Many of the processes required to produce aluminium sheet are done out of sight where measurements of important process parameters are impossible. The temperature profile of sheet in continuous annealing or solution heat treatment is critical to the final product quality, but it is very difficult to measure on a production basis.
An invisible parameter in these processes is the heat transfer coefficient between the hot air and the strip and how this varies with the impinging air velocity. The transparency of the process can be greatly increased by modelling using a physics-based heating and cooling model, and then calibrating this against one-off temperature measurements in the plant. Such models are immensely useful in optimising the processes so that maximum productivity is achieved without prejudicing product quality.
Physics-based models, such as our Aluminium Coil Heating & Cooling Models, make it possible to ‘see inside’ a working process and obtain parameters which are impossible to measure. This ‘internal vision’ means you can really understand what is happening within your process and optimise it to increase productivity and save energy.
In much the same way as our Ingot Preheating Model, these physics-based models predict the temperature at any location inside the coil. They achieve this from information about a heating or a cooling gas flow over the coil’s surface.