Microwave heating provides benefits over conventional heating because the material to be processed is the heating element, generating its own heat. Since most ceramic materials have low conductivity and in conventional processing the heat transfer occurs by conduction or inter-particle radiation, the processes are slow.
Thermal conductivity is not an issue with microwaves. Another key benefit is a high equipment utilization ratio due to the drastic reduction in insulation of the furnace in microwave heating.
Harper now offer Microwave testing as part of its Ignite program in their Research and Piloting Technology Center. All non-metallic and electrically non-conducting materials can be tested in temperatures ranging from 600 –1800 °C. Applications include, but are not limited to; ceramic processing, powders, activated carbon, battery materials and food processing.