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In recent times, the use of furnace in industrial sectors has increased. Furnace deals with high temperature for melting and die casting purpose. The smart gas furnace basically made by G.I metal sheet (outer part of the furnace), solenoid valve, ceramic fiber, Plaster of Paris, black fire cement, crucible and gas as a fuel. Among different types of furnace, higher efficiency can be achieved from smart gas furnace. A smart gas furnace is the minimum expensive melting process introduced for melting any types of metal or alloy compared with other furnace. The objectives of this project work are to control the flow of gas for maintaining the required temperature inside the furnace and melt the material. The goal of this project work is to build a gas fired crucible furnaces and develop a controlling system which provide more benefit compare with other furnace. In this project Arduino is used to maintain the required temperature inside the furnace by switching the solenoid valve which controls the flow of gas. Whenever the temperature reaches the desired temperature the gas flow will automatically stopped by solenoid valve resulting in minimum gas loss. Which will reduce fuel cost. Thermocouple is used as a sensor. It continuously sends data (temperature) to Arduino, and by comparing the both data (required temperature and available temperature inside the furnace) the Arduino switches the solenoid valve.
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1st International Conference on Advances in Science, Engineering and Robotics Technology 2019 (ICASERT 2019)
978-1-7281-3445-1/19/$31.00 ©2019 IEEE
Smart Gas Furnace
Md. Mominur Rahman, Abu Shufian, Farzana Akter, Md. Tarikul Islam Juel, and Riadul Islam
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
American International University-Bangladesh, Dhaka-1229, Bangladesh
mominur18aiub@gmail.com, shufian2aiub@gmail.com, sumaaiub138@gmail.com, md.tarikulislamjuel@gmail.com, and
riadul999@gmail.com
AbstractIn recent times, the use of furnace in industrial
sectors has increased. Furnace deals with high temperature for
melting and die casting purpose. The smart gas furnace
basically made by G.I metal sheet (outer part of the furnace),
solenoid valve, ceramic fiber, Plaster of Paris, black fire cement,
crucible and gas as a fuel. Among different types of furnace,
higher efficiency can be achieved from smart gas furnace. A
smart gas furnace is the minimum expensive melting process
introduced for melting any types of metal or alloy compared
with other furnace. The objectives of this project work are to
control the flow of gas for maintaining the required temperature
inside the furnace and melt the material. The goal of this project
work is to build a gas fired crucible furnaces and develop a
controlling system which provide more benefit compare with
other furnace. In this project Arduino is used to maintain the
required temperature inside the furnace by switching the
solenoid valve which controls the flow of gas. Whenever the
temperature reaches the desired temperature the gas flow will
automatically stopped by solenoid valve resulting in minimum
gas loss. Which will reduce fuel cost. Thermocouple is used as a
sensor. It continuously sends data (temperature) to Arduino,
and by comparing the both data (required temperature and
available temperature inside the furnace) the Arduino switches
the solenoid valve.
KeywordsCrucible, G.I metal sheet, solenoid valve, ceramic
fiber, Plaster of Paris, Black fire cement, Arduino Uno.
I. INTRODUCTION
Material melting plays a very significant role in different
types of melting industry for variety of purposes such as
making steel and heat treating of materials to change their
molecular structure to give them a perfect shape and this
process is performed by the furnace. The furnace is a melting
machine which produces heat by burning different types of
fuels or electricity or other means. The name of furnace is
originated from the Latin word fornix, which implies oven [1].
Material reusing is particularly critical for industries and this
difficult work is performed by the furnace. The use of furnace
in industrial sectors has been increased in the past few years.
There are different types of furnaces are available for melting
materials in industrial scale such as blast furnace, open hearth
furnace, electric arc furnace, etc. In 1970s electrical furnace
started replacing furnace due to energy crisis but the
popularity of the gas furnace is still high. And it is one of the
most effective method of melting materials in remote areas.
Most of the furnace use gaseous fuel like as natural gas,
manufactured gas, liquefied petroleum (Lp) as the energy
input. Smart gas furnace can reduce the wasting of gas to save
the natural resource.
