Austrian Research Promotion Agency - Induheat

Project: Research

Project Details

Layman's description

As of today, around 80 million car bodies per year are baked in an oven in paint shops worldwide. Approx. 600 kWh are required per car body, of which approx. 23% (= 138 kWh) are needed for drying, resulting in an enormous energy consumption of approx. 48 billion kWh.
So-called hot-air hardening ovens are currently used for drying, which require a great deal of energy and time to heat the car body. Sufficient high temperatures close to 180 degrees must be reached in the materials to start the curing process.
To solve this problem, Engineering Software Steyr GmbH and its partners (Institute of Thermal Engineering, Graz University of Technology and the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science University of Southern Denmark) are pursuing the idea of a selective induction furnace. The induction method uses the same painting fluid as used in the current painting process. The only difference is a very small amount of special nanoparticles that may (not necessarily) be added to the paint liquid. This allows the time scale of the hardening to be adjusted within reasonable limits. This makes the surface more sensitive to absorb the required curing energy by induction. In order to be able to control the absorption itself, this novel industrial process for curing paint is simulated in the form of a digital twin. This is necessary in order to simulate the immense increases in efficiency and flexibility of the manufacturing process expected as a result of these innovations.
Prior to the study, initial tests were carried out at the applicant's premises and a patent with the number A50892/2019 was applied for in Q4/2019.
Through the development of this innovative energy technology we expect the customer to save 8.694 EURO per body, which means a cost reduction of approx. 700 million EURO per year for the entire market. Ecologically, the process has the advantage that with the new technology approx. 9,936.0 GWh, which corresponds to 1,540,080 tons of CO2, are consumed less. This means that almost a complete nuclear power plant can be saved, because a medium-sized nuclear power plant has a nominal output of 1,400 megawatts. This corresponds to approximately 11,000 GWh annually.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date01/03/202129/02/2024