Preheating Furnace


Preheating Furnace

On an aluminizing line, the steel is first passed through a preheating furnace to help bring the strip up to temperature. The preheating furnace in this case is a DFF ( Direct Fired Furnace ) and has a total of 40 natural gas burners. The goal of this project is to get a better understanding of the temperature distribution along the length of the strip as it passes through the DFF. A better understanding of the temperature distribution will allow for increased production efficiency, as well as increased product quality.


  • To develop a transient 3-D turbulent reacting CFD model to simulate a Direct Fired Furnace with a continuous moving steel strip
  • To model heat transfer on a continuous traveling strip and validate the CFD model using measured data
  • To present flow characteristics and temperature gradients, within both the furnace and the strip


  • A transient 3-D turbulent reacting CFD model that includes natural gas combustion and moving mesh technique was developed to simulate a preheating furnace
  • Validation of the model has been conducted. The good agreement between the measured data and calculated results has been achieved
  • The CFD results enable direct observation to the detailed flow characteristics inside the furnace thus provided insight into optimization of the furnace performance
  • The parallel computation on a multiple node cluster was employed to enhance computing capacity. Virtual Reality System has been employed to assist visualization and analysis of detailed simulation results

Click the movie below to see the Preheating Furnace in detail.

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Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Chenn Q. Zhou

Preheating Furnace

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