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How Does Infrared Work to Heat Paint?

By December 20, 2018September 19th, 2023No Comments

Infrared heat stripping is safer, more effective, and more environmentally-friendly than any other type of paint removal method. Infrared heat strippers, such as the Speedheater™ Standard 1100 and the Speedheater™ Cobra create soft paint thus reducing the chance of dust and chips while stripping. The soft paint clumps are more easily contained during stripping and are easier to clean-up.

Traditional heat stripping involves the use of heat guns which require the paint to heat up to 1000 F degrees or more. Infrared paint strippers are different. Infrared products use infrared rays to heat paint at a much lower temperature, 400-600F.

Understanding Infrared Heat

Infrared is the same type of heat that humans absorb each day. Infrared heat is the most natural form of heat. Examples of infrared heat include the warmth felt from the sun, the glow of an open fire, and the warmth you feel when you are physically close to another person.

This is what makes the Speedheater™ Infrared Paint Removers safer to use and more environmentally-friendly. The very specific infrared wave length used for the Speedheater™ only needs to heat the paint to the point at which it releases from the surface, bubbles and can be easily scraped away. The bottom layer of paint separates from the painted surface. When users do not heat the paint beyond this point, the lead, usually present in old paint, does not turn into toxic, invisible fumes. This is a major safety benefit for users, their families, their pets, and their neighbors.

Traditional heat guns heat the air around them and heat from the top layer of paint down to the wood surface. Infrared rays heat from the bottom layer of paint up making the paint separate from the painted surface more thoroughly. The Speedheater™ infrared rays go straight and only heat objects in their direct path. These direct rays are ideal for targeted paint removal. Speedheater ™products make it possible to remove paint and varnish from large or small spaces and flat or curved surfaces. The system even allows for paint removal on delicate designs, glass window frames and narrow spindles.

Infrared Paint Stripping Prevents Damage to Wooden Surfaces

Removing paint with other methods such as traditional high heat guns, chemical strippers, or sanders can cause a lot of damage to wooden surfaces. Heat guns heat not only the painted surface but the substance behind it. This is why building fires are more common with heat guns. Users are not aware of the heat behind the wood, they leave the worksite, and this hidden wood ignites. Chemicals can remain in wood even after rinsing and can leach out through new paint causing it to detach.  The high heat of most heat guns can push paint pigments further into wood, creating a bigger problem in the future. Sanding and shaving paint can damage wood if the operator is not skilled. These abrasive methods also create a lot of paint waste dust. This is particularly dangerous when stripping lead-based paint common before 1978.

Infrared heat travels into the wood, bringing natural resins up to the surface and even rejuvenating old, dry wood. It also dries the wood to the perfect moisture level for long-lasting adhesion of a fresh coat of paint. There is absolutely no waiting period after paint removal with Speedheater™ products. Wood can be primed immediately. In fact, it should be. Waiting long periods of time exposes the wood to absorbing moisture from the environment and increases the risk of the new paint losing adhesion.

Infrared Paint Removal Products

Speedheater™ products allow homeowners and contractors to remove paint quickly and easily. These products are safe to use on lead paint and reduce the amount of time spent on cleanup. Please contact us for more information about these revolutionary infrared heat stripping products.