Thermal buckling is a problem that arises in the operation of continuous annealing lines for thin steel strips. In this paper finite element analysis (FEA) is carried out on the furnace buckling of thin steel strips. The results obtained agree very well with observations of furnace buckling made in actual operation. It has been quantitatively shown that the main cause of furnace buckling is the combined effect of high heating temperature coupled with line tension on a strip. This finding is based on the comparison of numerical results with the experimental data collected at a continuous annealing line of Armco Ashland Works in Texas. The analysis has revealed the need for accurate control and monitoring of annealing line heating system in order to avoid buckling of thin steel strips. In addition, the results presented, herein, could be useful in the design of a heating system that ensures buckling free operation.

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