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
The idea of melting metal by using furnace is centuries old.
In early years people mainly used wood to generate heat in
furnace. 1776 is the year from where the roots of crucible can
be traced, when a steel mill named Naylor and Sanderson steel
Mill was built in Sheffield, England to produce fine quality
tools steel using the crucible method. Sanderson Brothers
Steel Company built a new gas fired crucible melting furnace
in 1883. Up to 30 graphite’s furnace was held by this high
temperature furnace, called crucible. Each charged with 60 to
100 pounds of iron plus selected alloy additions [3].
A. State of the art technology
Furnace is a melting machine which deals with high
temperatures more than 400 degrees Celsius for melting
materials. In industrial furnace heat generally generated by
burning fuel with the help of air or by electrical energy.
Furnace designs varies with its function, heating duty, types
of fuel and method of introducing combustion air [4].
B. Furnace categories:
Different kinds of furnace have been using in industries from
many years. Furnace can be classified into four categories
based on its design and efficiency.
1) Natural draft: This type of furnace consisted of cast-
iron. It is very simple in design and carries few controls. For
operating this system operation wood, coke, coal, trash, paper,
natural gas, fuel, oil can be used [4].
2) Forced air: Forced air is another types of furnace,
atmospheric burner style with a cast-iron. Big natural draft
type furnace was replaced by it. But stills its operations can be
found in large brick chimneys [4].
3) Forced draft: Forced draft third categories of furnace
with a steel heat exchange and multi-speed blower. It is much
more compact than the previous styles. This kind of furnace is
called mid-efficiency furnace [4].
C. Combustion controls:
There are many types of combustion controllers is used for
controlling the flow of gas. Among them main three types are
discussed below.
1) Single stage or ON/OFF control: It can operates only
one stage operation; it is either on or off. So, it is called the
simplest controller. It operates with noise and always running
highest speed and pumping out the hottest air with highest
velocity [4].
2) Two stage or HIGH/LOW/OFF controls: It is slightly
more complex system compare with single stage. It has two
firing rate, one slower firing rate and another is full firing as
needed. But most of the time it operates at slower speed.
Operating system is quieter than one stage and moves the air
at velocity [4].
In this project two stage or HIGH/LOW/OFF controller
were used.
III. METHODOLOGY
The figure in below explain the basic structure and
methodology of smart gas furnace.
Fig. 1: Block diagram of a gas-fired crucible furnace
This project is done based on three important parts,
Sensor
Mechanical parts
Controlling parts
A. Sensor: In this project thermocouple is used as a sensing
device. Details about thermocouple device is given
below,
1. Thermocouple: Thermocouple is a sensing device
which is used to measure temperature. It has two
different metal wires which are connected together
to create a junction [5]. In this project thermocouple
will sense the amount of heat inside the furnace and
send the data to the Arduino.
B. Mechanical parts: For building the mechanical part G.I
metal sheet, solenoid valve, gas burner torch has been
used. Details about mechanical parts are given below,
1. Outer body frame: At First, the outer frame of a
furnace body was made. The outer frame is
cylindrical in shape which is made by GI
(Galvanized iron) metal sheets. This metal sheet is
one kind of sheet where the thickness of steel is
5mm.This metal sheet is very high temperature
resistive. The total height of the cylindrical shape is
16.5 inch and only body height is 15 inch and total
side insulation is 2 inch. The furnace will be open or
close from the upper side of the cylinder where there
will be coverage at the top of the furnace. There is
one thermocouple is used in the chamber vertically
for measuring temperature. The thermocouple sends
data continuously in an Arduino. There is also a gas
burner which is placed at the bottom of the furnace
body which will rise the temperature at a very high
level by burning the gas into the chamber.
