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November 13, 2012
Tutorial - Reflow Skillet
about 2 years ago
Regarding the use of Electric Induction Hot Plates:
FYI, just a disclaimer that I am a physics student researcher accustomed to dealing with what can be VERY picky/delicate electronics and obscenely powerful superconducting magnets. So in general we worry all the time about things that most electrical engineers would be able to safely ignore.
As I understand it any kind of induction stove is a transformer whose primary coil is the “stove eye” and whose secondary coil is whatever pot or pan you are using.
I would be concerned about the effects of a powerful changing magnetic field across a circuit board that probably has all kinds of stuff that would be delicate to small currents at relatively small voltages. I can see how people would wonder how much of an advantage would be gained by heating the copper layer in a PCB board this way, for instance… but just remember that all you are doing is flowing a current directly through the electronics as a method of heating it up. You would need enough ferrous metal to respond in this way to the changing current but that just means it could end up melting iron cores of inductors on the board before affecting anything else. Then there is using the induction to heat something that then in turn heats the PCB, one argument can be made that the amount of control (similar to gas stoves) over the heat could allow for more precision. But the question can be asked is this: is it worth more temperature control to deal with a somewhat powerful, low-frequency oscillating magnetic dipole. Remember that these are fields that are designed to induce enough current in an iron pot to boil the water inside. In fact the manufacturers of induction stoves specifically say not to use tin foil because the induced current will cause it to melt.
Very fun question to think about in any case!
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