Process Control

Metallurgical Transactions B

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 171-180

First online:

Performance analysis of the aluminum casting furnace

  • R. T. BuiAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Science, Universitè du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • , J. PerronAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Science, Universitè du Québec à Chicoutimi

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The casting furnace plays a central role in the production of aluminum. Its design and operation are complex and involve some 450 parameters. There is a need for a model to predict and analyze its performance. We propose a simplified model in which each main component of the furnace is treated as a 1-D heat conduction medium. Based on the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and chemical species, complemented by the equations of conduction and the Hottel’s formulation of radiative heat transfer, this dynamic model can simulate any sequence of operations such as loading, heating, stirring, skimming … that constitutes a batch, and can take into account other operational details such as the opening of doors. It is validated on a real furnace, then used to predict furnace performance in other modes of operation, and also to determine an optimal fuel flow that minimizes a chosen cost function.