Microwave Processing

Development of materials using Microwave irradiation

Microwaves offer a number of very unique advantages over other heating methods:

– instantaneous response on-off of applied heat without waste

– deep penetration of heat, instantaneously

– no waste heating of surroundings of the furnace

– preferential heating of polar molecules (e.g. water) over non-polar

– extremely rapid drying and heating of most MW-absorbing materials

– extremely  efficient heating of most metal powders

– extremely efficient sintering of many ceramic powder compacts

During the last years, irradiation and thermal treatment of materials using microwaves has been extended to include many materials – even metallic alloys – with simultaneous improvement of the available capabilities of MW systems.

In our lab we have developed a number of MW systems specially adapted for thermal treatments of ceramics, polymers, composites and metallic alloys. In the  1700W chamber (right), the temperature is monitored with a specially developed system and recorded directly on an attached PC for later analysis.

For large materials and products in the heavy ceramics industry (bricks, tiles etc) we have designed and constructed an 8kW chamber with very good field distribution (below).

Research that has been carried out and, in some cases, continuing, with the exploitation of Microwaves’ unique capabilities, includes:

1) Drying and activation of lignite and some ores in continuous flow (on a conveyor)

2) Drying of waste mud from biological treatment plants of civil waste in continuous feed.

3) In combination with UV, sterilization of continuous flow waste water streams from industrial processes

4) Sintering of metallic alloys (magnetic etc) and ceramic oxides.