How Does Induction Heating Actually Work?

Induction heating equipment is used for melting, heating, and welding applications in many different industries from manufacturing to foundries. Up to 13% of the world’s steel is used just in the automotive industry. But what does induction actually mean and how is it any different from other heating methods?

Induction is a unique method of heating. Induction furnaces use physics, electromagnetism, and process control for steel melting. Still, the basic concepts behind induction heating equipment and how they work are actually easy to understand.

How do induction furnaces work?

Induction heating starts with a coil of a conductive material such as copper. An electric current passes through the coil and produces a magnetic field.

The magnetic field can change directions depending on the direction of the current flow. An alternating current that passes through the coil causes a magnetic field that changes in the same direction at the same speed as the current. For instance, a magnetic field will switch directions 60 times a second if the current is 60Hz AC.

How does this magnetic field impact a work piece?

A work piece that’s placed in the changing magnetic field causes an induced voltage in the piece. The induced voltage causes the electrons to flow, called a current, in the opposite direction as the current in the coil.

You can control the frequency of the current in the work piece by controlling the frequency of the current in the coil. But how does this cause heat? Through resistance.

The electrons moving in the current of the work piece will have some resistance. This resistance appears as heat. So when a work piece has a current that’s more resistant, it’ll give off more heat and allow for induction heating.

How is this different from other heating methods?

Induction heating isn’t the only heating method. Some industries use gas furnaces, electric furnaces, and event salt baths to heat an object without induction. But these methods rely on heat transfer from another heat source.

Induction heating doesn’t rely on the heat of a source to heat another product. It relies on the heat that’s generated in the surface of the product by the flow of the current caused by the magnetic field.

Where can I find induction heating equipment near me?

Whether you’re looking for a steel melting induction furnace, a used induction furnace, or replacement parts, Amelt has what you need. To learn more about our refurbished equipment and other induction heating equipment products, contact Amelt today.

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