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Tech final year project 2014-2015

Design And Fabrication of a Furnace to

High temperature
Angshuman Sharma (MEB11013)
Behaviour Deepjyoti Das (MEB11023)
Pranjal Das (MEB11069)

Under the Supervision of

(Assistant Professor)

Table of Contents
Literature review
High temperature deformation behavior
Furnaces with loading provisions
Proposed Design
Dimensions of the furnace
Designing the heating element
Materials and instruments used
Methods of fabrication adopted
Scope of future work, Novelty


"High temperature deformation behavior analysis of different materials"

is an area which has encountered a recent increase in interest.
Material properties are the very basics which would result into them
being used for the fabrication different objects and structure. Also, there
are many objects and structures which are required to survive and
perform under harsh conditions like high temperature, pressure etc.
It becomes imperative that we have a considerable knowledge of
some materials under such conditions.
However the available set ups to perform such tests put up a distinct
loophole. There is a general scarcity of commercially produced readymade apparatus that has provisions of both high temperature
generation and load application confined into one single unit.
Thus we came forward with the idea of designing and fabricating a low
cost furnace that would not only heat the specimen but will also have
provisions to provide load on the specimen.

Literature Review
Ilori, (1991,Nigeria) examined the detailed aspects and constraints
faced while designing an resistance furnace.
Benoit Boulet, Gino Lalli, Mark Ajersch (2003) performed an analysis
on the control of an electric furnace.
Chu, S.N.G And Li, J.C.M, Impression creep: a new test, Journal of
material science, (1977), has a detailed description of the test
High temperature deformation test: As the name suggests, it is the
plastic deformation occurring in materials when subjected to high
temperature situation under the action of some load. There occurs
irreversible change of shape of a crystal or an aggregate of crystals
in the solid structure of the material specimen in response to external
Some of the common high temperature deformation tests would be
creep testing at constant stress, deformation analysis at constant
strain-rate , high temperature compression test.


To have provision for loading in order to facilitate deformation testing of


To attain very high temperature in order to facilitate testing of a range of

different materials.

To have provisions for attachment of various sensors for detecting and

recording data required for analysis of mechanical properties of the test

To make the design a compact one - so that it can be attached to any set up
that would require this furnace.

To keep the weight of the furnace and cost of production at the minimum
possible extent.

To achieve sound insulation and meet the safety requirements by using

proper refractory materials.

Literature Review ..contd

Type of furnace we are fabricating: Resistance heating furnace.

Principle: It traces its working principle to the very basic formula:

H I 2 RT

Different possible arrangements for load addition:

Fig 01: Horizontally moving indenter set up

indenter set up

Fig 02: Stationary

Literature Review

Fig 03: Vertical movement of

This set up is preferred as it is simple and no work has to be done against

The design is accepted as more accuracy can be achieved by it and there
is lesser probability of deflections caused by any kind of forces.

The Proposed Design.

Fig: 04. Design of the entire

set up

Fig: 05. Schematic of the set


Dimensions of Components.
Individual components (from top
to bottom)

1 load plate with a cylindrical flange.

4 supporting rods.
1 cylindrical bush (bearing).
1 support plate.
1 alumina rod
1 cover plate with a circular hole n slot.
1 cylindrical casing.
1 alumina tube.
1 sleeve.
1 indenter.
1 heating element in spring form.
1 ceramic plate for sample placing
1 base plate.
Fig: 06. Front and top view of the

1. Mild steel: (For Lid, Base plate and Cover or Casing)
Properties of mild steel are :
Reasonably high structural strength
Hard and malleable
Mild steel can be machined and shaped easily
due to its inherent flexibility
Fig 07: Mild steel

2. Ceramic (Al2O3): (For ceramic plate, Alumina

tube, Alumina rod)
Material properties of the ceramic are :
Maximum continuous service temperature up to
High hardness
High dielectric strength and good thermal

Fig 08: Alumina tube

3. Heating element: (Nichrome wire)
Properties of nichrome wire are :
Melting point is upto 1400C
High thermal conductivity(11.3 W/mK)
Higher resistivity. At room temperature
resistivity=(1-1.5 10 6 m)

Fig:09 Nichrome wire

4. High-temperature insulation wool (Ceramic wool):
Properties of the ceramic wool are :
They are lightweight and have low thermal
Excellent resistance to thermal shock.
Outstanding electrical resistivity.

