Why Elstein?

Why Elstein?

As an original equipment manufacturer, IR equipment manufacturer, manufacturing plant, or commercial enterprise choosing which product to get, you need information about both the product and the supplier.

Some ceramic IR heater models, for example IOT or FSR, are widespread in the market due to their nearly universal application. With regard to their geometry, installation type, and respective power, these types of IR heaters are standardised products, although they are not regulated by any institute such as the DIN (German Institute for Standardisation).
Nevertheless, these standard products are now accepted and established worldwide. This is a result of Elstein-Werk's original, uninterrupted, and intensive product development activities. In this way, it is important to know that ceramic infrared heaters from other suppliers are neither their own developments nor manufactured on the basis of recognized industry standards. They are based on developments from Elstein-Werk and are therefore plagiarised.

Because infrared heaters technically and economically influence the result of numerous production processes, it is not only important to select the correct heater model or nominal power; another priority should be to choose the product with the highest possible quality and operational life.

Here you find the relevant information for making a decision:

External differences

An optimally constructed ceramic IR heater is primarily characterised by its light weight and at the same time its powerful mechanical strength. The lower the weight, the lower the inertia of the heating element. This means lower energy consumption in the heating phase as well as short heating times.

The dimensions, dimensional tolerances, and plane parallelism of the rear heater mounting base must be taken into account in order to avoid assembly problems.

The heater connection ends must have a secure ceramic electrical feed-through in the mounting area to avoid any potential electrical contact with the metallic mounting parts of the heater. Moreover, a commonly identified cause of failure in plagiarized heaters is the breaking of connection leads located in the socket because they are not up to par with Elstein-Werk standards.

The thermal and mechanical resilience of the connection leads results from the material quality as well as the quantity and diameter of the individual wires. Because ceramic IR heaters are designed for operating temperatures up to approximately 1,000°C, the connection ends must also be highly non-corroding. This includes end sleeves and eyelets being made of stainless steel, and thermocouple connections being welded. Non-compliance with these quality requirements usually leads to a considerably higher frequency of cost-intensive heating surface maintenance. Is that something you want?

Internal differences

The main characteristic of an optimally constructed ceramic IR heater is that the materials used to produce the ceramic body are selected and processed to allow maximum IR emission and long operational life even under a heavy thermal load. This is also true of the ceramic glaze.

Poor selection, unsuitable combinations, and faulty processing of raw ceramic materials – as well as consciously cutting corners on material prices – all contribute to the production of ceramic bodies below the Elstein standard. These criteria influence heater efficiency, power, and operational life.

The "heart" of the ceramic IR heater, the actual heating element, is a heating coil consisting of a spiral-shaped heating conductor material. The function of the heating coil is to convert electrical energy into heat energy. A fundamental quality feature of the heating coil is the composition of the heating conductor material. On one hand it influences its specific resistance and conductivity and on the other hand it decides whether requirements are fulfilled pertaining to corrosion and scaling resistance at high processing temperatures, as well as frequent heating and cooling.

Furthermore, the correct electrotechnical dimensioning of the heating coil has a considerable influence on the power and operational life of the IR heater. The last step in the manufacture of the heating coil is attachment to the connection leads. For Elstein heaters this means, as a matter of principle, bonded connection (welding). The commonly seen practice of twisting (interlocking connection) is considerably more cost-effective. The result, however, is a shorter operational life.

After the heating coil is manufactured it is embedded into the ceramic body. A high-quality IR heater is characterised by the heating coil being equally positioned at a defined distance to the radiating surface as well as surrounded on all sides by ceramic material. A lack of effort or care in this regard generally results in the IR heater emitting more heat from the back, or operating slowly.  “Hotspots” are critical in regard to operational life. These are hollows along the heating coil or areas only partially surrounded by ceramic material. Overheating occurs in these spots and the heater fails prematurely as a consequence.

General

Elstein products have always been developed on a basis of engineering and science. The manufacturing process is subject to strict quality management guidelines tailored to the high demands of the original equipment market. The widespread product range is proof of constant development work, market orientation, and concentration on the core business. The worldwide on-location availability of our first-class products and competent advice guarantees maximum benefit for our customers.

Elstein ...The Infrared Engineers