Title: CFD prediction for the performance of a heat treatment furnace

Authors: Yongxiang Yang, Reinier A. De Jong, Markus A. Reuter

Addresses: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands. ' Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands. ' Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia; Ausmelt Ltd., Dandenong 3175, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: In this paper, a heat treatment furnace was simulated by using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to investigate thermal performance of the furnace and the heating process of the metal pieces. The furnace is used to heat treat dredging impellers to obtain the required microstructure and mechanical properties. Since the temperature evolution inside the metal piece cannot be tracked in practice, CFD simulation provides a useful tool to predict the temperature evolution within the metal during the heat treatment. The model consists of turbulent combustion, thermal radiation, and conjugate heat transfer. Temperature measurements were carried out to provide thermal boundary conditions and to calibrate model parameters. An overall energy balance indicated a relatively low energy efficiency of he furnace. To improve energy efficiency design changes were proposed and tested with the model. Among others, heating the furnace by means of radiation plates proved to be a good alternative.

Keywords: dredging impellers; heat treatment furnace; transient heating; CFD simulation; computational fluid dynamics; thermal performance; microstructure; mechanical properties; turbulent combustion; thermal radiation; conjugate heat transfer; temperature measurements; energy efficiency.

DOI: 10.1504/PCFD.2007.013013

Progress in Computational Fluid Dynamics, An International Journal, 2007 Vol.7 No.2/3/4, pp.209 - 218

Published online: 03 Apr 2007 *

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