Research and Development.
Research & Development.
EBNER's continuous R&D efforts ensure that customers always have the most advanced technology available.
In our THERMAL PROCESSES business unit, EBNER Industrieofenbau is continuously seeking to advance and improve technologies to increase efficiency and promote sustainability. Two current R&D projects that may be of interest are described below.
Many of the heat treatment practices employed by our customers require continuous processes, as rapid heating-up or rapid cooling is needed. Technology is often the deciding factor in the choice to use a continuous heat treatment process, although logistical issues or throughput requirements may also play a role. SimCal Gen5 is a heat treatment simulator that allows a broad range of annealing cycles at a continuous heat treatment facility to be reproduced. A wide variety of materials such as electrical steels, stainless steels and titanium alloys with thicknesses ranging from 0.05 mm to 5 mm can be heat treated.
Heating can be carried out using a combined heating system or a muffle, and may employ either radiant heat or an electrical resistance heating system. Test temperatures up to 1100 °C can be achieved. A gas quench using hydrogen gas provides cooling rates up to 100 K/s with a strip thickness of 1 mm. Specified strip tensions can also be applied to samples with pneumatic cylinders. This enables the simulation of mechanical loads on the material during the heat treatment process. Finally, a variety of process atmospheres can be selected for use in the workload space such as hydrogen, nitrogen, predefined hydrogen/nitrogen mixtures, argon or helium.
ECOBURN H2 FLEX
It is hard to imagine our daily lives without metals. For this reason, the idea of “sustainability” plays a particular role in the manufacturing chains for metal products, and it is our duty to act in an environmentally-friendly a manner as possible. A particularly energy intensive element in manufacturing is the burner, which has already been the subject of many developments and optimizations at EBNER.
We began development of an eco friendly burner back in 2020.
- 2020: Development of the ECOBURN H2 burner, designed for combustion with 100 % hydrogen, begins
- 2021: Completion of development, including laboratory tests with H2 and natural gas
- 2021: Intensive efforts are made to test the burners at customers’ works, but these efforts fail due to the limited availability of hydrogen
- 2022: Customer feedback indicates an increased need for mixed-gas operation, with a mixture between 100 % natural gas and 100 % H2
- 2022: Development of the ECOBURN H2 FLEX burner, based on the ultra-low NOx burners installed at the Tisco vertical strand annealer (facility A346), begins
- 2022: Completion of development, laboratory testing of combustion in both natural gas and hydrogen modes
- 2022: Discussions with a German customer regarding field testing
- 2023: Adaptation of the burner for flameless operation
- 2023: Successful testing of flameless operation with both natural gas and hydrogen
- Initial field testing has been taking place at a customer’s
works since September, 2023
A history of burner development