Numerical Simulation and Optimization of a Preheating Furnace

THE PROBLEM

Figure 1: Computational geometry of the Direct Fired Furnace

Figure 1: Computational geometry of the Direct Fired Furnace

Continuous coating aluminized process involves preheating steel strip in an annealing furnace prior to coating it with aluminum. A problem occasionally encountered is that the deformation of the strip prior to entry into the molten aluminum pot. A potential contributing cause of such deformations is an uneven heating profile within the furnace. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was employed to model the fluid mechanics in the direct-fired furnace (DFF).

  • To develop a transient 3-D turbulent reacting CFD model
  • To model heat transfer on a continuous traveling strip
  • To present flow characteristics and temperature gradients.

THE PROJECT

Figure 2: Temperature distribution on the furnace walls

Figure 2: Temperature distribution on the furnace walls

Simulation of the whole heating process with natural gas combustion was conducted. The results obtained present detailed flow characteristics, especially temperature gradients, within both the entire furnace and the strip, thus assisting in the definition of the cause of edge wave phenomenon. A parametric study also provides insights into the optimization of heating performance and the improvement of product quality.


RESULTS

Figure 3:Detailed temperature distribution and flame shape

Figure 3: Detailed temperature distribution and flame shape

A transient 3-D turbulent reacting CFD model that includes natural gas combustion and moving mesh technique was developed to simulate a preheating furnace The CFD results enable direct observation to the detailed flow characteristics inside the furnace providing insight into optimization of 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.


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Faculty Collaborator: Dr. Chenn Q. Zhou

Numerical Simulation and Optimization of a Preheating Furnace

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