefitsThe 3:1 Rule ExplainedEnergy EfficiencySystem DesignSystem ControlWhich IR?Videos


Heavy Industrial FinishingGeneral Industrial FinishingWood Products Finishing


Industrial Gas Catalytic IR HeatersATEX Gas Catalytic IR HeatersHigh Efficiency Gas Catalytic IR OvensCure Ovens - How To Choose


Privacy PolicyHeraeus & VulcanGet QuotationLatest NewsSign Up For Case Studies

Registered trademarks

Vulcan Catalytic®Vulcan Catalytic MDF®

 Case Studies & Technical Guides

The latest Case Studies & Guides in your inbox!