Why Use Steam?

Why Use Steam?

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Our goal in bringing new record pressing machinery to the market is to introduce a machine that can immediately be introduced into current pressing plants. We have no intention to alter the integrity of the vinyl record. The record manufacturing process is a proven and tested formula and steam is an integrated part of pressing vinyl records. We support the use of natural gas, a clean burning fuel, and a boiler as an integral part of the vinyl manufacturing process. We offer expert consulting on plant design, advanced schematics, and offer our clients a transfer of knowledge incomparable to any competitors. If you have any further questions or are interested in the WarmTone™ Record Press contact us at pressingmatters@viryltech.com.

Why Use Steam?

A question we often get asked is “why use steam?” The record pressing world has always chosen steam as its heating medium. There is no more efficient way too heat a record mold than steam. Reaching approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of seconds is a difficult task. 150 psi steam powers through this task in an efficient, timely, and consistent manner. Not only does it make the most sense in the physical realm, it makes complete financial sense. When you compare the use of steam to electricity in a business case it becomes clear why steam is the heating medium of choice. The sheer amount of electricity needed to heat a mold properly would shatter any profitable business case. A simple analogy to explain this is as follows. Home-owners don’t heat their houses using electricity because it is not a feasible option. Electricity is expensive and heating a house would take a lot of electricity. Instead, home-owners use natural gas. The same logic applies in the record pressing world. Steam is the most profitable and efficient method of pressing records. Viryl Technologies has conducted many experiments attempting to apply electricity to the record pressing process. In no way, shape, or form has it ever out-performed steam.

Heat Recovery:

After the steam to condensate phase change occurs, a large portion of energy is recoverable. In very simple terms, after steam expels energy converting from a gas to a liquid (steam-condensate) the condensate is extremely hot. The hot condensate is then sent back to the boiler to be reused. Why? If water needs to be heated from a city feed, which is cold, the amount of energy needed to bring that city water (50F) to appropriate temperature (320F)  would be far greater then reheating condensate (260F).

Further, some facilities such as Viryl’s use of a device called an economizer, allow for utilization of potentially lost  heat from the boilers chimney. This circulates the already hot condensate around the economizer to recover and add even more heat to the water as its being cycled back into the boiler. Efficiency at its finest. Electric heat is not recoverable, therefore adding to its inefficiency.

Steamy fun facts:

How many McDonald’s Big Macs would it take to heat the WarmTone record press?

In 1 pound of Steam @ 150psi exists 425 BTU. This coverts to 107 nutritional calories. In order to heat and cool our molds we would need 276 big macs.  That’s a lot food! Maybe one day we’ll give it a try…

Have a great day!