The process of heating an object by radiative heat transfer is known as infrared heating. Infrrared is part of the electromagnetic spectrum with a frequency below visible light. An electric heating element produces the heat and light from the infrared energy spectrum, which is subsequently transferred to the target object.
William Herschel discovered infrared heat in the early 1800s, and dubbed the invisible light ‘infrared’. In earlier designs, the heating elements were encased in ceramic, however, the disadvantage was that the ceramic absorbed the energy meant for the target object.
Quartz heating is a type of radiant heating, often referred to as short wave infrared heating. Since all objects emits and absorb infrared heat, it uses infrared waves to directly heat surfaces. The hotter an object, the more heat it will radiate. This is the basis of the technology for most quartz heaters.
Here is where Quartz becomes useful; Quartz is a type of igneous rock that is made of oxygen and silicon atoms, together they form a hard rock that is much stronger than ceramic.
In addition to electrical insulation and heat resistance, Quartz has a third helpful property. It is nearly “transparent” to infrared energy. This tells us that the energy produced by the heating element is capable of passing through the Quartz without being absorbed.
What is a Quartz Heater?
A quartz heater is a type of infrared heater. The production and dispersal of heat from the heater is made by the heating element enclosed in a quartz tube.
The heating component creates heat at necessary wavelengths to provide heat at the required intensity.
What is Quartz Heating?
Quartz heating is a type of radiant heating, commonly referred to as short wave infrared heating. Radiant heating uses infrared waves to heat the surfaces of objects directly.
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How Does Quartz Heating Work?
Infrared is a wave-like light, meaning it travels outward from the heat source and diffuses over a distance.
Electric infrared energy travels in straight lines from the heat source. This energy is diffused into particular patterns by optical reflector devices.
How do Quartz Heaters Work?
In quartz heaters, the heating component produces heat at specific wavelengths to provide the specific amount of heat needed.
The quartz tube is used to keep the heating compartment safe and prevent the heat from escaping through convection (Heat loss).
This is different from say halogen heaters that heat up a space by radiating heat from halogen tubes. To learn more, check out our article on halogen vs quartz heaters. You can also check out our article on quartz vs oil vs fan vs halogen heaters.
The Principle Of Quartz Heating
After a sufficient power-up, the heating component becomes very hot as it builds up heat. The quartz tube reaches the appropriate temperature, and heat is released out of the quartz tube.
The wavelength of heat produced from the quartz heating process has been studied and noted, as ideal for the human condition.
The infrared heat is directly absorbed by the people and objects near the quartz heater, and the air absorbs a small amount of heat. This is due to the infrared spectrum being almost wholly outside the absorption spectrum of air.
Types Of Quartz Heaters
There are several different kinds of quartz heaters, they may vary for a range of reasons. Here are some of the common types of quartz heaters:
Mid-Range Wavelength Tube Heaters
The standard design of a mid-range wavelength tube heater features a heating element confined inside a quartz cylinder. This can be set up and installed in large spaces to create large heating arrays suitable for numerous heating applications.
Short-Range Wavelength Tube Heaters
Just like the medium wavelength tube heaters, these also contain an element inside a quartz tube.
The major fact setting them apart is that these elements are made from tungsten, while the quartz tubes are sealed and filled with a noble gas. These kinds of heaters are excellent for metal and powder coating uses.
Quartz Panel Heaters
The quartz panel heater has a fused quartz face with a heating element designed below the surface. These higher mass heaters produce an even energy output over a larger surface area than a tube heater.
Furnace Tube Heaters
The furnace tube heaters are designed by wrapping a heating element around a quartz tube.
By putting the heating element on the outside rather than the inside of the quartz tube, the user can get the benefits of both convection and IR heating. These heaters are best applied in furnace settings where the environment and the target object need to be heated to a set temperature.
In all kinds of quartz heaters, the function of the Quartz is maximum energy transfer possible from the heating element to the product.
By ensuring that the material used in your heater design is not absorbing the energy output, processes can be completed in less time with lower energy consumption to save both time and money.
