# NUMERICAL MODELING OF STATIC INDUCTION

HEATING
L. Scurtu
*
, P. Turewicz

Abstract
This paper presents a numerical simulation of induction heating for axisymmetric
geometries for two different materials: steel and aluminum. A numerical simulation code was
generated for the model presented in this paper and a comparison between results given by the
code and experimental measurements is provided.
Introduction
The modern technologies are requesting different processes running under high
temperatures conditions. The processes could be implemented in mechanical or
metallurgical fields. The concept of induction heating offers many advantages in
intensity of the process and its flexibility because of contactless method to transfer
energy. In spite that, direct induction heating application is often limited by complicated
shape of the workpiece or low electrical conductivity of its material, it is used in a lot of
fields for different applications.
In this paper is presented a numerical simulation of induction heating with rotational
symmetry. The aim of our research was to elaborate numerical models and to implement
efficient codes for the simulation of the induction heating presented below. Due to some
technical issues on the transporting system of the billet we were constrained to make a
static heating on the induction system given by the Institut für Elektroprozesstechnik,
Hannover, Germany. In order to validate the results provided by numerical simulation
codes, several experimental measurements have been carried out at the institute
mentioned above. Next, we shall present the induction system used; the experiments
performed and compare them to the numerical simulation results.
1. Induction system for billet heating
The induction system used for the billets heating is a EBS medium-frequency billet
heater, designed for the heating of steel billets (ferromagnetic and austenitic qualities)
and non-ferrous metals as shown in Fig.1.
Fig.1. Schematic view of induction system for billet heating
The parameters used for the experimental measurements and also for numerical
simulation were: a current of 1300A and the frequency of 1900Hz. The BBC Brown
Boveri induction system is designed for a progressive multistage heating, having 3
different coils (Fig.2). The first coil makes the heating more aggressive, heating mainly
the surface; the second one has the role to homogenize the temperature in the billet and
the third one to maintain it. As we can see the shape of the work piece’s cavity is
designed for a self-extracting out of the heating process
Fig.2. Schematic view of the inductor
As we mentioned we’ll used two different materials for our experiments and
simulations: a ferromagnetic one (steel) and a paramagnetic one (aluminum). The
geometry for the two billets is shown in Fig.3. As we can see the geometry for the
billets is the same. For our experiments we’ll used two wire termocouples, one located
at the surface, approximately at 2mm above the surface (in round detail), and one at the
core of the billet.
Fig.3. A 3D representation and the cross section for the two billets
used for experiments and numerical simulation
A
l
l

d
i
m
e
n
s
i
o
n
s

a
r
e

g
i
v
e
n

i
n

m
i
l
l
i
m
e
t
e
r
s
S St te ee el l A Al lu um mi in nu um m
The experimental and simulation aproach is presented in Fig.4. The numerical
simulation codes were implemented, in our static induction heating, for coil no.1 and
coil no.2 (colors randomly taken) as presented in the neighboring pictures, having the
billet in the middle of the chosen coil.
Fig.4 Schematic view of the experimental measurements approach
The experimental measurements were taken as shown in Fig.5. Numbered with 1
we have a Modular Platform – Agilent 34970A Data Acquisition / Data Logger Switch
Unit, numbered with 2 there is the wire box connection, with 3 there are the two pole
plugs, with 4 there is the induction system, having a cross-section of the induction for a
better view of the thermocouples placement, and numbered with 5 we have a
workstation with Agilent BenchLink Data Logger 3 Software.
Fig.5. Diagram for reading the experimental values
2. Numerical model
Numerical simulation of induction heating clearly involves two coupled phenomena:
electromagnetism and heating. Electromagnetic field is initiated by high frequency
current, loaded to the induction coil. This field penetrates the workpiece and induces
eddy currents in it. The induced currents generate the Joule heat in the workpiece.
Distribution of the heat sources depends on applied frequency, electro physical
properties of the material, geometry of the workpiece and design of the induction coil.
Electro physical properties as conductive materials significantly depend on temperature.
We consider that the property of the materials used, as the magnetic permeability µ, the
electrical resistivity ρ, the thermal conductivity λ, and specific heat C depend on the
temperature [1,2].
The Finite Element Method developed in the work has been built using the
commercial package ANSYS for both electromagnetic and thermal analysis [3,4]. The
structure of the coupled electromagnetic model is shown in Fig.6.
Fig.6. Structure of the coupled electro-thermal model
For the boundary conditions and as far as eddy currents computation is concerned
we opted for a formulation in magnetic potential [5] to solve the electromagnetic
problem (Fig.7).
(1)
(2)
Fig.7. The boundary conditions for electromagnetic
and thermal problems
(3)
Prin urmare:
(4)
Figure 8 is presenting mesh with the number of elements used for the two coils.
Fig.8. a) Mesh for Coil 1; b) mesh for Coil 2
flux
parallel
Electromagnetic Thermal
M
a
g
n
e
t
i
c

v
e
c
t
o
r

p
o
t
e
n
t
i
a
l

i
s

z
e
r
o
Boundary condition to
the thermal convection
at surface:
) (
a s s
T T
n
T
- =

