Infrared is a form of radiated electromagnetic energy with a frequency (or wavelength if you prefer) that falls in between visible light on the one hand and micro-waves and radio on the other.
The warmth you feel on your skin when the sun shines on it is infrared energy from the sun and this ability to warm things from a distance without affecting what lies in between is one of infrared's most useful properties.
Just like light infrared can be reflected and focussed - aimed directly on to an object to be heated without wasting energy warming up the surroundings.
Also, just like light, infrared comes in a range of frequencies/wavelengths: effectively different 'colours' or different temperatures of infra-red. Materials absorb and reflect certain wavelengths better than others. Water and many organic molecules absorb infrared with a wavelength of around 2.5-3.0μm so if we want to warm up water that's the 'colour' of infrared we should use.
Traditionally gas burners were made with ceramic plates which limited both the shape and the speed of operation. You could have any shape as long as it could be built up from available ceramics.
The advent of metal fibre has allowed us to build gas burners of almost any shape, and not just flat faces. We can even build tubular burners with either inward or outward facing radiant surfaces. Metal fibre has a much lower heat capacity than ceramic too, so the gas burners heat up and cool down MUCH faster, down to just a few seconds.
page last updated: 11/08/2020
Infraglo (Sheffield) Ltd
Greenland Road Industrial Park
Sheffield S9 5DF
t: +44 114 249 5445
f: +44 114 249 5066
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