Cost Analysis of T6 Induction Heat Treatment for the Aluminum-Copper Powder Metal Compacts
This work compares an energy cost and an energy consumption results of the 4 wt.% cupper mixed aluminum based powder metal (PM) compacts processing under induction or furnace heating. Total power and energy consumptions and total energy costs per kilogram and compact have been analyzed. T6 precipitation heat treatment applications have been applied with two different methods, one with 2.8 kW, 900 kHz ultra-high frequency induction heating system (UHFIHS), other with 2 kW chamber furnace. In the first method, Al-Cu PM compacts have been heated by induction at 580 °C in one minute and then cooled down by water. Afterwards, the samples have been heated 170, 180, 190 and 200 °C respectively for artificial ageing and cooled naturally. In the second treatment, unlike the first study, Al-Cu PM compacts are heated by chamber furnace at 540 °C in 5 hours and cooled by water. Then PM compacts are artificially aged at 190 °C in 10 hours with same furnace. During both processes, energy and power consumptions for each defined process have been measured. Optimum heat treatment of the induction is determined. The cheaper energy cost is obtained by the induction heat treatment.
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