Inductive Heating of a Billet Simulation Tutorial

Andrew Griesmer | February 18, 2013

Induction occurs when a metal object moves in the presence of a magnetic field inducing a current in that object. The induced current causes it to heat up (called inductive heating), as all current does. Yet, simulating these two coupled physics together can be difficult to do as they are intrinsically based on different time scales. COMSOL Multiphysics is able to cleverly simulate them through combining the frequency domain modeling of the magnetic field with a stationary simulation of the heat transfer, using its Inductive Heating interface. Since actions speak louder than words, we have included a video tutorial of this interaction for your viewing.

Inductive Heating of a Steel Billet

As a follow-up to the live Transformer and Inductor webinar hosted on February 7th with IEEE Spectrum, we have created a video of one of the demos to share with everyone here on the blog. The tutorial above shows the building of a steel billet model, using the Inductive Heating interface in the Heat Transfer Module. First, the geometry is added using a previously made geometry sequence. Then, the materials are chosen for the model, iron for the billet, and air for the domain surrounding the billet. The physics set-up shows the equations and boundary conditions used to solve the model. Finally, the mesh is set up and the results are solved.

The billet has an initial temperature before being heated by a coil operating at a low frequency. The results show the temperature range throughout the billet where the effects of being heated by the coil are apparent. Heat is conducted towards the center of the billet but is lost to the surroundings through convection and radiation, reducing its temperature, as the billet continues through the process.

Further Reading

As I mentioned before, the tutorial was featured in our recent webinar on Transformer and Inductor modeling. If you’re interested in transformers, I recommend checking out a user story by ABB that was featured in COMSOL News 2012.

The Inductive Heating of a Steel Billet model presented in the video can be downloaded from our Model Gallery.

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