Fig. 2: Outer body of the furnace
2. Insulation inside the furnace body:
The main and most impotent part of the furnace is
internal structure of the furnace body. There are
some insulating materials like as ceramic fiber
blanket, plaster of Paris which are adjusted at the
inner side of the outer frame where the thickness of
the ceramic fiber 1.5 inch and the thickness of the
plaster of Paris is 05 inch. The ceramic fiber can
protect the outer part of the furnace up to 1200-1250
degree Celsius from the effect of high temperature
operation and the plaster of paris can protect up to
1200 degree Celsius [6]. Double layer ceramic fiber
was used in this system and connected one with
other using black fire cement which tolerates 1200
degree Celsius. Plaster of Paris is a soft mixture
which tolerates 1200 degree Celsius was used for
joining ceramic fiber with furnace body to build a
hard surface. The thickness of Plaster of Paris is 0.5
inch. Now lower insulation of the crucible furnace
body is 4 inch, where ceramic fiber Lear is 3 inch
and Plaster of Paris Lear is 1 inch.
Fig. 3: insulation inside the furnace
3. Solenoid valve: Solenoid valve is known as an
electromechanical control valve which has electric
coil with ferromagnetic core in its center. This
device is used to control the liquid or gas flow. A
2/2-way solenoid valve has inlet and outlet ports and
also have two position (open or closed) [6]. In this
project solenoid valve controls the flow of gas inside
the furnace. Arduino controls the solenoid valve for
maintaining the required temperature inside the
furnace.
4. Gas burner torch: Gas burner torch is a heating
device through which gas will be brunt and heat will
produce inside the furnace.
C. Controlling parts : In this project Arduino is used as a
controlling device. Details about Arduino is given
below,
1. Arduino Uno: Arduino is an open-source platform
which is used for building electronics project [7]. In
Arduino, open-source means that its can modify and
produce different Arduino boards which provide
different factor and functionality. In this project
Arduino is used as a controlling device. It takes data
of furnace inside temperature from sensing device
(thermocouple) and compare it with the required
temperature. And maintain the required temperature
Furnace
Required Temp.
Gas cylinder
Gas burner
Solenoid valve
Arduino
Thermocouple
inside the furnace by switching off/on the solenoid
valve.
D. Measurements and Equations:
The internal diameter = 7 inch
And, external diameter = (internal diameter + thickness of the
refractory)
= (7 inch +4 inch) = 11 inch
Internal height of the furnace = 10 inch
External height of the furnace = (Internal height + metal
sheet thickness + Ceramic fiber thickness + Plaster of Paris
thickness)
= (10 inch + 2 inch + 3 inch + 0.5 inch)
=16.5 inch
To maintain the required temperature inside the furnace,
the following equations were used.
Heat produce to reach melting point temperature to
melting point of the desire material
Q1=ms∆t
Here,
m= Mass of melting product
s = Specific heat
t= Temperature difference
Heat produce for melting material at melting point
Q2=mlf
Heat produce to increase 1 of the desired
material,
Qint=ms*1
Final heat produced, Q= Q1 + Q2
Required temperature,
T=Q/Qint
IV. HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE INTERFACE
The main idea of this research is to automate the gas
furnace operations. For this reason, this smart automation
process is done by using a microcontroller Arduino which will
control the operation of a solenoid valve.
A. Overview of the system
This complete automation system is done by following the
flowchart below. This flowchart also displays the
interconnection between the hardware and software section of
the project.
Fig. 4: Flowchart of interfacing the smart gas furnace system.
B. Simulation and results:
The schematic diagram of our project is as follows:
Fig. 5: Schematic diagram of Smart Gas Furnace
This figure represents the simulated circuit of controlling
portion of the title project. Here virtual terminal is used for
showing the temperature. It is connected with the serial pins
of the Arduino and k type thermocouple is connecter with the
digital pins of the Arduino. Because of unavailability of
solenoid valve a LED light has been used. Whenever the
temperature reaches the required temperature the led will turn
on. Turning on the LED is the indication of switching off the
solenoid valves furnace can reduce the wasting of gas to save
the natural resource.
