Forced air heaters use forced convection to move air past a heat source with a fan or blower. Air heaters are used to heat air with forced convection, radiant heat, or resistive heating elements. Forced convection moves air past a heat source with a fan or blower. Radiant heaters radiate heat from coils that contain a heated, circulated media such as oil, hot water, or steam.
Air heaters are used in a variety of packaging, automotive, plastics, rubber, textile, and electronics applications. For example, air heaters are used to cure adhesives, de-flash molded parts, weld plastic or vinyl fabrics, and dry ink. In the semiconductor industry, air heaters are used in preheating process gases, soldering lead frames, wafer and PC board drying, and heat shrinking wire insulation.
The present invention relates to forced-air heaters and more particularly, to portable forced-air heaters which use fewer components and are simple to assemble. According to a preferred embodiment, both the base and outer shell are formed as a unichassis from a single sheet of pre-painted metal, while the combustion chamber is formed of a single sheet of a second sheet of metal. Aligning tabs and brackets are formed as an integral part of both the unichassis and the combustion chamber. Further, disruption and/or deformation of the metal forming the unichassis and the combustion chamber is used to fasten metal to metal and to retain one component in a pre-determined position with respect to a second component.