Or – Why a HOTWIND might not be the tool for you
Here at STANMECH, one of our most common customer requests is for the HOTWIND hot air blower. The HOTWIND is a well-designed combination heater/blower and it works extremely well in the right application. The attraction is obvious: it's everything you need in a compact package, it is capable of reaching the target temperature you require, and it looks more affordable because it’s only one unit rather than two.
However, the HOTWIND is often chosen for the wrong reasons. This type of tool incorporates a specific blower and a specific heater; unless the application lends itself to that exact blower and that exact heater size the tool is simply wrong for the application. This is true of all combination hot air blowers not just the HOTWIND.
In the case of the HOTWIND, it contains a low power centrifugal blower which means that in an application where there is any significant back pressure exerted on the tool, the air flow from the tool will be significantly reduced. Using a HOTWIND in applications where a higher pressure blower would be more appropriate will result in the tool overheating if it cannot push enough air through the heating element. See our article on Understand Blowers as part of System for more information on pressure drop and selecting a blower.
Another common mistake is believing that because the HOTWIND will reach 650°C it will do the job required. We’ve discussed the difference between temperature and heat and the frequent confusion associated with these two concepts in previous articles. Although the HOTWIND will reach 650°C, the power that it has is limited to approximately 3700W. Power dictates the amount of air flow that can be supplied at the target temperature. Power is critical in the heater performing its task and 3700W may or may not be sufficient for your application. See our articles on Designing a Hot Air System, The Basics of Heat Calculations, and Using Power vs. Temperature Settings for more information.
By choosing a combination heater/blower based on simplicity and price, the designer could be choosing a tool that will not work for the application. This can then necessitate the purchase of a second (or third) unit in order to achieve adequate performance. Or it may lead to frequent repairs because the tool is constantly overheating. In either case, it probably would have been more affordable to purchase a correctly sized heater and blower at the onset.
When choosing hot air equipment for an application, do not start with the product and work backwards. Begin with technical requirements and let them drive your equipment choice. This may result in a combination tool like the HOTWIND or it may result in a separate heater and blower, but by using this approach you can be confident that you have the right tools for the job.
Need advice? Call STANMECH and talk to the experts.