- a l
condition at the surface
of workpiece
) (
4 4
a s s r
T T C Q - = e
r
Q
s
C
e
- Stefan-Boltzman
constant
- emissivity
) ( ) (
4 4
a s s a s s
T T C T T
n
T
- × + - =

- e a l
4 2 8
10 67 . 5
- - -
× = K Wm C
s
1
3
7
5
1
2

e
l
e
m
e
n
t
s
2
0
2
9
0
2

e
l
e
m
e
n
t
s
a) b)
For the electromagnetic analyze we used element PLANE13. It is defined by four
nodes with up to four degrees of freedom per node and for the thermal analyze we used
PLANE55 that has four nodes with a single degree of freedom, temperature, at each
node.
With the help of the modular platform – Agilent 34970A Data Acquisition / Data
Logger Switch Unit and the software referred to the platform, Agilent BenchLink Data
Logger 3 Software, we read the current and the frequency used for heating the billets
(Fig.9).
Fig.9. Experimental values of current and frequency
As we can observe the current is not constant, just after a certain time it becomes
stable. In order to have a correspondence between the simulation and the experiments,
we follow the experiment trend regarding the current, establishing different stages at
different time steps (the time step for experiment was around 1.834 s) with different
intensity values.
Fig.10. a) Steel temperature distribution for coil 1;
b) Steel temperature distribution for coil 2
Pursuing the steps presented above for the simulation code, we obtained the results
for the two materials. As it is shown in Fig.10 we can see the temperature distribution
for steel in the two coils. As per our statement, we extracted the temperature curves for
a) b)
the surface temperature and the core temperature for steel (Fig. 11).
Fig.11. a) Steel temperature curves for coil 1;
b) Steel temperature curves for coil 2
Following the same concept as for the steel we plotted the temperature distribution
and the temperature curves for aluminum (Fig.12):
Fig.12. a) Aluminum temperature distribution for coil 1;
b) Aluminum temperature curves for coil 1
3. Comparison between measurements and numerical simulation
We will now present the two material comparisons between the numerical
simulation and the experimental measurements. First we’ll plot the comparison for the
steel in the coil 1 (Fig.13) and coil 2 (Fig.14), then finally we’ll plot the comparison for
aluminum in coil 1 (Fig.15).
The below results show that numerical simulation can be a precious tool in
induction heating design. The numerical results agree with experiments within the
measurement error margin. Therefore, numerical simulation can be used to predict the
behavior of induction heating phenomena, avoiding thus long and costly experiments.
a) b)
a) b)
Fig.13. Steel temperature comparison for coil 1
Fig.14. Steel temperature comparison for coil 2
Fig.15. Aluminum temperature comparison for coil 1
Conclusions
As we could have seen, in the curves comparison, there are some differences
between the measurements and the numerical simulation. These differences may be
caused by:
· whether the workpiece is truly concentric within the coil bore, and aligned
on the same axis
· the model is an idealization of reality, for this presentation having an
axisymmetric geometry which does not exist in reality
However, we don’t believe that the above causes weigh much in the total discrepancy
between the experiment and the simulation.
We have to specify two differences that our simulation has:
· the simulation does not have the refractory material
· the simulation does not have the sitting rails
The obtained results enable us to tackle intricate workpiece and inductor setups, and
puts forward interesting phenomena, such as corner effects, which could not be
observed using the two-dimensional code.
References
[1] Metals Handbook, ASM International, 2000
[2] ASM, Metals handbook, Vol. 2, Properties and Selection: Nonferrous Alloys and
Pure Metals, ASM, Cleveland, 1979
[3] Alawadhi, E.M.: Finite element Simulations Using ANSYS, CRC Press, Boca
Raton, FL 33487, 2010
[4] Groth, C., Müller, G.: FEM für Praktiker; Bd.3, Temperaturfelder: Basiswissen
und Arbeitsbeispiele zu FEM – Anwendungen der Temperaturfeldberechnung,
Expert-Verl., Renningen, 2009
[5] Schliesch, T., Müller, G.: FEM für Praktiker; Bd.4, Electrotechnik: Basiswissen
und Arbeitsbeispiele zu FEM – Anwendungen in der Elektrotechnik, Expert-
Verl., Renningen-Malmsheim, 2009
*
Scurtu, Lucian
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology