Year of Publication

2004

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Kozo Saito

Abstract

Secondary (recycled) aluminum constitutes around 48% of the total aluminum used in the United States. Secondary aluminum melting is accomplished in large reverberatory furnaces, and improving its energy efficiency has been one of the major interests to aluminum industries. To assist the industries in improving energy efficiency in aluminum melting, an experimental research furnace (ERF), with 907 kg (2000 lbs) capacity, has been built at the Albany Research Center of the U.S. Department of Energy as part of this multi-partner research program. To verify that the experimental results obtained in the ERF furnace are valid for the operation of industrial furnaces, we used scale modeling technology to assist the validation. In this thesis, scaling laws, which are applied to the thermal conduction loss through the model furnace, were developed and the partial modeling relaxation technique was applied to the development of modeling to derive achievable scaling laws. The model experiments were conducted in the model furnace, which was a one-fourth scaled-down version from the ERF furnace (as a prototype), and then compared to the tests in the ERF furnace. The temperature distributions across both the model and prototype were shown to be in good agreement. Confirmation of the scaling laws demonstrated the usefulness of the scale modeling concept and its applicability to analyze complex melting processes in aluminum melting.

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