What are FIR – Far Infrared Ray? Let’s take a closer look
FIR is an acronym that stands for “Far Infrared Rays: a specific group of electromagnetic waves invisible to the human eye characterized by excellent heat capacity.
Let’s start from Infrared Rays…
What are FIR exactly? It is important to clarify, since – when generally speaking of Infrared Rays – we risk creating confusion as it is now common knowledge that among all electromagnetic radiation from the sun, some are beneficial, while others can be harmful to living organisms.
Infrared Radiation, also known as infrared light or thermal radiation represents approximately 56% of solar irradiation and has been employed for therapeutic, medical and aesthetic use for quite some time. It is a salutary radiation featuring high thermal properties and frequency band in an electromagnetic spectrum that is lower than visible light: in fact, the word “infrared”, means inferior to red, indicating that the frequency of these radiations is just below the one of the color red of visible light.
Therefore, technically, infrared radiation is a part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum in which wavelength ranges from approximately 700 nanometers (nm) to 1 millimeter (mm). Infrared waves are longer that visible light, but shorter than radio waves.
A discovery dating back to the XIX century
Infrared rays were detected for the very first time in the 19th century by Sir Frederick William Herschel. The astronomer, physicist, and composer of German origin- who became a naturalized Englishman- has actually made history for having discovered Uranus. In 1800 Herschel conducted an experiment for which he placed a mercury thermometer in the light spectrum generated by a glass prism in order to measure the temperature variation in relation to the movement of the thermometer withing the different beams of colored light. He noticed that the temperature kept on rising even after having placed the thermometer past the red edge of the spectrum, where there was no visible light. Thus, Herschel assessed that heat could be transferred through an invisible form of energy: infrared rays.
Why are FIR described as “far” infrared rays?
There are three types of infrared rays: short wave, used for example for halogen lamps which generate superficial heat; fast medium wave, with a higher thermal transfer; and Far Infrared Rays (FIR) which are called “far” or “longwave” infrared rays, because they are farther from the visible light spectrum. FIR have a wavelength ranging from 750 to 100 nm and heat without emitting light.
As infrared radiation represents one among the best methods of heat transfer and is quite similar to solar radiation, the moment when the human body is hit by FIR (when, for example, they are generated by a radiant panel), it is able to absorb them and enjoy their benefits. For this reason, science recognizes FIR as vital source of energy, to the extent of being also named “rays of light” or “biogenic rays”.
Far Infrared Rays reach the human body, heating by simulating the effect of the sun without moving the air within the spaces, as opposed to traditional heating by thermal convection. The result is an immediate sensation of wellbeing and warmth, which first effect is a slight capillary and blood vessel dilation that boosts circulation. Exposure to heat can also favor muscle recovery; reduce inflammatory conditions and soothe tensions and contractures. A FIR heating system can therefore prove itself to be an optimal solution in regard to consumption, respect of the environment and health.