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Electric Heating:
Advantages and methods of electric heating, Resistance heating induction
heating and dielectric heating.
Electric welding:
Electric welding, resistance and arc welding, electric welding equipment,
comparison between A.C. and D.C. Welding.


Electric heating is any process in which electrical
energy is converted to heat energy.

Electric heating works on the principle of joule

heating (an electric current through a resistor
converts electrical energy into heat energy.)

Electrical heating is based on the principle of that

when electric current passes through a medium

heat is produced. Let us take the case of solid
material which as resistance R ohms and current
flowing through it is I amps for t seconds than heat
produced in the material will be H=IRt Joules.

Room heater for heating the building

Immersion heater for water heating

Hot plates for cooking
Electric kettles
Electric Iron
Electric oven for baking products
Electric toasters etc


Melting of metals
Electric welding
Molding of glass for making glass appliances
Baking of insulator
Molding of plastic components
Heat treatment of pointed surpasses
Making of plywood.

Heating is required for domestic purposes such as cooking and heating

of buildings, as well as for industrial purposes such as melting of
metals, hardening and tempering, case hardening, drying and welding.
Practically all the heating requirements can be met by some form of
electric heating equipment.
The main advantages of electric heating over other systems of heating
(coal, oil or gas heating) are given below.
1.Economical Electric heating is economical as electric furnaces are
cheaper in initial as well as maintenance cost. It does not require any
attention so their is a considerable cost over other systems of heating.
Electrical energy is also very cheap as it is being produced on large
2.Cleanliness. Since dust and ash are completely eliminated in electric
heating system, so it is a clean system and cleaning costs ate rendered
to a minimum.

3. Absence of Flue Gases. Since no flue gas is produced in this system,

so there is no risk of atmosphere or objects being heated and operation
is, therefore, hygienic.
4. Ease of Control. Simple, accurate and reliable temperature control
can be had either by hand operated or by fully automatic switches.
Desired temperature or temperature cycle can be had accurately in
electric heating system, which is not convenient in other heating
5. Automatic Protection. Automatic protection against over-currents or
overheating can be provided through suitable switchgears in the
electric heating system.

6. Upper Limit of Temperature. There is no upper limit to the

temperature obtainable except the ability of the material to withstand

7. Special Heating Requirements. Certain requirements of heating such

as uniform heating of material or heating of one particular portion of
the job without effecting others, heating of non-conducting materials,
heating with no oxidation, can be met only in electric heating system.
8. High Efficiency of Utilization. The overall efficiency of electric
heating is comparatively higher since in this system of heating, the
source can be brought directly to the point where heat is required,
thereby reducing the losses. Further there is no product of combustion
in which heat losses are involved.
It has been practically ascertained that 75 to 100% of heat produced
by electric heating can be successfully utilized whereas in cases of
gas, solid fuel and oil heating the efficiencies are 60%, 30% and 60%
9. Better Working Conditions. Electric heating system produces no
irritating noise and also the radiating losses are low. Thus working
with electric furnaces is convenient and cool.
10. Safety. Electric heating is quite safe and responds quickly...



Clean and atmosphere / Free from dirt.

No pollution / No flue gas is produced
Response quickly
Accurate Controlled temperature can made easily
Comparatively safe
Localized application
Overall efficiency is much higher
Uniform heating
Highest efficiency of utilization
Cheap furnaces
Mobility of job

Heating Element Materials.

A material which is used as a heating element must
possess the following properties:
(i) High resistivity. The material to be used for
heating element should be of high specific resistance
so that a small length of wire may be sufficient to
produce the required amount of heat.

(ii) High melting point. Melting point of material to

be used for heating element should be high so that
charge can be heated to a high temperature.

(iii) Low temperature coefficient. The material for

heating element should have low temperature
coefficient so that resistance may not vary with the
change in temperature otherwise starting current
would be high.

(iv) Free from oxidation. The material for heating

element should be such that it may with stand the
required temperature without getting oxidized,
otherwise it would have to be replaced frequently.

Power Frequency heating

High Frequency heating


Resistance heating

1. Induction heating


Direct Resistance heating

Induction heating

a. Direct Core type


Indirect Resistance heating

induction heating

b. Core less type


Arc heating

2. Dielectric heating


Direct Arc heating

Indirect Arc heating

Classification of Heating Method:Low Temperature Heating up to 400C

Medium Temperature Heating from
400C to 1150 C

High Temperature Heating above 1150 C

(Example Electric Water Heater)
This method is based upon the IR loss.
Whenever current is passed through a resistor
material heat is produced because of IR
The generation of heat is done by electric resistor

carrying current.

