Heat and Control System Provides Precision Needed for Quality Control

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The Challenge

A North Carolina manufacturer of specialty synthetic fibers used in both home and industrial applications required a custom autoclave for a drying application. Rather than utilize more expensive fossil fuel, the new autoclave utilized nitrogen as the heat transfer medium via forced convection, with temperatures ranging between 400° and 500° F in the systems base heat load. In addition, nine individual zones within the system each required its own temperature and power control loop for precision quality control.

The Solution

Baseline heating of the nitrogen loop was provided by a Chromalox 35KW GCHIS circulation heater. Chromalox Fintube tubular heating elements with INCOLOY sheaths were used to heat the autoclaves interior. Individual loops within the system were heated by nine 5KW CHIS circulation heaters. Each of these loops are controlled by Chromalox MaxPac SCR power controllers, part of the autoclaves main control panel. The MaxPac power control panels allow precision control of each loop, which utilize high temperatures and low gas flow. A similar system was designed and retrofitted to an existing autoclave within the customers facility.


  • Use of a wide range of Chromalox products provided customer with a turnkey system
  • Fuel cost savings and precision quality control led customer to duplicate the system on an existing unit
  • System is simpler to maintain and provides better control than fossil fuel system