Thermoprocess plants are subject to considerable stress due to the strongly changing temperatures. Thermal and mechanical stresses as well as corrosion processes can cause cracks and breakouts in the furnace insulation. The furnace lining must therefore be replaced regularly. If major defects in the lining are not detected and eliminated in time, consequential damage and impairments in the product quality of the material to be heated occur. In the worst case, accidents of thermal process equipment can lead to very high damages and endanger human lives, e.g. if hot metal melts are released.
The aim of the project is a permanent condition monitoring of the furnace lining. The sensor network to be developed for this purpose must be robust and cost-effective and must monitor large areas of a several square meters, while reliably detecting very small expansions of the furnace insulation. In addition to the expansion, the temperature also has to be recorded locally. The entire sensor system must be able to withstand temperatures of up to 120 °C, since it is used in the outer area of the kiln lining. In addition, installation must be so simple that it can also be carried out by unskilled workers.