Are Quartz Heaters Energy Efficient?
Quartz heaters transform a hundred (100) percent of their electrical energy input into heat, range is lost at fifteen feet.
Quartz heaters are so efficient because they use a wound resistance coil that runs through a series of horizontal tubes.
All of the parts are confined in a highly reflective aluminum steel casing, which prevents heat from escaping to the back of the device. Quartz heaters are made for situations where you sit in one particular place and only need to heat one area.
Quartz heaters are a better choice for overhead heaters. Quartz heaters can move up to full working temperature more quickly because they don’t have the mass of a ceramic heater.
One way to improve energy efficiency is to use an external fan to move heat within the room.
Advantages Of Quartz Heaters
Uniform Distribution of Heat: Quartz infrared heaters provide heat to the objects directly. They provide continuous and uniform amounts of heat that rarely falter.
Thus if you need to have the right amount of temperature for hours, quartz infrared heaters will be perfect for you.
Quartz is not only rugged and heat resistant, but it does not react to (or absorb) any infrared energy.
This means that it will not absorb any infrared energy, and more heat will reach the objects. Thus saving yourself a lot on energy consumption and power costs. It is almost similar to a halogen heater in this functionality.
Quartz infrared heaters are much more durable than ceramic ones. Quartz never cracks or breaks under high temperature or pressure, so you will not have to worry about your quartz infrared heater malfunctioning.
If you buy ceramic infrared heaters or other types of heaters, they may cost less when buying, but they will need a lot of maintenance costs over the years.
However, if you get Quartz infrared heaters, you will never have to spend any money on maintenance costs, and they will run perfectly for several years.
In the same way, the cost of Quarts heart is less than the average cost of a halogen heater. This is one of the many comparisons of Halogen and Quartz heaters.
How Much Power Do Quartz Heaters Use?
Quartz infrared heaters use as much power as electric heaters with resistive components. As a result, infrared heat is safer than conventional, resistive heat, but it takes just as much electricity to produce it.
The rating for any particular heater is specified and can be as high as 1500 watts.
Quartz Heaters Vs Ceramic Heaters
In earlier designs, many infrared heaters were produced with ceramics as it was thought to be a heat-resistant material.
However, nowadays, many infrared heater designs use Quartz instead of ceramic because of its superior capabilities.
Infrared quartz heaters are popular today in many industrial heating applications. Ceramic is still utilized as the foundation and base material of infrared heaters, but it produces less efficient heaters than when Quartz is used.
Although ceramic and Quartz can both be used to manufacture practical infrared heating elements, heaters made with Quartz are preferred by many buyers due to their higher efficiency. In this same way, Ceramic and Halogen heaters are also often compared. Check out this article to see their differences.
Why are Quartz Heaters Better Than Ceramic Heaters?
- Electric quartz heaters consume less energy than ceramic heaters to produce the same results.
- Because quartz heaters directly transmit the energy and do not rely on convection heating, they are better than ceramic heaters at targeting their heat to specific areas. The convection heat produced by ceramic heaters will go wherever the air currents in the process go. Ceramic heaters lose a good portion of their heat to convection, which heaters the air around them rather than directly heating the target. On the other hand, the energy produced by quartz heaters goes directly to the target without losses to the air.
- Quartz infrared heaters offer very fast heat-up and cool downtimes. Ceramic heaters, however, require more time to heat circulating air and warm up the room via convection.
- Quartz heaters can be used to create quieter heating equipment as in most cases air movement from noisy convection blowers is not needed.
Health Risks Associated With Quartz Heaters
While this is highly unusual and rarely occurs, one of the problems associated with infrared heat is simple burns.
The burning happens when the outermost layers of the skin are overheated by infrared radiation. This does not destroy the cell-like ultraviolet radiation does, but it will still cause surface burns on the skin that can worsen with prolonged exposure.
The eyes are particularly vulnerable to infrared heat, and prolonged exposure can damage the eyes. Far-infrared rays cause corneal burns, and even normal exposure times can irritate.