Drum Heaters: The Heating of Vessels
The purpose of a drum heater –
Drum heaters keep stored liquids at a constant temperature to prevent the liquids from overheating or solidifying. Industries using drum heaters have sensitive and fragile solutions as a part of their manufacturing and production process. The storage spaces for these materials have to be a controlled environment set at a constant temperature. Though companies have large warehouses or storerooms, it is not possible to keep those large spaces sealed enough to maintain the needed conditions. Electric drum heaters can do the job by being in direct contact with the stored drum keeping it at the required temperature at a low cost and energy savings.
Electric drum heaters can be as large as a room or as small as a belt depending on the number of drums to be heated and the drum’s contents. Large manufacturers use drum closets or cabinets that can hold up to 30 to 40 drums while small companies and private citizens may use a simple electrical belt. The reasons for investing in a drum heater vary and include cost as well as how useful the device will be.
How electric drum heaters work –
Drum heating can be done by steam or electricity depending on the number of drums and the types of solutions. Cabinet drum heaters use steam or electricity since they are well sealed. Smaller drum heaters, such as belts or blankets, have electrical coils built into them. Depending on the type of liquid, electrical drum immersion heaters are available for highly viscose solutions and can be inserted directly into the liquid.
Blanket or belt drum heaters have heating coils encased in silicone, plastic, or rubber. The electrical components are sandwiched between two layers of fabric so that they don’t come in direct contact with the surface of the drum. Using indirect heating, they increase the temperature of the sides of the drum thus heating the contents. This type of heating is inexpensive, portable and for companies with very few drums.
Metal drum heating bands work much like plastic, rubber, or silicone ones except that they are not coated with a protective covering and come in direct contact with the surface of the drum. They have the same capabilities as the other small heating devices with the added need for safety since the electrical components are exposed.
Large drum heaters are referred to as cabinets, closets, drum ovens, or hot boxes and come in several sizes to accommodate a single drum up to 40 or more. The heating principle is very similar to the method used to heat a house. Air is pulled into the cabinet by a fan and passes over a heating coil that pushes it over the drums. Once the appropriate temperature is reached, the heating device automatically turns off until the temperature fluctuates outside the setting on the thermostat. Cabinet or closet drum heaters are designed for large manufacturers who require storage of multiple drums.
Where to get a drum heater –
Drum heaters are available on the internet, at home improvement stores, or by order from the manufacturer. The larger versions are done on consignment and require more planning. Depending on the size of the drum heater, it can either be shipped or picked up in-store. They require very little set up time or special handling.
Cabinets or closets may need to be constructed depending on where they will be used. Manufacturer specifications recommend that cabinets or closets be installed indoors. Very few of the units are designed for outdoor use. An adequate electrical supply is a necessity since the large units draw a great deal of power.
The drum heating industry has been rapidly growing as the need for maintaining the temperature of solutions in the modern industry has become more important. As may be expected, the first method for keeping viscous substances fluid was simply to increase the temperature in a room. The high energy costs motivated engineers to look for an efficient and cost-effective method for storing volatile solutions, which led to the development of the many varieties of drum heating devices.
The cost of electric drum heaters –
Though cost may be a deciding factor when purchasing a drum heater, several other concerns have to be addressed before going shopping. The type of business generally dictates whether a company needs a drum heating unit. This can include auto manufacturers, food processors, chemical companies, cleaning supply producers, and other industries that use solutions or solvents in the manufacturing process.
An evaluation of the present storage space and its organization would provide baseline data in creating a needs assessment. Through a discovery analysis of the data, a determination can be made regarding the facilitation and use of a drum heater. This will help in deciding the size, type, and placement as well as the possible cost. Once all the data collection and assessments are completed, the type of unit can be chosen. Cabinets, ovens or closets cost into the thousands of dollars and require a designated space as well as planning and preparation. In essence, they are a major buying decision. They do provide the convenience of being able to store large numbers of drums and can be economical after the initial investment.
Drum heating cylinders, where the drum is placed in the cylinder to be heated, can be very economical or costly depending on the vender, size of the cylinder, and the amount of heat required. If multiple cylinders are needed, it may be more financially responsible to get a cabinet, regardless of the cost. Belts and blankets are the most economical means of heating drums. Their cost depends a great deal on their quality, durability, heating coil, and efficiency. They can be very attractive because of their portability and ease in storing. When considering such a purchase, it is important to closely examine the end-use of the drum heater as well as how frequently the device will be needed. As the needs of industry change, drum heating methods will become more important and require more study. The internet can provide data and research regarding the types of drum heaters and their use. If your industry requires the storage of chemicals, solvents, or food preparation products, it would be wise to investigate investment in this energy-saving device.