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Laboratory Manual

For

Induction Heating Furnace

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Introduction

Induction heating is the process of heating an electrically

conducting object (usually a metal) by electromagnetic

induction, through heat generated in the object by eddy

currents. An induction heater consists of an electromagnet,

and an electronic oscillator that passes a high-frequency

alternating current (AC) through the electromagnet. The

rapidly alternating magnetic field penetrates the object,

generating electric currents inside the conductor called

eddy currents. The eddy currents flowing through the

resistance of the material heat it by Joule heating. In

ferromagnetic (and ferromagnetic) materials like iron, heat

may also be generated by magnetic hysteresis losses. The

frequency of current used depends on the object size,

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material type, coupling (between the work coil and the

object to be heated) and the penetration depth.

An important feature of the induction heating process is

that the heat is generated inside the object itself, instead of

by an external heat source via heat conduction. Thus

objects can be heated very rapidly. In addition there need

not be any external contact, which can be important where

contamination is an issue. Induction heating is used in

many industrial processes, such as heat treatment in

metallurgy, Czochralski crystal growth and zone refining

used in the semiconductor industry, and to melt refractory

metals which require very high temperatures. It is also

used in induction cooktops for heating containers of food;

this is called induction cooking.

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Applications

Induction heating allows the

targeted heating of an

applicable item for applications

including surface hardening,

melting, brazing and soldering

and heating to fit. Iron and its alloys respond best to

induction heating, due to their ferromagnetic nature. Eddy

currents can, however, be generated in any conductor, and

magnetic hysteresis can occur in any magnetic material.

Induction heating has been used to heat liquid conductors

(such as molten metals) and also gaseous conductors (such

as a gas plasma - see Induction plasma technology).

Induction heating is often used to heat graphite crucibles

(containing other materials) and is used extensively in the

semiconductor industry for the heating of silicon and other

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semiconductors. Utility frequency (50/60 Hz) induction

heating is used for many lower cost industrial applications

as inverters are not required

Heat treatment

Induction heating is often used in the heat treatment of

metal items. The most common applications are induction

hardening of steel parts, induction soldering/brazing as a

means of joining metal components and induction

annealing to selectively soften an area of a steel part.

Induction heating can produce high power densities which

allow short interaction times to reach the required

temperature. This gives tight control of the heating pattern

with the pattern following the applied magnetic field quite

closely and allows reduced thermal distortion and damage.

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This ability can be used in hardening to produce parts with

varying properties. The most common hardening process is

to produce a localised surface hardening of an area that

needs wear-resistance, while retaining the toughness of the

original structure as needed elsewhere. The depth of

induction hardened patterns can be controlled through

choice of induction-frequency, power-density and

interaction time.

Limits to the flexibility of the process arise from the need to

produce dedicated inductors for many applications. This is

quite expensive and requires the marshalling of high

current densities in small copper inductors, which can

require specialized engineering and 'copper-fitting'.

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Procedure

1. Connect 3 phase power supply to machine.

2. Connect cooling water supply to machine

3. Place test pipe in induction heating coil

4. Switch on cooling water supply

5. Ensure that there is no leakage of cooling water

6. Switch on power supply.

7. Wait for sample to become red hot

8. Switch off power supply.