Fig:10 Ceramic wool

5. Adhesive (Sodium silicate + Alumina):

Properties are :
Good adhesive characteristics
High dielectric strength for electrical insulation

Fig:11 ceramic cement


1. Dial Gauge (with gauge stand):
Least Count : 0.01mm

2. Variac:
Range: 0-270V
L.C : 2V
3. Controller:
Components of controller:
(i) Temperature display
(ii) Ammeter
(iii) Relay
(iv) Cut-out

Fig:12 Dial Gauge with gauge


Fig 13: Variac

Fig14 : Controller

Design of the heating element

To design the heating element we need to find out the values of different
dimensions describing the wire. They are
1.The length of the heating element
2. The total number of turns of the spring of the heating element
For finding all these values, we employ different empirical relations, which
precludes the consideration of different parameters.They are
(a) Mass of the air inside the alumina tube
(b) Mass of the alumina tube
(c) Heat generated in air trapped inside the tube
(d) Heat generated in the tube
(e) Heat required in the sample
(f) Total heat produced
(g) Resistance of the heating element

Design of the heating element

Calculations involved are shown sequentially
1.Calculating the mass of air
Formula involved = v
d2 l
4 where, : density of air at t C
Mass of air =1.225 3.14 0.038 0.140v : volume of air inside the tube
4 of the alumina tube (mm)
l : length
= 0.194 kg
d : inner diameter of the tube (mm)
for d = 38 mm, l = 140 mm, = 1.225 kg/m3 (density of air at 27 OC)
2. Calculating the mass of tube
Formula involved = al v
: density
ofal alumina
= al (R2 - R1 ) l v : volume of tube
Mass of tube = 3950 3.14 (0.026 2 - 0.019 2 ) 0.140
= 0.592 kg
for R2 = 26.5mm, R1 = 19mm, l=140mm, = 3.95 gm/cm3

Design of the heating element

3. Calculating the heat generated in air
Formula involved = ma c a T
where, ma: mass of air
Heat generated = 0.194 1.005 700 : change
T in temperature
= 136.47 kJ
Ca : specific heat of air
For Ca = 1.005 kJ/kgK , T = 700 C, ma = 0.194 kg
4. Calculating the heat generated in tube
Formula involved = m al c al where,
T mal : mass of tube
Heat generated in tube = 0.592 880 700cal : specific heat of tube
= 364.67 kJ
T : change in temperature
For Cal=880 J/kgK, T = 700 C, mal = 0.592 kg
5. Calculating the heat required for the sample
Formula involved = m c T
Heat required for the sample = 0.050 864 700
for m= 0.050 kg
= 30. 24 kJ
c = 864 kJ/kgK

Design of the heating element

6. Calculating the total heat generated

Total heat generated = Heat generated in sample+ Heat generated in air

+Heat generated in tube
= 136.47 + 364.67 + 30.24 kJ
= 531.38 kJ
7. Calculating the resistance of the heating element
Total heat generated, Q = I 2 R t
where : efficiency
I : current
R = R2 : resistance
I t
t : time 1000
2 531.38


5 2 7200

= 5.9
For Q= 531.38 kJ, I= 5A, t = 7200 sec , =50 %

Design of the heating element

8.Design parameter 1:Calculating the length of the heating element
Formula involved,L = R A
where, l : length of heating element

of heating element
R resistance
L = : resistivity
d : diameter of the spring
5.9 3.14 0.0012
Length, L=
4 1.3 10

= 3.56 m
For R = 5.9 , d = 1.1 mm, = 1.3 10-6 m
9. Calculating the perimeter of the nichrome spring
Formula involved =2 r
where, r :outer radius of the helix
= 2 3.14 7
Perimeter = 43.96 mm
for r = 7 mm

Design of the heating element

Design parameter 2 : Calculating the no. of turns required of the nichrome
Formula involved, n = (length of the spring) / (perimeter of the helix)
3.56 1000

= 79
Although by calculations we obtained the number of turns to be used as 79, to
have an assurance of the effectiveness of the furnace, number of turns actually
used was slightly above 100.

Cutting operation:
Simple cutting was done by hacksaw and
by welding. Since plates with high
thickness are difficult to cut by hacksaws,
so welding methods using high current
were brought into action.

