Powder coating ovens that are classified as "Combination" infrared and convection curing use both methods. They are "the best of both worlds" for many applications, particularly for powder coaters and facilities that process a variable mix of parts.
In a combination oven, the infrared portion of the oven gels or sets the powder coating, which accelerates the cure ahead of the convection soak portion that completes the cure. The infrared energy used in this ramp-up zone also prevents powder loss by setting the finish before it can be disturbed by the air turbulence in the convection section. And, it helps prevent cross-contamination in facilities that use more than one color of powder.
The use of infrared ahead of convection cure also reduces total energy use. Convection uses high volumes of circulating hot air, which heat-soaks the part inside and out. This is not necessary for a good paint finish. Infrared energy heats just the coating and the product surface, to the temperature level where convection is effective. This reduces both cycle time and utility costs.
Infrared also has the unique advantage of having the same absorption characteristics as most coatings, so most of the energy is used productively.
In our 50+ years of engineering and manufacturing powder coating ovens, we have found that a combination infrared and convection oven is an excellent solution for a wide range of tasks.