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Numerical analysis and experimental validation of the free surface flow and heat transfer in electrical transformers moulding processes

Zbigniew Buliński (Faculty of Institute of Thermal Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)
Andrzej J. Nowak (Faculty of Institute of Thermal Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 22 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a numerical and mathematical model of a moulding process of a dry electrical transformer. Moreover, the calculated results are reported and compared with experimental measurements.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental rig, for carrying out and monitoring a moulding process, has been designed and built. Two experiments were preformed. First was an isothermal experiment in which an analog liquid was used. The second experiment was a non‐isothermal one in which an epoxy resin was used. For the rig geometry, the numerical mesh, with the use of the commercial code Gambit, was built. All necessary physical properties, including viscosity, surface tension and contact angle of fluids used in the experiments were measured.

Findings

The Euler approach for modelling multiphase flow with a free surface is addressed in the presented work. Comparison of the computational results with measurements on the designed experimental rig revealed good agreement. Comparison was carried out through measurements of free surface characteristic features captured with a digital camera and through temperature measurements for the nonisothermal case. Richardson extrapolation method was successfully applied to estimate the numerical discretisation error, proving that a grid independent solution was obtained.

Originality/value

This paper is useful for researchers and industrialists involved in the modelling of moulding processes, giving guidance on the available mathematical models appropriate for this kind of problem. Moreover, it provides valuable information as to how to perform validation and verification procedures for such real‐life processes.

Keywords

Citation

Buliński, Z. and Nowak, A.J. (2008), "Numerical analysis and experimental validation of the free surface flow and heat transfer in electrical transformers moulding processes", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 18 No. 3/4, pp. 356-377. https://doi.org/10.1108/09615530810853628

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited