Immersion heaters are a remarkable innovation in the light metal industry. They are fully customizable, offer precise, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly electric heating solutions. A partnership with Cougar Electronics will step up adoption of this confirmed technology in North America.
Immersion heathers (IHs) are electric heating devices designed for light metal foundries. All over the globe, companies – such as Sanken, Tesla, Striko Westofen – use Atherm’s immersion heaters to maintain or increase the temperature of their aluminium and zinc baths. Developed and continuously improved over 30 years, our immersion heaters can provide from 10 to 80 kW* to help customers produce the highest quality molten metals.
A partnership with Cougar Electronics aims to step up adoption of this technology throughout North America.
“Atherm wants to get closer to their clients, in the very dynamic American light metal foundry market. The partnership with Cougar Electronics will enhance our contribution to customers’ projects, from design to after-sales services”, considers Thomas Albertin, the CEO of Atherm.
“Cougar Electronics is delighted to announce its official partnership with Atherm, serving as the exclusive distributor in North America. Renowned for its cutting-edge industrial Immersion Heater solutions, Atherm aligns with Cougar Electronics’ commitment to excellence in the die casting industry. This collaboration marks a significant stride into the die casting industry, where the demand for advanced electrical heating solutions continues to rise”, adds Cougar Electronics.
On this occasion, we take a look back at the essentials of this customizable device, which provides foundries with remarkable power density while offering major energy savings and efficient decarbonization.
Economic, environmental, and quality benefits
Efficient by design, IH technology boasts minimal thermal losses: every kilowatt (kW) of electrical power input generates its equivalent in thermal power. This energy efficiency ensures cost savings in production, with at least 30% lower energy requirements.
The environmental impact of this entirely decarbonized heat source is further enhanced by minimizing waste due to impurities. Substantial metal savings can also be made, a crucial factor in the light metal industry, where every ounce counts.
Highly versatile IHs can be used for many applications, from holding and melting furnaces – including gigafactories – to transfer ladles and filtration units, as well as for galvanization. They have proven capable of maintaining temperature and ensuring rapid dynamic heating in continuous casting processes and in high-pressure die casting (HPDC).
Conductive IH technology ensures high metal purity and exceptional quality for cast parts, thanks to accurate temperature regulation – +/- 2°C (+/-3.6 °F) – and reduces metal oxidation.
The corner stone of Atherm
IHs were conceptualized in the 1980s by André Teytu in the labs of the CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.
His innovative idea was to create a robust heating body that would boost efficiency by plunging the heat source directly into the bath. The finalized design consisted of a ceramic sheath containing an electrical resistance heating element and a thermocouple, which could be precisely regulated to prevent overheating. The device can be installed vertically on furnace lids, inclined, or placed horizontally on furnace walls.
The outcome in 1988, as a spin-off, Atherm started designing and producing immersion heaters. Since then, we have developed this technology based on continuous feedback from our clients, and creative input from our team.
* These powers are sufficient to maintain liquid aluminium at 700 °C and Zinc alloys at 500 °C, respectively.