Characteristic Features of Heating

1) high resistivity
2) able to withstand high temperatures
without deterioration
3) low temperature coefficient of
4) positive temperature coefficient
of resistance
5)free from oxidation at high temperatures




Electric current is passed
through the body (charge)
to be heated.
High efficiency
Example1) Electrode boiler for
heating water
2)Resistance Welding

Electric current is passed
through highly resistive
material(heating element)
placed inside an oven.
Heat produced due to I2R loss
in the element is transmitted to
the body
Mode of heat transfer is
Conduction &/or Convection
&/or Radiation
Example1) Room Heaters
2) Domestic & commercial cooking
3) Heat treatment of metals


Material Must have following properties
1. It should be good conductor of electricity.
2. It should have high resistance to thermal shocks.
3. It should have sufficient mechanical strength.
4. It should have low thermal conductivity.
5. It should be insoluble in the charge , chemically Inert and noncorrosive.

Low & Medium Temperature (up to1150C)

Alloy of nickel & chromium
Ni= 80%, Cr= 20%
Alloy of nickel, chromium & iron Ni= 65%,

High Temperature (>1150 C)

Silicon carbide

Resistance Ovens and Furnaces. Resistance furnaces

may be classified according to their operating


These are insulated closed chambers with a
provision for ventilation
Heating elements may consists of circulars wire
or rectangular ribbons
Heating elements placed either on top or sides
of the oven

Charge is placed inside a heating chamber

The functions of the heating chambers

1. To control the distribution of heat within the
2. To control the cooling rate of charge, if
3. To confine the atmosphere around the
4. To store as much of the heat supplied as may
be practicable and economica1.


Formation of hot spots.

Mechanical failure

Principle of transformers
In the transformer, supply is utilized by secondary.
In non magnetic materials heat due to eddy current losses and in
magnetic materials heat due to eddy current and hysteresis losses

Induction method is based on Principle of Electromagnetic

When alternating Current flows in a conductor it produces
alternating flux.
If any other conducting material is placed in this magnetic flux emf
gets induced in it
This induced emf drives eddy current in that piece and power loss
due to eddy current appears as heat.

FACTORS FOR INDUCTION HEATING:1) It is proportional to relative permeability.

Heating produced in magnetic material is more
than non magnetic material.

2) Heating is proportional to MMF. Force can be

vary by changing current or number of turns.
3) Heating effect can be increased by employing
high frequency supply.


In this, currents are induced in the charge itself. This is usually used
in furnaces for smelting (extraction of metal from ore), melting of
metals etc.
This requires very high frequency supply.
They are classified as core and coreless type induction furnaces.


(Example :- Oven)

In this, eddy currents are induced in the heating element.

Thus heat produced by heating element is then transferred to
the charge by radiation or convection.

Secondary winding is metal container. Below part

is situated in the oven chamber which is made up of
special alloy which losses its magnetic property and
regain when they cooled.
Operation : When the primary winding is connected to the
supply , the eddy currents gets induced in the metal container
forming the walls of the oven.
Due to eddy currents, metal container gets heated and then is
transferred to the charge by radiation.


DIRECT CORE TYPE INDUCTION FURNACE:Consists of a vertical furnace with a V shaped portion at the bottom.
Consists of a Transformer charge is magnetically coupled to the primary
winding and forms single-turn short circuited secondary.
Secondary channel should not be emptied.
Magnetic coupling between primary & secondary is weak resulting in large
leakage reactance poor p.f
Leakage reactance is nullified using low frequency supply
1)Leakage reactance is high & p.f is low.
2)Low frequency requirement.
3) Suffers from Pinching Effect.
Pinching Effect = current, density above 500 A/cm2, flowing around the melt
interacts with the alternating field and produces force to squeeze the melt of a
section and results in complete interruption of current.
Use-preferable for non-intermittent service, are obsolete these days


Vertical crucible is used for the charge. Bottom is
usually V-shaped or U-shaped. Molten metal is kept
circulated round the V.
Pinch effect is counteracted by the weight of
the charge. Capable of continuous operation. Normal
frequency can be used. Use-melting & refining of nonferrous metals .
AdvantageHighly efficient.
Low operating cost.
Temperature control is simple.
Comparatively higher p.f

Vertical Core Type Ajax-Wyatt Furnace

OPERATION:The primary inductor coil is connected to the A.C. Supply.

