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Innovation Partnership – Development of an Infrared Measurement and Diagnostic Machine Tool

A radical new form of IR heat mapping has now been made available, thanks to a unique partnership between infrared heat consultants Ceramicx and Trinity College Dublin. The innovation Partnership – Development of an Infrared Measurement and Diagnostic Tool was set up between Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Ceramicx in October 2012. It is funded by Enterprise Ireland and Ceramicx to run for 18 months.  The new automated system will give benefits to both designers and users of infrared heating systems alike. The target of the project is to deliver and complete a finished machine tool to allow the evaluation of Infrared vs. Energy in Watts rather than the traditional approach of Infrared vs. Temperature.

The core of the innovation partnership centre’s on developing a method to make infrared and its effect on a target material visible using energy (watts) as the unit of measurement. The new Ceramicx/TCD system measures the influence of infrared heating on target bodies; including key performance metrics such as temperature homogeneity as well as the net target efficiencies. The system precisely maps the energy required to perform the required heating of the target body compared with the energy required to produce the heat at the source. Ceramicx has always faced issues in that the product we sell to customers “infrared” is invisible. There are a number of reasons that temperature is not the correct medium for the measurement of Infrared but it is the industry accepted standard and remains a disservice to the application of energy efficient solutions to customer requirements. Let me better explain this issue, if 2 ceramic elements are put on test with Thermocouples in each one, pass the same amount of energy into each infrared emitter and measure the temperature of each emitter using the Thermocouples. If one emitter was to measure 20% hotter then another, most people would assume that this is the better unit. They would be wrong, the purpose of an infrared emitter is to emit energy to the target material not to act as a storage heater. If an infrared emitter is being read as cooler with the same amount of energy going into that emitter it implies that it is a more efficient emitter and better at converting electrical energy into infrared output.


The machine tool being developed as parts of the Innovation partnership will for the first time make available scientific measureable evidence of various infrared emitters looking at the factor that matters most energy efficiency and the production of higher volumes of infrared at lower temperatures.

Industrials and researchers either have the opportunity to either;
Purchase the test machines at source (Ceramicx and TCD will build to order – as well as supply standard machines)
Enjoy bureau-style testing

Dr. Tony Robinson will be on-hand at the Kshow in October to demonstrate and discuss the finer details of the machine tool and discuss the tests and information it is possible to gather from the same machine. The Ceramicx/TCD research will lead to opportunities for increased production control, accuracy and cost savings through effective IR heatwork; it’s correct application will lead to a better mapping and understanding of the measurement that every producer should be concerned with energy content per part produced.

Ceramicx and the Trinity College Dublin have been aided by Enterprise Ireland as part of the Innovation partnership program. The work has provided ‘win-win’ outcomes for both organizations. The University has been enabled to take its research and project expertise into the manufacturing and commercial marketplace. Ceramicx has been able to leverage the University’s in-house competencies in relation to heat transfer and scientific experience to research, identify and measure infrared and energy.

For more information on the partners involved please see


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