Induction Heating Inverter with Simultaneous Dual-Frequency Output

V. Esteve1, J. Jordán1, E. J. Dede1,2, E. Sanchis-Kilders1, E. Maset1
1 Dpt. Ingeniería Electrónica E.T.S.E. / Universitat de València Dr. Moliner, 50, E-46100, Burjassot, SPAIN e-mail: vesteveg@uv.es

Dpt. Investigación y Desarrollo GH Electrotermia S.A. Vereda Real s/n E-46184, S. Antonio de Benageber, SPAIN e-mail: ghe@ghe.es is distributed in a gear for high and medium working frequencies respectively. This process requires two separate induction coils, a very fast mechanical transport and two separated power supplies [1]. Fig 1.c shows how a current signal which results from a suitable combination of the two frequencies obtains the required heating contour. In this approach, medium and high frequencies are supplied by one generator to one inductor simultaneously and intermediate transport is not necessary [2].
High frequency series inverter

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Abstract – Induction surface hardening of parts with nonuniform cylindrical shape requires a multi-frequency process in order to obtain a uniform surface hardened depth. This paper presents an induction heating high power supply composed by a single inverter circuit and a specially designed output resonant circuit. The whole circuit supplies simultaneously both medium and high frequency power signals to the heating inductor.

I. INTRODUCTION Induction hardening is a cost–effective heat treatment used to increase the abrasion resistance and fatigue strength on mobile metallic pieces. The part to be heated is placed in a magnetic field generated by a coil called heating inductor which is fed by using a high current and high frequency power supply. The Foucault or eddy currents induced inside the workpiece originate the heat due to Joule and hysteresis losses. Inductive surface hardening is an attempt to harden only the surface without affecting the inner portion of the workpiece. The depth of the heated zone depends on the current frequency by virtue of the skin effect as well as the heat conduction property.

Medium frequency parallel inverter

High frequency parallel inverter

Medium frequency series inverter

High frequency series inverter

Medium frequency series inverter

High frequency parallel inverter

Fig. 1: Behaviour of induced currents in a gear hardening process with high frequency a), medium frequency b) and simultaneous dual-frequency c).

Medium frequency parallel inverter

Complex-shaped parts used especially in automotive industry, such as splined hubs, sprockets and gears, need a special heat treatment process in order to obtain a uniform hardened contour by using circular inductors. The classic induction hardening of these parts without uniform cylindrical shape is carried out with two sequential heating processes. High frequencies (HF) are required to heat the surfaces nearer to the inductor (the tip and flanges of the teeth), and medium frequencies (MF) heat the quasicylindrical area near the surface of the part (the root area of the teeth). Fig 1.a and Fig 1.b show how the induced current

Fig. 2: Two-inverter power supply topologies with four reactive components

II. POWER SUPPLY TOPOLOGIES In order to obtain power supplies for this special process of induction hardening, several solutions are possible. Nowadays the solution used consists of one common induction coil supplied with a high frequency inverter and a medium frequency inverter. Since current-fed parallel

