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Infrared Heat Mat - Will it warm up liquid (mostly water)?

  1. Mar 5, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone! I am looking for a solution to heat up photo chemicals (I'm doing darkroom printing in a cold garage). I need the chemicals to remain at a fairly steady 20 degrees C, whilst the air temperature is significantly lower (e.g. 7 degrees).

    My question is whether or not an infrared heat pad such as this one will heat up the chemicals? Are the wavelengths correct to ensure the water is heated? I read that IR heat does not heat air.

    I will connect the heat mat to a thermostat with a probe in the chemicals.

    Many thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Infrared radiation heats (nearly) everything, but air is thin - similar to visible light, most radiation will pass through it and heat your chemicals (most solid materials will absorb a significant fraction of the infrared radiation).
  4. Mar 5, 2013 #3
    A wonderfully concise and clear reply - thank you very much indeed, it's much appreciated.

    So generally speaking, the denser the material the more energy it will absorb. The base of the chemical dish will absorb quite a bit, I would imagine, and then radiate the heat to the chemicals (in addition to absorption of the radiation passing through the base).

    It sounds like using an IR heat pad will solve my problem - thanks again!
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