Erica, a platform dedicated to radiant energies
CETIAT has an adaptable testing and measuring platform. This platform is the sole of its king in Europe and it is dedicated to radiant energies for ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), microwaves (MW) and high frequencies (HF): ERICA.
ERICA helps industrialists integrate radiant technologies into their manufacturing processes, from the feasibility study to the operational implementation.
Ventilation and fluid mechanics, environmental conditioning, etc., are essential complements to heating processes. Therefore, ERICA can be associated to conventional ventilation and heating equipment or to simulation and modelling tools, among which the HFSS code which is specific to electromagnetic waves.
LCETIAT has the capability to couple several power transfer technologies with various fluids: air, water, steam and radiant energies. For example, CETIAT is able to test mixed microwave and hot air treatments or microwaves and steam treatments, etc.
In the field of microwaves and high frequencies, CETIAT has the entire ISM frequency band at its disposal to carry out orientation tests in order to accurately determine the best frequency for preindustrial tests.
ERICA: concrete advantages
Industrialists who use the ERICA platform have advantages in the short, medium and long terms as regards technical and operational aspects:
- Modularity and adaptability of the platform
- Tests on tailor-made facilities (replica of an industrial production line), from feasibility to pre-industrialisation and including validation
- Combination of tests and simulations
- Assistance from CETIAT experts all along the project, from innovation protection to assistance in the selection of equipment, etc.
- Training of personnel, R&D and operators
1. View of the inside of one of CETIAT’s infrared heating tunnel ovens
2. Microwave testing equipment of the ERICA platform dedicated to radiant energies
First steps before testing
CETIAT knows how to determine the “dielectric” behaviour of a material and can compare materials to one another and study the wave-material behaviour in order to determine the best solution.
The preliminary tests allow us to:
- check how the product heats up, with the selected geometry
- select the best radiant energy or the best combination of energies
- determine the best working frequency
while taking the industrialisation constraints into account: quantity to be processed per hour, costs and machines available on the equipment market, etc.
Radiant energies, a promising technology
Radiant energies allow high energy levels to be transferred from a transmitter to a receiving material. Transfer is performed at a short distance, without contact and directly into the material, through radiation.
Radiant energies provide specific and very useful advantages for the industrial sector:
- Direct energy transfer and absence of inertia
- High power density applied to a surface (UV and IR) or to a volume (HF and MW)
- Possibility to focus on certain components, in surface or in volume
- Control flexibility
CETIAT works with ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), microwaves (MW), and high frequencies (HF) for various industrial applications:
- Ultraviolet : drying of conductive inks in electronic components, sterilisation, decontamination, curing of resins, etc.
- Infrared : preheating, paint curing, coating treatment, welding, thermoforming, browning of food products, etc.
- Microwaves : preheating of blank parts, pre-curing of rubber profiles, pultrusion of thermosetting profiles, bread baking, etc.
- High frequencies : gelation of coatings, compression moulding, bending of thermostatic tubes, bonding or welding of plastic materials, drying of latex foams, thawing of meat products, etc.
ERICA platform used for testing