This causes an intense electromagnetic field to fluctuate in the
iron core.
The metal acts a short circuited secondary and carries the
induced currents.
Heat is mainly generated in the V shaped portion as it has highest
resistance due to small narrow section.
This heat is rapidly distributed to the metal with the help of
convection current and by electromagnetic forces.
The heat ultimately results into melting of a charge.

The limitation of core type induction furnace can be eliminated

by use of vertical type furnace called Ajax-wyat Furnace.

Construction :The furnace is narrow V-shaped.

V shaped tendency of the molten metal is to get itself
accumulated at the bottom and this helps at least a small
amount of charge to be present for the secondary circuit to
be completed.
The probability of the discontinuity of the circuit is thus found
to be less Pinch effects occurs in it.


Charge is heated indirectly.
A metal container forms the secondary of the transformer.
Container is heated up by transformer action.
Temperature control is done using different materials for the
detachable bar.
P.f is comparatively poor (w.r.t direct resistance furnace, approx-0.8)


Coreless Type Consists of 3 parts

1) Primary coil 2) Ceramic crucible 3) Frame
*No iron core
*Primary coil is fed with ac supply
*Eddy current is induced within the charge
*Eddy current produces heating of the charge
*High frequency supply is to be used (flux density is low)
*High frequency increases resistance due to skin effect
resulting in high primary copper loss
*No magnetic core results in very low p.f (between 0.1-0.3)
*Static r is employed to improve p.f

Use1. Steel production

2. Melting non-ferrous metals
3. Electronic industry

Simple method to control

Semi skilled labor can handle
Fast operation
Required less space
Easy to maintain
Controllable by electrical clock or else
No oxidation
Can be used intermittently
Low cost / economical
Precise control of power
Low melting time

Modes of Transfer of Heat

The heat from one body to another body can
be transferred by any one of the fallowing
1. Conduction
2. Convection
3. Radiation

Definition of conduction: The process in which heat is
transferred from one particle to another in direction of fall of
temperature without the actual movement of particles of
medium is called conduction.
In this method, heat travels without the actual movement of
practices (molecules).
The flow of heat from one part of the body to other part is
dependent upon the temperature differences between these
If the heat is to be conducted from one object to another
object, the fallowing conditions must be met.
The objects should be bodily in contact with each other.
The temperature of the two bodies should be different i.e.
temperature gradient should exixt.

The rate of conduction of heat along a substance

depends upon the temperature gradient and is
expressed in Mj/hr/m2/m/c0 or in watts/cm2 in case of
electric heating.

In a plate of thickness t meters having cross-sectional

area of its two parallel faces A sq.meters and
temperature of two faces is T1 and T2 absolute, the
quantity of heat transferred through it during T hours is
given by
(T1 T2) T
Where K is coefficient of thermal conductivity for
material in Mj/hr/m2/m/c0

The process of heat transfer in which heat is transferred from
one place to another (from hotter to colder one) by actual
movement of particles of medium is called convection.
The quantity of heat absorbed from the heater by convection
depends mainly upon the temperature of the heating
element above the surroundings and upon the size of surface
of the heater. It also depends partly on the portion of the
Heat dissipation is given by the following expression
Where a, b - constants whose values depends on the heating
surface facilities for heating etc.
T1, T2- temperatures of the heating surface and fluid in 0c.


The process of transmission of heat in which heat energy is

transferred from hotter body to colder body without heating the
medium in between is called radiation.
For example we receive energy from the sun by radiation through
there in distance of about 150 million Km/s between sun and
Rate of heat radiation is given by stefans law according to which:

Heat dissipation H = 5.72 104 K e

- temperature of source of heat in 0c
- temperature of substance to be heated in 0c
K constant known as radiant efficiency whose value is 1 for
single element and 0.5 to 0.8 for several elements placed by
side by side.
e emissivity which is 1 for black body. And 0.9 for resistance
heating elements.


Design of Heating E1ement

Knowing the electrical input and its voltage the size and length of the wire
required as the heating element to produce the given temperature can be
The heating element on reaching a steady temperature will dissipate the heat
from its surface equivalent to electrical input. Since generally the heat will
be dissipated from the heating elements at high temperatures, it is reasonable
to assume that the whole of the heat energy is dissipated solely by radiation.

