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radiant tube heat6/11
I was wondering what the effects of radiant tube heating are if any? My shop has 14 ft high ceilings and I currently use forced air heating. I was thinking of putting a radiant tube heater across the center of the shop.
Hi Scott --
We have radiant tube heating and the short answer is yes, it will cause any wood product to warp.
The radiant tube is almost like a toaster oven element and you are broiling one side of your material. We have developed some workarounds that are pretty manageable for us. Bear in mind that the heating effect is line-of-sight; in other words, if the tube can "see" the material, it will heat it. How much is dependent on distance (and which part of the tube -- farther from the burner end is cooler), but even at 20 feet, the effect can be noticed over time.
We try to move carts with WIP out from the "view" of the tubes. Overnight or for long periods of time where that is unavoidable, we cover work with 'survival blankets' you can buy at camping stores. These are mylar sheets with a metallic side that reflects the infrared very effectively. Just make sure you put the silver side toward the heater.
We have also screened our lumber rack from the tube by hanging a piece of metal-faced bubble wrap (sold for insulation at the big boxes) from the ceiling trusses.
All a bit of a PITA, but the radiant heat is efficient, doesn't dry the air, and doesn't create any explosion hazard in a dusty environment because it is completely sealed from the inside air.