Over the past two decades, induction heating technology has begun to replace conventional heating methods in manufacturing due to its ability to rapidly and uniformly heat conductive materials. This advancement has made induction heating very attractive to a wide range of industries, including applications in which thin sheet geometries are used (sheet thickness < 10 mm). According to preliminary testing, conventional coil geometries cannot efficiently heat thin sheet samples. Thus, the primary goal of this study is to investigate a suitable coil design for thin sheet materials and to evaluate the effects of varying coil design parameters. To this end, this project has developed a 3D Multiphysics model that includes a longitudinal induction coil and a thin sheet workpiece. Using the model, a series of parametric studies have been performed to identify the best induction coil geometry for heating of thin sheets along with suitable excitation parameters for the coil and workpiece. It was found that uniform heating is produced when the space between coils is tight. Additionally, insignificant variance in temperature uniformity was found when vertically displacing the workpiece within the coil. Parametric studies resulted in finding a cross-section geometry that reduced temperature deviation to within 1.1% across the workpiece width. The model can be used as a design tool for developing a (full-scale) prototype induction heating system.

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