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Development of Advanced Magnetic Filtration System for Industrial Lubricants

Final Report Summary - MAGFIS (Development of Advanced Magnetic Filtration System for Industrial Lubricants)

This research project has addressed the problems of sustainable manufacturing process management using innovative magnetic process technology and engineered fluid management equipment for primary applications in metalworking process and related industries such as automotive, other precision engineering sectors. The research has been carried out on both system design and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling in order to understand performance and system behaviour with lubricants, water and other coolants. The primary goals were fully achieved by the research and development of the following: industrial design, modelling, measurement and application engineering. The specific tasks of research have been completed as follows:
1) Development of an industrial design / prototype of magnetic equipment that can provide effective filtration of working fluids such as coolants, and removal of metal particles from a process line of industrial metalworking machines, for example, grinding and finishing operations.
2) Development of a particle imaging methodology to measure performance of magnetic equipment with regards to materials and fluid properties, parameters of flow (turbulence, speed, laminar effects) at varied metal particles size and concentration. Data generated were related to potential improvements of system design and operational conditions, and used in modelling part of research.
3) Application and development of modelling tools was carried out to predict the behaviour of magnetic systems under non-stationary / turbulent conditions as it can appear in operations and measured by using a set of experimental 2/3D plane Global Particle Imaging techniques. This allowed visualisation of flow effects and further validation of modelling approach used.
4) Application engineering and demonstration of industrial prototype on grinding machines in manufacturing environment is carried out in order to prove design concepts and computational models.

First part of research on industrial design was carried out by analysis and evaluation of industrial fluid management technology and proposing design concepts using self-cleaning magnetic systems. The evaluation showed more possibilities to improve equipment’s performance with multiple 3 to 12 magnetic cores as a function of number of magnetic cores, its design (either hollow or solid centre), length and diameter. Key results are provided in a form of recommendation on the sourcing and selecting of magnetic technology and design concepts, building up reproducible prototype and control methods for industrial applications; study for the costs/benefits ratio.

Second part of research was carried out by studies of kinetics and dynamics of particles behaviour in coolant fluids, study of effects of magnetic coagulation of ferrous particles through analytical and experimental measurements as a function of flow rate (20 to 150 l/min), pressure (up to 10 Bar) and temperature range (10 to +50 deg. C), a selection of ferrous materials, (i.e. cast iron, carbide steels), its particle sizes and concentration in either single phase and multiphase coolant fluids (such as water-based emulsions). Flow visualisation was carried out by particle imaging velocimetry (PIV) technique at TU Delft that assisted to establish the measurement protocols and the key parameters for multiphase turbulent flow under magnetic fields.

Third stage of research included the validation modelling carried out using physical-mathematical and numerical modelling of hydrodynamics and heat-mass transfer of fluid flows in the magnetic filter units for prediction of turbulence, swirled decay and reconfiguration effects of rotating flows. Separation process of working industrial fluids in complex channels was described using the principles of fluids mechanics and Navier-Stokes and Reynolds full equations for the case of complex wall configuration. Heat transfer, turbulence, presence of mass inertial forces were taken into account from multi-physics approach perspective. Modelling of separation flows was carried out using the algorithms of SIMPLE and L.M. Simuni's approach with generalization for the case with variable radius of a longitudinal gradient of pressure. Experimental validation of the modelling approach was used for an optimisation of separators design and fluids engineering. Applications of the results included: a) the ability to optimize performance and efficiency of magnetic separation technology, b) better understanding of multiphase flow of industrial fluids with particles affecting efficiency of process flows and c) the ability to improve both environment and economics of industrial process arising from longer life of fluids and working tools, recycling of extracted materials, lower footprint and emissions. Benefits of modelling are to assist in longer fluids life, environmental and economic benefits yet the quality of surface engineering.