This paper summarizes a mathematical model for the industrial heating and cooling processes of a steel workpiece corresponding to the steering rack of an automobile. The general purpose of the heat treatment process is to create the necessary hardness on critical parts of the workpiece. Hardening consists of heating the workpiece up to a threshold temperature followed by a rapid cooling such as aquaquenching. The high hardness is due to the steel phase transformation accompanying the rapid cooling resulting in non-equilibrium phases, one of which is the hard microconstituent of steel, namely martensite. The mathematical model describes both processes, heating and cooling. During the first one, heat is produced by Joule’s effect from a very high alternating current passing through the rack. This situation is governed by a set of coupled PDEs/ODEs involving the electric potential, the magnetic vector potential, the temperature, the austenite transformation, the stresses and the displacement field. Once the workpiece has reached the desired temperature, the current is switched off an the cooling stage starts by aquaquenching. In this case, the governing equations involve the temperature, the austenite and martensite phase fractions, the stresses and the displacement field. This mathematical model has been solved by the FEM and 2D numerical simulations are discussed along the paper.

### Industrial steel heat treating: Numerical simulation of induction heating and aquaquenching cooling with mechanical effects

#### Abstract

This paper summarizes a mathematical model for the industrial heating and cooling processes of a steel workpiece corresponding to the steering rack of an automobile. The general purpose of the heat treatment process is to create the necessary hardness on critical parts of the workpiece. Hardening consists of heating the workpiece up to a threshold temperature followed by a rapid cooling such as aquaquenching. The high hardness is due to the steel phase transformation accompanying the rapid cooling resulting in non-equilibrium phases, one of which is the hard microconstituent of steel, namely martensite. The mathematical model describes both processes, heating and cooling. During the first one, heat is produced by Joule’s effect from a very high alternating current passing through the rack. This situation is governed by a set of coupled PDEs/ODEs involving the electric potential, the magnetic vector potential, the temperature, the austenite transformation, the stresses and the displacement field. Once the workpiece has reached the desired temperature, the current is switched off an the cooling stage starts by aquaquenching. In this case, the governing equations involve the temperature, the austenite and martensite phase fractions, the stresses and the displacement field. This mathematical model has been solved by the FEM and 2D numerical simulations are discussed along the paper.
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2021
steel hardening; thermomechanical problem; phase transitions; nonlinear coupled system of PDEs/ODEs; finite element method
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: `https://hdl.handle.net/11584/315697`