Numerous innovative products incorporate components made from advanced materials, which require high-temperature treatment during their manufacturing process. For the design of a suitable high-performance furnace with temperatures of up to 3000°C, it is necessary to know the resulting temperature distribution inside the furnace’s different zones. Currently, the only way to determine this data is through experimentation. This is, however, very complicated and costly due to the extreme hot environment conditions.

This project deals with the development of an alternative: The use of the chtMultiRegionFoam solver from OpenFOAM® to simulate such a furnace. Put to use for an industrial-relevant geometry of a graphite heated furnace provided by our project partner Xerion®, these simulations deal with a coupled multi-physics, multi-region problem. They need to address Joule heating, added to OpenFOAM® for this project, heat transfer by radiation, conduction and convection. The simulations are accompanied by experiments, which provide validation for the temperature and flow velocity data and allow for tuning of the thermophysical model constants, which are not available as book values for the required temperature range.

The availability of a validated and fully automated numerical workflow enables our customers to evaluate multiple design solutions throughout the development phase and reduces the time-to-market for new products – without the need for expensive prototyping and testing.