Currently funded project

Energy efficient high temperature processes for large and geometrically complex components (HTPgeox)

Motivation

View into a tunnel kiln for the firing of sanitary ceramics
© Keramischer OFENBAU
View into a tunnel kiln for the firing of sanitary ceramics

The production of ceramics and sintered metals is very energy-intensive due to the high-temperature processes required, so that large amounts of primary energy can be saved by optimising process control. For large and geometrically complex components, it is particularly challenging to develop faster and energy-saving processes without ultimately reducing overall efficiency through increased reject rates due to sinter distortion or component cracks. Since the approach of Industry 4.0 - the workpiece continuously reports its status to an automated process control system - cannot be implemented at temperatures of > 1000°C, alternatives must be found for digitised support of optimised process control.

 

Objective

Surface evaluation for complex geometries: Technical ceramic parts (top left), detailed view with surface defect (top right), screenshot of Meprovision software (below)
© Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
Surface evaluation for complex geometries: Technical ceramic parts (top left), detailed view with surface defect (top right), screenshot of Meprovision software (below)

Using sanitary ceramics as an example, a methodology will be developed and tested to optimise the production of components in terms of energy efficiency and product quality through the interaction of various digital processes. Predictive simulation of the component behaviour in the process (HTL), continuous monitoring of the furnace parameters, industrial image processing for documentation of the setting grids and the establishment of a single item tracking system (industrial partners) will be used. In the end, the energy saving potential of the overall methodology will be demonstrated.

 

Approach

Overview of the work packages in the overall project
© Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
Overview of the work packages in the overall project
  • Detailed in-situ characterisation of ceramic bodies (V&B)
  • FE modelling and validation of the respective process kinetics
  • Simulation of component behaviour as a function of the temperature curve T(t)
  • Development and validation of energetically optomised firing cycles
  • Analysis (FE-simulation) of the influence of mixed charge or impeded heat transfer in the real furnace situation
  • Simulation to support error analysis in case of occured component errors correlated with furnace deviations

Project Data

Project Data 01.06.2020 - 30.05.2023
Sponsor Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
Funding Amount 477,000 Euro
Project Partners Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
Villeroy & Boch AG
Keramischer Ofenbau GmbH
Meprovision GmbH & Co. KG
Project Coordination Fraunhofer-Centre HTL
Project Management at the HTL
Dr. Gerhard Seifert