Annealing is an essential heat treatment process in the steel industry that aims at achieving desired properties like ductility and toughness of the steel. However, annealing of steel in the conventional way is a very energy intensive process as it requires energy for both heating the strip up to around 700 oC and then cooling it back to room temperature. Therefore, an alternative technology to achieve energy efficient annealing of the steel strip is being investigated. The new technology involves the concept of a rotating heat pipe that continuously extracts heat from the steel strip on the evaporator side and re-uses this heat to increase the temperature of the steel strip on the condenser side. The heat transfer from the hot strip to cold strip via several rotating heat pipes would enable the implementation of a full annealing process line.
Both system studies and experimental work are performed in this PhD project in cooperation with and co-financed by TATA Steel.