The Applied Electrochemistry and Electrothermal Experts
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In many conventional industrial process heating situations, convective or contact heating is used to direct the heat. These techniques require hot surfaces or gas streams to transfer heat to the surface of a product and then thermal conduction to raise the temperature of the centre. As a consequence this ‘indirect’ approach to heating can lead to challenges in controlling the heat profile and if poorly controlled, burning and fouling of the product may result.

Conversely Radio frequency heating (RF), also known as dielectric heating, is an electrical technique which uses radio waves to directly heat suitable non-metallic materials. RF heating instantaneously heats the entire product volumetrically. As a consequence the intensity of heating may be much greater than conventional methods and can give rise to beneficial heat and mass transfer effects not possible with other forms of heating.

Thus in comparison with conventional heating techniques RF offers the advantages of increased processing speed, smaller footprint, improved product quality and a cleaner working environment.

C-Tech Innovation has a wealth of experience in developing RF applications for the food, pharmaceutical, automotive and chemical industries. We can provide general guidance and technical feasibility tests for specific products and develop bespoke equipment tailored to your requirements.

For example, our work has included:

• Rapid defrosting of a wide variety of foodstuffs
• RF welding of high tolerance, medical application polymer substrates
• Heating / preparation of snack foods in vending applications
• Recycling of foam packaging
• RF processing of mineral ores
• RF forming of polymers

The benefits of radio frequency heating are:-

• Rapid start-up as no warming up time is necessary
• Uniform heating
• Improved product quality
• Faster production times which increases productivity

Facilities at C-Tech include:-

• 13.56 and 27.12MHz systems
• Batch & continuous systems

Radio Frequency Defrosting Oven

Cake Processed using RF Heating

Radio Frequency Cake Trials

Normal Maloney, Advanced Thermal Processing Group Leader

Norman Maloney

Principal Engineer, Advanced Thermal Processing

Have a question about RF heating?

Contact Norman