A new experimental laboratory for the deployment of industrial MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) technologies has been established in cooperation with AS Latvo as a part of the ERDF project “Development of numerical modelling approaches for the exploration of complex multilateral interaction processes in electromagnetic liquid metal technologies” (No. 18.104.22.168/18/A/108).
To obtain high-quality energy-efficient alloys, it is principal to significantly reduce the duration of melting and doping cycles. The cost of the manufactured materials is significantly influenced by the lifetime of the equipment itself, and the electrode erosion that occurs in high-temperature conditions reduces the equipment lifetime. It is therefore very important to avoid local overheating of the material in critical work areas. This can be achieved by providing an optimal intensity flow during the melting process, which at the same time also accelerates the homogenisation of its composition. In order to achieve these objectives, mathematical modelling has been used for DC arc oven simulations. By optimising the electrode system configuration, a controlled melt rotation can be achieved. The rotation can easily be controlled and calculated, optimisation reduces both the duration and the energy consumption of the melting cycle and increases the lifetime of the installation while ensuring the required homogeneity of the molten composition.
In order to develop optimal solutions for industrial DC arc ovens, the numerical results are tested in the newly established experimental MHD laboratory. A patent for the new technological solution is currently being developed. The gained experimental experience and knowledge will be used in other industrial studies.