Analysis of Industrial Furnaces

Fraunhofer Center HTL offers a variety of measurement methods to analyze industrial furnace systems on-site. These methods are suitable for analyzing e.g., pusher plate furnaces, tunnel furnaces, belt furnaces, roller furnaces, ring furnaces, or chamber furnaces. The goals are, on the one hand, to determine the energy balance and, on the other hand, to measure the temperature and atmosphere distribution inside the furnace. The determination of the energy balance is intended to improve energy efficiency, while the measurement of temperature and atmosphere distribution is intended to improve product quality.

Improving Energy Efficiency

The measurement possibilities for energy balancing range from a simple thermographic image of the furnace to a complete energetic analysis of the system. Infrared cameras are used for thermography to measure the temperature on the outer shell of the furnace. In addition, heat losses in the refractory material and the kiln furniture can be determined. Furthermore, energy losses to the environment are determined at characteristic points. The energy consumption of electrical consumers such as fans, pumps, or heaters can be measured contactlessly. In addition, the volume flow and temperature of the furnace exhaust gases are measured.

Improving Product Quality

The quality of thermal treatment depends heavily on the temperature distribution and the atmosphere inside the furnace and often has great potential for improving product properties. Specially calibrated temperature measuring rings are used to measure the temperature distribution inside the furnace. The measurement of furnace atmosphere and flow velocity inside the furnace is made possible by high-temperature sensors and gas sampling lances. In addition, process parameters can be obtained directly and wirelessly from the process using high-temperature sensor boxes. The measurement from the combustion chamber can be applied in batch or continuous furnaces and includes parameters such as temperature, pressure, or gas flow. Electrochemical sensors are used in the furnace exhaust gas in inert gas furnaces. In drying processes, a variable balance can provide valuable information on the progress of drying by transmitting weight, local gas flow, temperature, and air humidity.

Optimization Potential for Industrial Furnaces

With these methods, it is possible for us to identify optimization options for industrial furnaces, e.g., heat leakages are detected by analyzing infrared images and local heat flow. Using computer simulation methods, a detailed potential analysis of the furnace can also be performed. For this purpose, the high-temperature properties of the most important furnace materials are measured at the HTL, if not known. Subsequently, the heat treatment is simulated in a simplified FE model of the furnace and validated based on the measurement values. Potential for improvements with regard to achievable energy efficiency and product quality can then be evaluated through further simulations. This eliminates time- and cost-intensive experiments, which are particularly difficult to perform in production.

Service Offering:

  • Thermographic investigations and heat flow measurements on the furnace outer shell
  • Gas flow measurement
  • Measurement of further data for energy balancing (high-temperature material properties)
  • Measurement of gas composition
  • Measurement of temperature distribution inside the furnace
  • Qualitative evaluation of furnace systems
  • Creation of FE models of the furnace and the thermal treatment

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