Heat dissipated according to Stefans law,

- temperature of source of heat in 0c

- temperature of substance to be heated in 0c
K constant known as radiant efficiency whose value is 1 for single element
and 0.5 to 0.8 for several elements placed by side by side.
e emissivity which is 1 for black body. And 0.9 for resistance heating


StefanBoltzmann Law, statement that the total
radiant heat energy emitted from a surface is
proportional to the fourth power of its absolute
The Stefan-Boltzman law relates the total amount of
radiation emitted by an object to its temperature:
E= T4
E = total amount of radiation emitted by an object per
square meter (Watts m-2)
is a constant called the Stefan-Boltzman constant =
5.67 x 10-8Watts m-2 K-4
T is the temperature of the object in K

Electrical input,
where V is the supply voltage and R is resistance of heating element and
is given by the expression,

for a circular wire of diameter d, length I and resistivity Electrical power


Surface area, S = d l
Heat dissipated = d l H
Since at steady temperature
Power input = Heat dissipated

Solving above two expressions length and diameter of wire can be


For ribbon type of conductor let be the width and t be the thickness.
Electrical power input,

So by solving the two equations, length l and width for a ribbon of

thickness t will be evaluated.


Temperature of Furnace depends upon
Voltage (V) can be controlled by tapped transformer.

Resistance (R)-can be controlled by switching in various

combinations of groups of resistance of the furnace.
By external resistance, by connecting series and parallel resistance.
For 3 phase star, delta connection

Time (t)-can be controlled by an on-off switch, which determines the

time for which the furnace is connected to supply or remain isolated
from the supply.

Use of Variable Number of Elements. In this method, the number

of heating elements in working are changed so total power input or
heat developed is changed.
This method does not provide uniform heating unless the number of
heating elements in the circuit at any particular instant are distributed
over the surface area, which requires complicated wiring.

Change of Connections. In this method the elements are arranged to

be connected either all in series or all in parallel or combination of
both or in star or in delta by means of switches at different instants
according to the requirements.
Here an oven is supplied through a thermostat switch which
makes and breaks the supply connections at particular temperature.
Time duration during which supplyremains on
The ratio of
Total time duration of an on - off cycle

is an indication of temperature .The higher the ratio, the larger will be

the temperature of the oven. Advantage of this method is that it is more
efficient than series impedance method


Dielectric heating, also known as electronic heating, RF heating, highfrequency heating and diathermy.
Dielectric heating is a special way of transforming electric current into heat.
By the method of dielectric heating, generally, foils, plates and profiles with
a thickness of 0,1-2,0 mm is are welded.
We understand dielectric heating as the generation of thermal energy (heat)
in a non-conducting material by the application of an electromagnetic force
or field to it. This is the way a microwave oven heats things placed in it.

When non-metallic parts such as wood, plastics, bones are subjected

to an alternating electrostatic field dielectric loss occurs. In dielectric
heating use of these losses is made. The material to be heated is
placed as a slab between metallic plates or electrodes connected to
high frequency ac supply. For producing sufficient heat frequency
between 10 and 30 MHz is used. Even though voltage up to 20 kV
have been used but from personnel safety point of view voltage
between 600 V and 3 kV are in common use.

Dielectric loss is proportional to frequency and square of the supply


When a solid dielectric material (Insulating) is subjected to an

alternating electric field , it is not supposed to carry any current.
However, in practice some leakage current passes through it and
power loss is takes place. This loss is called as dielectric loss and
result into heating of dielectric material.

The current drawn by the capacitor, when an ac supply voltage is applied

across its two plates, does not lead the supply voltage by exactly 90 and
there is always an in-phase component of the current.

Due to this in-phase (or active) component of current, heat is always

produced in the dielectric material placed in between the two plates of the
The electric energy dissipated in the form of heat energy in the dielectric
material is known as dielectric loss.
The dielectric loss is directly proportional to the frequency of ac supply
given to the two plates of the capacitor.
The physical conception of the dielectric loss is just as a molecular friction
in the dielectric material when an ac electrostatic field is applied to it.