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2 shows these power supplies where HF and MF are generated separately by using series and/or parallel inverters. R=0. T2=1:2 High frequency series inverter Fig.1 Ω. The diagram shown in Fig. T1=5. ω 11 = . 3 shows improved topologies where LLC and CLC resonant circuits are used instead simple LC series or parallel resonant circuits. The composition of both current signals is carried out by a two-frequency resonant circuit that connects the output of the inverters to the induction coil. The simplified equations used to design the reactive components of the circuit are shown in (1) and (2) It is supposed that C2 is significantly smaller than C1. S1 and S2 represent the two working series resonances and P represents an additional parallel resonance. ω 22 = (2) 1506 . C1=65 µF. It is composed by a current-fed parallel inverter and a four-reactive-element load circuit with two different parallel Fig. Fig. This crosstalk disturbance can produce control problems and additional power losses. there are only four possible topologies of these "two-inverter power supplies". C2=3 µF. This paper proposes new topologies with a single inverter. ω P = ω 22 β . Transformers T1 and T2 adapt the inverter output current and inductor equivalent impedance respectively. 4: One-inverter power supply topologies. The dual-frequency parallel inverter is shown in Fig. 6 shows the frequency response of the input impedance module of the resonant circuit. In order to improve the crosstalk attenuation between inverters more complex resonant circuits can be used. 4. L2=0. High frequency series inverter resonant frequencies. In this case the separated frequency components of the inductor current are obtained by means of a mediumfrequency pulse width modulation (PWM) of the high frequency signal. Fig. Some of these solutions are used nowadays by induction heating manufacturing companies [3][4]. 5. 5 shows a practical design of the DFSI output resonant circuit. a) b) Fig. with a voltage-fed series inverter and a fourreactive-element resonant circuit that will be described in the next paragraph. The component values in a possible implementation for 100 kW output power and 10 kHz and 300 kHz working frequencies are also shown in Fig. When simple and nonideal resonant circuits are used (four reactive components) a significant portion of the medium or high frequency signals coming from one inverter is introduced into the opposed circuit. 5: Schematic diagram of the DFSI output resonant circuit. L2 and R represent the equivalent induction heating coil impedance. ω S1 = where: L2 L1 ω 11 β +1 1 L1C1 . Medium frequency series inverter |Z|(Ω) High frequency parallel inverter S1 P S2 Medium frequency parallel inverter f Fig. DESIGN OF THE DUAL-FREQUENCY SERIES INVERTER Fig.resonant inverters as well as voltage-fed series resonant inverters are normally used in induction heating.5:1. ω S 2 = ω 22 β + 1 (1) 1 L2C2 β= . L1 Medium frequency parallel inverter High frequency parallel inverter T1 C1 C2 T2 L2 R Medium frequency series inverter L1=4 µH.a. 3: Two-inverter power supply topologies with improved crosstalk attenuation. III. 4 shows the two possible one-inverter topologies.4 µH. 6: Input impedance frequency response of the DFSI output resonant circuit.b corresponds to a second topology: the dual-frequency series inverter (DFSI). The power regulation of the inductor signal can be made in each inverter individually by means of conventional techniques. Fig. 4. Fig.

Vb Vout Iout Fig. a noninductive layout was designed to prevent switching overvoltages. Va 0. The ultimate OCR value will be pointed out by the concrete application specifications in order to obtain an optimal hardened contour. The output power regulation is achieved by changing the amplitude of Va (medium frequency power regulation) and by adjusting the frequency of Vb (high frequency power regulation) continuously and separately. a magnitude called «output current ratio» (OCR) can be defined as I (3) OCR = MF I HF where IMF and IHF are the amplitudes of the MF current component and the HF current component respectively. Fig. In order to obtain a suitable inverter efficiency analysis. measurements of the switching power losses are required. 7 and Fig. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS A 1kW total output power prototype with 10 kHz and 300 kHz working frequencies was tested satisfactorily. Iout 500A/div. TB: 20µs/div Bearing in mind the shape of the current that feeds the heating inductor. Inverter stage was made by using high voltage power MOSFET transistors with FREDFET intrinsic body diode (IXFN 44N80) fed with a 200 V bus.Fig. C2 = 30 nF and L2 = 10 µH. labeled in Fig. Fig. Hard commutations can appear under non-zero current or voltage switching conditions. SWITCHING ENERGY (µJ) 600 Eon (mosfet) 400 Eoff (diode) 200 Eoff (mosfet) 0 5 10 ID (A) 15 20 Fig. C1 = 2 µF. Vb 1V/div. Fig. Fig. 10 shows the measured frequency response of the output circuit impedance module. 1507 . 10: Impedance frequency response of the DFSI output resonant circuit (1 kW prototype). 7: Simplified diagram of the DFSI power and control stages. The regulation system presented above allows getting a wide range of OCR values. 800 IV. 11: Experimental measurement of the switching power losses (1 kW prototype). Fig. 8 as Iout. 8: Simulated waveforms of the DFSI power and control stages. 9 shows the inverter output waveforms for a value of OCR close to unity.5V/div. No transformers were used. 8 show the simplified diagram of the DFSI power and control stages and their relevant simulated waveforms. Moreover. The DFSI switching conditions depend mainly on the values of the OCR and phase shifting between HF output voltage and current components. Vout 200V/div. Va The output resonant circuit for this applications was implemented with L1 = 130 µH. 9: Experimental output voltage and current waveforms of the DFSI (1 kW prototype).

