Comparing Different Forms of Infrared Heaters

Throughout the years many different forms of infrared heat sources have been developed. Some of the more familiar forms seen today are metal sheathed tubular heaters,  quartz heaters, quartz tubes, quartz lamps, gasfired catalytic, flat faced panels, and ceramics emitters. Each sources has its own distinctive set of Properties : 

a Metal Sheathed Quartz Tube Quartz Lamp Catalytic Flat Faced Panels Ceramic
Radiant Efficiency 56% 61% 86% 80% 88% 96%
Physical Strength High Low Very Low High Medium Medium
Heat-Up Cool Down Slow Fast Very Fast Very Slow Slow Slow
Max. Temp 14000F 16000F 40000F 8000F 16000F 14000F
Color Sensitivity Low Low High Low Low Low
Peak Weak Length (Microns) 2.68 2.55 1.16 __ 2.25 to 7.9 3 to 4
Maximum Watt. Density 20 to 30   W / inch 2 34 W/Linear Inch.(3/8" Diatube) & 45 W/Linear Inch. (1/2" Diatube)   100 Watts Linear Inch

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5.25 to 40 Watts/Inch 2 6 W to 44 Watts/Inch 2

Radiant Efficiency : 


The total amount of energy that is emitted from the source as infrared radiation. The balance of heat energy from the sources are transferred via convection and conduction.

Physical Strength


The physical strength of each sources. A high rating indicates a very durable sources that can with stand physical abuse such as dropping wrench on the source.

Heat-Up/Cool Down :


The amount of time required for the sources to come up to operating temperature and cool back down to room temperature.

Maximum Temperature


Maximum Operating temperature of the sources.

Color Sensitive


Refers to the ability of a typical load to absorb the special radiation emitted from a source based on the color of the load. The shorter the Wave lengths. As the temperature increases for any given source, a higher percentage of the infrared energy is concentrated in the peak wave length.

Peak Wave Length :  


All heat sources radiate infrared energy over a wide spectrum of Wave lengths. As the temperature increases for any given source, a higher percentage of the infrared energy is concentrated in the peak wave length.

Maximum Watt. Density :  


Watt density is the heat flux emanating from each square inch of the effective heating area of the elements. W/ inch 2 = rated watts / effective heating area.

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