Insulators being poor conductors cannot be heated up quickly from

outside. In dielectric heating the heat is produced within the material
itself. Because heat generation is uniform, the dielectric material is
heated uniformly. This is the important property of dielectric heating.
In insulators or non-conducting materials, the amount of heat
produced by dielectric heating can be calculated as follows:

The material to be heated may be considered as the imperfect dielectric of a condenser

and may be, therefore, represented as a capacitance placed in parallel with a

resistance, as shown in fig (b). The phasor diagram of the circuit is shown in fig.(c). If V
is supply voltage in volts, f is supply frequency in Hz, C is the capacitance of the
condenser in farads and cos is power factor of the load or charge,

Current through the capacitor

where C is in farads and V is in volts

The current drawn from supply


The value of power factor for a particular non-conducting material

is constant, and the capacity is determined from the dimensions of
plates, the charge which serves as the dielectric medium and the
dielectric constant.

Therefore, the dielectric heating depends upon the values of the

frequency and the voltage. By varying one of these two quantities,
the rate of dielectric heating can be varied. The insulation problem
limits the voltage to be used; hence to achieve more heat, high
frequency is used.

The capacity of the condenser can be calculated from the following


where r is relative permittivity of dielectric, 0 is absolute

permittivity of vacuum and equals 8.854 x 10-12 F/m, t is the
thickness of dielectric in meters and A is the surface area of plates
in m2.

Advantages of Dielectric heating


Heating is very quick


The efficiency is higher


Heating is uniform : If the material to be heated is homogeneous,

and the alternating (or varying) electric field is uniform, heat is

developed uniformly and simultaneously throughout the entire mass
of the charge

Being free from smoke, dust, process is very clean


There are no flue gases, no risk of pollution


Heat is produced due to dielectric loss occurs in the material

itself - As materials heated by this process are non-conducting, so
by other methods heat cannot be conducted to inside so easily:


The cost of the equipment required for dielectric, heating is so high
that it is employed only where other methods are impracticable or too

Plywood Industry

Sand Core Baking

Plastic Industry
Tobacco Industry
Electronic Sawing
Dehydration of food
Electro medical application
Book Binding

Preheating of Plastic Pre-forms.

The raw material in the form of tablets or biscuits,
commonly called plastic pre-forms, is required to be heated
uniformly before putting them into the hot moulds so that whole
mass becomes fluid at a time, otherwise if the raw material is put
directly into the moulds, usually heated by steam, the outer skin of
the pre-forms will become hot and start curing while the core of
the material has not reached fluid temperature resulting in unequal
hardening of the plastic and improper filling of moulds corners.
Difficulty arises due to the fact that plastic raw material
once cured cannot be softened again satisfactorily. Any method of
heating depending upon conduction of heat from surface to the
core would miserably fail because plastic is bad conductor of heat.
Dielectric heating is the only method which can be used for preheating of plastic pre-forms to proper temperature uniformly.

Gluing of Wood. Dielectric heating is most commonly used for

gluing of wooden sheets or boards as in this method of gluing the
moisture contents of the wooden sheets remain unaltered. It is due
to the fact that heat can be applied to the desired surface.
High frequency dielectric heating is very economical for
obtaining curved wood sections such as radio-cabinets, furniture
etc. The curves obtained by this method are stable.
Baking of Foundary Cores. In foundaries resin type thermosetting binders are employed as they set almost instantaneously
when brought to polymerizing temperature. The dielectric heating
evaporates water rapidly from the core mix and at the same time
raises the temperature of the core material to polymerization point.
Diathermy. Dielectric heating is also employed for heating tissues
and bones of the body required for the treatment of certain types of
pains and diseases.

Stabilization. The dielectric heating is quite suitable for

sterilization of bandages, absorbent cotton, sterile gauge,
instruments etc.
Textile Industry. In textile industry the dielectric heating is
employed for drying purposes.
Electronic Sewing. Now-a-days rain coats, umbrellas, food
containers, medicine containers etc. are made from plastic
film materials.
Food Processing. The use of dielectric heating for food
processing is one of the most modern method. It has
brought many advantages for the food processing industry
and has set forth such processes which are outside the
realm of cooking. The dielectric heating can be appreciably
employed for the following purposes:

Pasteurising of milk and beer inside bottles.

Dehydrating of fruits, milk, cream, vegetables and
eggs etc.
Cooking of foods without removing the outer shells,
Defrosting of frozen foods such as meat and
Germicidal heating-In dielectric heating process the
products do not loose flavor.

Dis-infestation of cereals and grains-Dielectric heating

may be used to destroy the eggs of insects and pests
saving grains and cereals from damage and also to prevent
these eggs, larva or moth etc. to pass on to cereal
processing equipment and develop into dangerous worms
later on under favourable conditions of temperature and