Advanced Thermal Processing
We specialise in advanced thermal processing technology for high value and high efficiency applications. We are experts at the application of induction heating, microwave heating, radio-frequency heating and ohmic heating (also known as joule or resistive heating).
All of these are volumetric heating methods; the process material is heated directly and not through hot surfaces and conduction or convection. Volumetric heating has a number of advantages compared to conventional heating technologies:
- Instantly controllable
- No fouling or burning of hot surfaces
- Even temperature profiles – no steep temperature gradients
- Continuous processing with small foot-print
- Robust equipment
- Reliable scale up from lab to pilot to production scale
We apply our know-how in volumetric heating across different process industries:
Food and Drink. Pasteuristation and sterilisation of food and drinks, especially where conventional heat exchangers are liable to fouling, can’t cope with delicate particulates or create an off-taste. Ohmic heating is ideal for delicate food and drinks where flavour retention is vital, including fruit juices, compotes, soups, dairy products, soy and nut drinks.
Chemicals and Fine Chemicals. Ohmic and Microwave heating are ideal for chemicals and fine chemicals production where precise and controllable energy input is needed to control product quality, maximise the yield and minimise side reactions. Volumetric heating allows instant control and minimisation of solvent quantities for a cleaner and greener reaction. Ohmic heating can be used in continuous or batch mode and at a wide range or temperatures and pressures.
Materials – Curing, Firing, Drying. Our Radio-frequency and microwave assisted kilns, ovens and presses are used for process development where product quality and energy efficiency in materials processing is key. Microwave assisted drying, firing, baking or heating is used in a variety of applications where conventional kilns or ovens do not give the product quality or cycle time required. Our radio-frequency assisted press is used for high quality composite and laminate production.
Induction heating is used in applications which have specific requirements for containment or for processing without use of conventional cooking or processing media.