C. Full hardware impletentation process:
This whole procedure is done to build up the hardware
portion of the project
Fig. 6: Diagram of smart furnace building procedure
The main and most impotent part of the furnace is internal
structure of the furnace body. There are some insulating
materials like as ceramic fiber blanket, plaster of Paris which
are adjusted at the inner side of the outer frame where the
thickness of the ceramic fiber 1.5 inch and the thickness of
the plaster of Paris is 05 inch. The ceramic fiber can protect
the outer part of the furnace up to 1200-1250 degree Celsius
from the effect of high temperature operation and the plaster
of Paris can protect up to 1200 degree Celsius. A double layer
ceramic fiber was used in this system and connected one with
other using black fire cement which tolerates 1200 degree
Celsius. The lower insulation of the crucible furnace body is
4 inch, where ceramic fiber layer is 3 inch and Plaster of Paris
layer is 1 inch.
D. Final combination of hardware and software
Full experimental setup are shown below:
Fig. 7: Full experimental setup of the project.
Here, Arduino is connected with solenoid valve and
thermocouple so that it can control the inside temperature of
furnace body. Arduino take data from thermocouple
(temperature sensor) and maintain the required temperature
inside the furnace body by switching the solenoid valve. When
the inside temperature reaches to the required temperature the
Arduino switch off the solenoid valve and whenever the
temperature remain below the required temperature the
solenoid valve is open. This is how a smart gas furnace is built
which can melt any type of metal within its maximum
temperature range. Actually a metal will be kept inside the
crucible. According to the metal and furnace heat capacity a
required temperature will be set and after that gas will flow up
to required temperature and the metal will be melted where
melting metal keep any type of mold and also making any
types of shape.
V. RESULT ANALYSIS
TABLE 1. VALVE OPERATION ACCORDING TO REQUIRED TEMPERATURE
(CONSIDERING REQUIRED TEMPERATURES 600°C)
Serial
number
Temperature
(oC)
Time(sec)
1
565.00
64.18
2
573.50
65.22
3
582.50
66.25
4
592.50
67.29
5
601.75
68.32
6
607.25
69.36
7
605.25
70.39
8
601.75
71.42
9
597.50
72.46
10
603.25
73.49
11
610.00
74.53
12
605.25
75.56
13
601.25
76.59
14
592.25
77.62
Fig. 8: Graphical representation of valve operation
From the graph it is clearly seen that when the temperature
is below required temperature (600°C ) then the valve opened
and temperature inside the furnace body start increasing
rapidly But when the temperature has reached the required
temperature the Arduino switched off the valve. But due to
enclosed surface temperature goes beyond the required level.
As the valve remain closed the temperature inside the furnace
started decreasing again. Whenever its goes below the
required level the Arduino will switch on the solenoid valve
and similar procedure will be followed again.
Fig. 9: Material (aluminium) melted in Smart Furnace
The above figure shows the clear image of melting procedure
of desired material in Smart Gas Furnace. For melting
aluminium (91gm), 1000 is kept fixed inside the furnace.
VI. ENERGY CONSUMPTION CALCULATION
Some electronics devices like Arduino, solenoid valve,
thermocouple and rely are used in this furnace designing
project.
TABLE 2. ENERGY CONSUMPTION OF THE PROPOSED MODEL
Electronics
Devices
Ratings
Power
consumption (W)
Arduino
5V, 13.92mA
0.348
Solenoid Valve
12V, 320mA
3.84
Thermocouple
5V, 30mA
0.15
Relay
0.45
Total: 4.778W
A solar panel (12V, 1A) charge a battery for 6 hours can
supply 72W. By using this solar panel furnace can be
operated for, (72/4.778) = 15.07 hours. A battery of (12V,
1A) can be used for storing the electricity from solar panel.
So this proposed model consumes very low electricity. For
this reason, it is a very effective for melting industries located
in remote areas.
VII. NOVELTY OF THIS PROJECT
This proposed model will be very effective for
jewelry shops and melting industries which are
situated in the remote areas. Because in many
country it is not possible to supply high voltage
current in every corner of the country, so smart gas
furnace will be very effective for that areas.
