Few manufacturers use gas-fired industrial ovens since they are more expensive to build than electric ovens. In addition, not every plant has the gas lines or tanks required to run a gas oven. However, in certain situations a gas-fired oven is worth the extra capital investment.
Below, we outline the features and fuels used in such industrial ovens and the products that are best suited to them.
Basic Features of Gas Industrial Ovens
Gas ovens are more expensive to build than electric ones.
However, gas costs less than electricity, so manufacturers will save money on operational expenses over time.
Furthermore, gas ovens reach high temperatures more quickly than electric or infrared ovens, making them an economical choice for manufacturers that need to bring a lot of product to high temperatures quickly.
Gas ovens can also maintain those high temperatures for a long time, making gas an excellent choice for products with long dwell times.
Types of Gas That Can Be Used in Industrial Ovens
Industrial ovens can be powered by two types of gas, natural gas or propane. As its name suggests, the first option is naturally occurring, while propane is usually a byproduct of refined natural gas.
Natural gas is generally cheaper than propane, though fuel prices vary by geographic location. Using natural gas does require installing gas lines in your manufacturing plant, but this upfront expense is often compensated for over time by the cheaper cost of natural gas.
Propane is more energy efficient than natural gas, with a quantity of propane holding about 2.5 times the energy as the same volume of natural gas. Because of this, industrial ovens can be run using propane tanks instead of utility lines.
Types of Gas Industrial Ovens
As the name indicates, batch ovens are designed to handle large amounts of product. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including drying, curing, sterilizing, and more; batch ovens can also include a cooling cycle if necessary.
Conveyer ovens can pass product continuously through their heating chambers or be designed to move product using a stop-and-go motion known as indexing, which allows product to dwell at specific points as they make their way through an oven’s chamber(s).
Conveyer ovens can be designed to reach a number of temperatures and speeds depending on the end user’s needs. They can also be customized with different belt materials and oven arrangements.
Vertical ovens are designed to minimize the oven’s footprint and thus maximize available factory floor space by building upwards. Vertical ovens are best suited to products small to medium in size as larger products are difficult to convey vertically.
Products Suited for Gas Industrial Ovens
Gas ovens are particularly useful for heating certain types of products. For example, gas industrial ovens can be used to manufacture many different kinds of automotive parts such as brake pads and linings. Gas-fired industrial ovens can also be used to cure the coatings on various steel parts and even the carpet for the car’s interior.
Gas ovens are also extremely useful for part casting. For example, our DTI-1096 batch oven is used to preheat steel molds used in the automotive industry, and the DTI-782 drying conveyor oven removes water from cast ceramic parts.
While it may seem a bit ironic, gas industrial ovens are sometimes used to heat electrical parts. For instance, batch ovens can be used to dry the copper windings used in large electrical transformers or to cure the varnish on stators used to manufacture electrical generators.
Choosing a Gas Industrial Oven
While they are not currently the most prevalent industrial ovens, gas ovens can be an excellent fit when your product needs to reach a high temperature quickly or maintain that temperature for a long time. Gas industrial ovens can even save you money in the long run due to the relatively cheap cost of gas.
As a total custom industrial oven manufacturer, Davron Technologies can create any type of industrial oven, including gas-fired ones, to your exact specifications. If you would like to discuss installing a gas industrial oven at your plant, please contact us.