Each switch of the inverter is composed by eight transistors IXFN4480 and eight diode modules DSEI 2x61 10B as shown in Fig. Fig. 20 µs/div) for several values of OCR (100 kW prototype). When the body diode is switched off in a hard manner.5 0. The maximum amplitude of the output current (high and medium frequency components included) is rated to 300 A. Fig. 16 shows the experimental waveforms of the inverter output current for OCR values of 0. 14: Inverter view of the equipment under test. Fig. 13: Inverter with anti-parallel discrete diodes The inverter is fed by 540 V which is the average value of the output voltage of a non-controlled rectifier connected to the 400 V 50 Hz utility power system used in Europe. 13.2 (above). 1508 .2.3 0. 12 shows the experimental measurement of the DFSI efficiency versus output power for OCR approximately equal to 0. Fig 13 shows the schematic diagram of this new inverter with antiparallel discrete fast recovery diodes and additional series diodes to block the body diode of the MOSFET.27 µH and T1 = 8:1. therefore an improvement of the inverter efficiency is expected.3 µH. A photograph of the experimental implementation of the new inverter which is under test is shown in Fig. 15 shows the voltage and the current in the output of the inverter for OCR equal to zero. High frequency output power regulation is allowed varying the switching frequency from 300 kHz to 170 kHz which is the high resonant frequency of the output circuit. L2 = 0. The values of L1 and L2 include the inductance of the corresponding inductors and their connections to the rest of the circuit.6 Efficiency 0. Fig. 16: Inverter output current (100 A/div. the MOSFET has about 5 times higher turn-on losses energy than if a discrete fast recovery diode is used according to switching analysis studies [5]. 12: Experimental measurement of the DFSI efficiency vs. Such a prototype has been developed by using anti-parallel discrete diodes with better recovery response.4 0. 14. For long time tests a water cooled dummy load is Fig. 5) are: L1 = 7.0. 8 x IXFN 44N80 8 x DSEI 2x61 10B Fig. A new 100 kW prototype is being tested in order to meet the industrial application requests. normalized output power losses (1 kW prototype).3 µF.2 0. This is the case when there is only the high frequency component in the output. 2 µs 200 V 2 µs 100 A Fig.1 0 0 0.2 0. Fig.8 1 Pout/Pnom used. The medium resonant frequency of the output circuit is 10. C2 = 3. The experimental values of the components of the output circuit (see Fig.4 0.6 0. Fig. 1 (center) and 10 (down). C1 = 31. No matching transformer T2 is used.46 µF. 15: Experimental output voltage (blue trace) and output current (red trace) of the 100 kW DFSI prototype. 11 shows the measured energy involved in the turn-on and turn-off switching processes.2 kHz.7 0.

17: Inverter efficiency versus OCR (100 kW prototype).0 OCR 0. April-May 2003. pag..9 OCR 1. 13-18. Advanced Power Technology. Jordán J.7 0. Schwenk W. Häussier A.Experimental efficiency measurements of this inverter versus output power for different values of OCR are shown in Fig. the investigations must continue in order to increase the efficiency of the inverter for large values of OCR and to know the adequate value of the OCR for an optimal process of the induction surface hardening of complex-shaped parts.0 Additionally.0 OCR 0. Nevertheless. June 2005.: "The design of induction heating machines for single-shot hardening of large ring-gears or gear-wheels". ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank GH Electrotermia S. Heiliger A. The expected inverter efficiency improvement is demonstrated especially for low OCR values.5 0.8 OCR 1. J. May 2004. the validity of the proposed circuit has been demonstrated. V. which has supported this research.2 0. pag 35-38. Málaga 1988.: “Convertidor con Salida Bifrecuencial Simultanea para Calentamiento por Inducción”. 17. Efficiency 1. U.: “Power MOSFET Tutorial”.: European Patent EP 1 363 474 A2. Peter H-J. no 60. March 2002.: "Simultaneous Dual-Frequency Induction Hardening".A. Elektrowärme International.. Esteve V. [4] [5] [6] 1509 ..: "Applications for surface induction hardening using SDF Induction Heat Treating".E. The Dual-Frequency Series Inverter is a cost-effective solution for the hardening of parts with non-uniform cylindrical shape that achieves an important reduction of the total heating process time and improvement of the hardening quality. Dodge J. Spanish Patent P200501357. 0. Heat treating Progress. Dede E.6 0 10 20 30 40 50 Output power (kW) [2] [3] Fig. the use of the one-inverter power supply will allow reducing the equipment cost and saving installation space.I. The system described in this paper is patented by the authors [6]. application note APT 0403. Schwenk W. April 2003. CONCLUSIONS Comparing the experimental and simulated results. 11 Congreso Internacional de Electrotermia. REFERENCES [1] Di Pieri C. Schwenk W.