Big melting industry can also keep this model as a
backup. During the electricity failure and
maintenance period they can continue their
production by using smart gas furnace.
This proposed model needs very small amount of
power to operate its operations and this little amount
of current can also be provided from solar energy,
so this proposed model will play an effective role in
remote areas.
For insulation, double layer of ceramic fiber, plaster
of Paris and black fire cement has used which made
the system highly heat resistive, so high amount of
heat can be produced inside the furnace which will
make the melting process much faster.
Easily transportable due to small in size, so bringing
it to any remote areas will not be a big challenge.
VIII. LIMITATIONS OF THIS PROJECT
In this research work some limitations are found such as,
the weight capacity of the crucible is very low, high amount
of heat loss due to using graphite crucible which takes huge
amount of heat to heat up itself before transferring the heat to
the material inside it, cannot maintain the required
temperature precisely inside the furnace.
IX. FUTURE ENHANCEMENT
Although the objective was fulfilled, but there are some
update that can be done. Here, the weight capacity of crucible
need to increase. As there is an issue of high amount of heat
loss so it need to be reduced to increase the efficiency of the
furnace. For getting higher demand in market the required
temperature need to maintain precisely inside the furnace.
X. CONCLUSION
This system is used to melt any type of metal within its
heating capacity. In our project material selection were
carefully done so as to enable it operate the system it was
designed for. It was manufactured following to the design
specification. It produced high temperature to melt the metal.
This is electronics based project. Arduino is the main
controlling part in our project and solenoid valve which taken
command from the Arduino to on/off the gas flow. As a result,
we successfully control the gas flow and taken rising
temperature data with time duration.
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... It is widely popular for warming and treatment of materials. The execution of the furnace depends upon complete burning off energy with the lowest excess air (Rahman et al., 2019). The execution of the furnace range is between 7 and 90%. ...
Article
Full-text available
Steel and iron manufacturing, nonferrous metal production, glass production, ceramic processing, and the creation of various forms of items all rely on material production. High temperatures are used in furnaces for smelting and recycling. An electric furnace may be suitable as natural gas is not widely available everywhere. Bangladesh's melting and recycling machinery is powered by a traditional gas furnace, which is expensive and inefficient. By recycling and reusing scrap metal, natural ore, and alloys, the suggested model has the potential to revolutionize, reducing the build-up of natural energy alloys, gas, and ores. The proposed electric furnace has an enclosed form and uses electricity to generate heat efficiently. To melt reusable metals, electronic materials, and waste materials, an electric furnace system based on the Arduino Mega as an alternative to the PID controller with Solid State Relay has been developed, which will manage and control the temperature around 1350 °C (1623.15 K or 2462 °F) by collecting data from the furnace thermostat. This model is made of stainless steel, with a steel frame for the outer shape of the furnace body and control box, a ventilation hole for removing hot gas from inside the furnace, an airtight door for opening the furnace chamber, a digital temperature controller with a furnace B-type thermocouple for measuring and controlling temperature, an ELB for safety, and heat insulation materials with a Nichrome80 heating element in the chamber. The model uses an Arduino Mega to regulate power and temperature while reducing heat loss via the furnace body, reducing time delays, and increasing efficiency. The findings demonstrate that the desired temperature is reached fast and with less electricity than the other electric furnaces, indicating that the model is energy efficient. The smelting temperature for aluminum, copper and other similar materials has been effectively covered. This model has better efficiency since there is no heat loss. The melting and recycling processes will help the furnace-related sectors the most. However, this could be especially beneficial for a developing economy like Bangladesh, where gas and fuel are expensive.
How furnace is made -making, history, used, components, structure, industry, Raw Materials, Design
How furnace is made -making, history, used, components, structure, industry, Raw Materials, Design", Madehow.com, 2019. [Online]. Available: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-7/Furnace.html. [Accessed: 05-Feb-2019].
  • Tameson
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