5-8 September 2022
Wyndham Grand Salzburg Conference Center
Europe/Vienna timezone

Lifetime Enhancement of Induction Heating Coils: A Complex Approach Based on Numerical Simulations and 3D-Printing

8 Sep 2022, 11:25
Room 3

Room 3

Oral Presentation Industrial heat & surface treatment equipment (design, process optimization,…) SURFACE ENGINEERING




Lifetime of an induction heating coil is an important factor directly influencing the economic and environmental attractiveness of an induction heating process. A vast majority of the induction coils are complex electrical devices made of pure copper, carrying extreme electrical currents to generate a strong alternating magnetic field, requiring a water-cooling channel to remove excessive heat loss. The coils are normally subjected to cyclic stress due to large temperature gradients and magnetic forces. A conventional coil’s manufacturing method is manual brazing of the copper profiles or machined parts. The method itself introduces a series of design constraints, coils manufactured in this way are often not optimal regarding the mechanical stresses, electrical resistance, and hydraulic resistance of the cooling water channel. In this light, the emerged technology of 3D printing of copper and copper alloys opens new horizons for the design and optimization of induction heating coils. The optimization targeting a lifetime enhancement in the first place requires reliable tools for analysis of the induction coils and the origins of a failure. Among the available analytical, numerical, and experimental methods, tools based on the finite elements method (FEM) are of particular interest, since they can consider all the non-linear coupled phenomena and provide a deep insight into the very root of the causes responsible for a limited lifetime of the induction coils. Besides, FEM can be easily connected to the optimization routines of automatic, semi-automatic, or manual nature. We consider such a case study in this paper. An existing induction coil with an unacceptable lifetime, previously designed for conventional manufacturing, is being analyzed thoroughly, using FEM tools. Multiphysics FEM models, including electromagnetic, thermal, mechanical, and fluid flow, are used to reveal the root causes of the failure. Multiple design modifications are done keeping in mind the great flexibility of the 3D-printing technology. The optimization goal is an elimination of all the factors contributing to the short lifetime of the coil. Design constraints are dictated by a need to preserve an existing heating recipe and electrical impedance of the coil to be able to connect it to an already existing induction heating converter. Numerical and experimental evidence of a significant lifetime improvement of the 3D-printed coil is demonstrated.

Speaker Country Norge

Primary author

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