All data presented on this page has been collected from the construction and operation of the oven shown in this website. If you've built a similar oven, please contact me. I'd like to collect data from your experiences.
Oven design considerations are grouped into the following two general categories:
Performance criteria are the physical aspects of the oven as they relate to how the oven will perform. The performance related criteria here are volume of the oven, type of insulation, and heating element output.
The volume of this oven is 36 cubic feet, while total exterior surface area is 72 square feet. Each of the four elements is approximately 3000 watts for a total of 12000 watts, or 12kW. Using a 2" rigid fiberglass insulation board for the entire enclosure except the base, the oven heats to 450 deg in less than 10 minutes. This actual data indicates that a heat input of 333 watts/CF of oven volume will provide an acceptable heat up time. This heat input factor would be valid only for an oven of this approximate size. The exterior surface area will increase at a proportionately higher rate as the volume increases causing a greater heat loss for larger ovens. An increase in insulation thickness would be warranted for larger ovens.
Utility consideratons are those physical characteristics that define how the oven will be used. Shape, objects to be baked, size, racking of items, type of material used for construction, and portability are all utiility considerations.
The oven shown in this website was intended to be used for ATV frames and smaller items, so the horizontal configuration of a rectangular box, loading from the end, was the chosen shape. The trolley type racking device was also chosen, since it works will with frames as well as smaller items such as wheels, fenders, etc. The trolley requires modification from time to time to hold different items. An overhead trolley, similar to this one, which rides in Unistrut mounted to the underside of the top, may be more serivceable for some items to be coated.
The type of material used for construction will probably be dictated by the capabilities and needs of the builder. Clearly, there is no one right way to build an oven. One of my most important considerations was that the oven be portable, that is, that it could be disassembled and stored away on a shelf in the rafters of my shop when not in use. Professional powdercoaters would proabably want an oven that was stationery or mounted on wheels. I chose the panelized approach for this oven. There is no structure per se; the panels are the structure and are light in weight and easy to handle. This approach is not very sturdy, however, and in fact, the base is quite flexible unless lying flat on a smooth concrete floor. The fact that I own a sheetmetal brake was also a factor in the construction that I chose.
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