Metallurgical Transactions B

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 171–180 | Cite as

Performance analysis of the aluminum casting furnace

  • R. T. Bui
  • J. Perron
Process Control


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.

Table of Symbols


area m2


specific heat of solid kJ/(kg · K)


specific heat at constant pressure kJ/(kg · K)


specific heat at constant pressure kJ/(kmole · K)


specific heat at constant volume kJ/(m3 · K)


convective heat transfer coefficient kW/(m2 · K)


enthalpy of formation kJ/kmole


enthalpy per unit volume kJ/m3


thermal conductivity kW/(m · K)


equivalent thermal conductivity kW/(m · K)


latent heat of fusion of aluminum kJ/kg


equivalent mass kg


mass flowrate kmole/s


heat flux kW/m2


heat flowrate kW


temperature K


internal energy kJ


volume m3


total exchange area, gas to surface m2


total exchange area, surface to surface m2


efficiency 1


density kg/m3


Stefan-Boltzmann constant kW/(m2 · K4)


Kirchhoff transform of conductivity kW/m


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. Perron, R. T. Bui, A. Charette, W. Stevens, and E. Dernedde:Light Metals, 1987, pp. 821–25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. E. Khalil:Modelling of Furnaces and Combustors, Abacus Press, Turnbridge Wells, Kent, U.K., 1982, p. 9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ho Yu:Light Metals, 1980, pp. 555–73.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. C. Mangalick:Energy Use and Conservation in the Metals Industry, Proceedings of the 104th AIME Annual Meeting, New York, NY, 1975, pp. 101–20.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. J. Wiesner:Light Metal Age, 1980, pp. 11–13.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. S. West:Extrusion Productivity through Automation, the Aluminum Association, Atlanta, GA, April 1984, vol. 2, no. 24–26, pp. 227–33.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. J. Wiesner:Aluminum Industry Energy Conservation Workshop VII, the Aluminum Association, Washington, DC, June 1983, pp. 311–25.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    H. C. Hottel and A. F. Sarofim:Radiative Transfer, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 1967, pp. 159–70 and pp. 467–68.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. C. Hottel, A. F. Sarofim, and I. H. Farag:Combustion Technology, H. B. Palmer and J. M. Beer, eds., Academic Press, New York, NY, 1974, pp. 200–01.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Y. S. Touloukian and D. D. Dewitt:Thermal Radiative Properties, IFI/Plenum, New York, NY, 1970, p. 2.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. A. Thibault: private communication, Alcan International Ltd., Jonquière, Quebec, Canada, 1986.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    H. Taborin:Revue de l’Aluminium, 1976, no. 457, pp. 572–84.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Metallurgical Society and ASM INTERNATIONAL 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. T. Bui
    • 1
  • J. Perron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied ScienceUniversitè du Québec à ChicoutimiChicoutimiCanada

Personalised recommendations