Fig15: Cutting operation

Turning and facing operations: (Lathe Operation)

Several other small components like the
flange, bush and steel sleeve were also
fabricated using the lathe with high degree
of precision and accuracy as per their
Fig16: Turning and finishing

Shaping and Drilling operations:

The rough steel plates had to be reformed

into fine horizontal finished surfaces along
with reduction in their thickness. The base
plate and the cover plates were
transformed accordingly using the shaping

Fig17: Shaping operation

Several holes with different diameters had

to be drilled into these plates and were
accomplished using the radial drilling

Fig18: Drilling operation

Winding the heating element and Insulation:
The length of the wire required to produce desired
heating is calculated and marked.


wire is fixed at the two ends to obtain high

tension and then wound around the ceramic tube
Fig19: winding nichrome
with 5 number of windings by keeping them safely wire around ceramic tube

layers of ceramic wool are thrusted into the

spacing between the tube and metallic casing,
thereby rendering a decent insulation.

Fig20: Ceramic
wool insulation

The primary objective was to design and fabricate high
temperature deformation testing apparatus and hence the
result of this project is a well fabricated fully functional, safe
and robust prototype.

Fig: 21. Actual photograph of the entire set up with

electric circuitry

Temperature levels attained by the furnace at different input
current with time:

Loading provision is another objective of this project

We tested the set up with a maximum of 20kg load and
the set up held its integrity more than satisfactorily.
(a)that a significant amount of additional
It implies
load can
be applied without causing failure and compromising the


Fig 10: Temperature vs. time plots for input current = (a) 2A ,(b) 3A,
(c) 4A, (d) combination of 2A, 3A, 4 A.

While starting the furnace the current needs to be set at low values (about
As can be seen from all the graphs, higher is the input current, greater is
the initial slope of the plot. After a significant amount of time, the slope of
the plot decreases and the furnace tries to approach a upper fixed
The controller was designed to take a maximum of 8A and thus keeping a
margin of safety the maximum input current was kept at 6A.
It was noted that the temperature fluctuates somewhat from the pre-set
value once the circuit gets cut out. To reduce this effect, the current was
reduced as low as possible before reaching the particular temperature.
Weights up to 20kg applied and the structure was intact.

The objective was to design and fabricate a high temperature
deformation furnace. After analyzing several journal papers and
practical constraints faced, a design was prepared.
The next step was to select and design the heating element.
Nichrome was selected and fabricated in the spring form for easy
attachment to the alumina tube.
Then came the need to select the materials. Mild steel was selected
for structural components and alumina was used for the refractory
components. Ceramic wool was employed to take care of insulation.
An on-off relay mechanism was then brought in for temperature
regulation and then the entire set up was fabricated using several
operations in the workshop.
When the prototype was brought into testing phase, it displayed
excellent performance characteristics. Maximum temperature in
order of 750
was easily achieved and can reach significantly
beyond that.
As per loading is concerned, the set up held its integrity upon the
application of 20 kg load. It is believed to withstand even more.

Scope of Future work

The most important scope of future work is to actually do some
experiments for which the set up was designed. Impression creep tests
are perfectly suited to be carried out in the set up.
Rest of the scope lies in refining and developing the set up for superior
A detailed analysis of heat losses from the furnace can be made. In
this, heat loss coefficients for conduction, convection and radiation can
be calculated and then the design modified accordingly.
Some provisions for cooling like water jet cooling can be provided
which would require additional piping circuitry for the flow of the coolant.
An electric circuitry can be designed which would have some analog to
digital converter coupled with IC's that would enable automated
control via a P.C hub.
Novelty: Although this kind of work has been documented erstwhile, such
set ups are not commercially available. Additionally, when the planned
creep tests of some new alloys would be performed on this set up, the
entire work will gain new dimensions of novelty rendering the set up its
indispensable characteristics.

[1]. Ilori, B.O., Design of Electric Furnace, B. Eng Thesis; Mechanical Engineering
Department; Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria,1991.
[2]. Benoit Boulet, Gino Lalli, Mark Ajersch, "Modeling andControl of an Electric Furnace"
Proceedings of the American Control Conference, Denver, Colorado June 4-6,2003.
[3]. Callister, W. D., Rethwisch, D. G., Materials Science and Engineering An
[4]. Alaneme, K.K. and Olanrewaju, S.O. (2010) Design of a Heat-Treatment Furnace.
Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, 9, 581-591
[5]. Chu, S. N. G. And Li, J. C. M , Impression creep of tin single crystal, Material
Science Engineering(1979), 39,1.
[6]. T.H. Hyde, W. Sun, A. A. Becker, Analysis of the Impression creep test method using
a rectangular indenter for determining the creep properties in welds., Int. J. Mech.
Sci. Vol. 38, No. 10, (1996), pp. 1089-1102
. Downloaded on 6/10/2014
[8]. Downloaded on 6/10/2014
[9]. James C.M. Li, Impression creep and other localized tests, Materials Science and
Engineering A322 (2002) 2342

Thank you