RESEARCH PAPERS: Heat Transfer in Manufacturing

Boundary/Finite Element Modeling of Three-Dimensional Electromagnetic Heating During Microwave Food Processing

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Huo

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering  Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164

B. Q. Li1

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering  Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164


Email: li@mme.wsu.edu

J. Heat Transfer 127(10), 1159-1166 (May 16, 2005) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2035112 History: Received November 24, 2004; Revised May 16, 2005

A three-dimensional 3D finite element-boundary integral formulation is presented for the analysis of the electric and magnetic field distribution, power absorption, and temperature distribution in electrically conductive and dielectric materials. The hybrid finite/boundary method represents an optimal approach for modeling of large-scale electromagnetic-thermal materials processing systems in which the volume ratio of the sample over the entire computational domain is small. To further improve the efficiency, the present formulation also incorporates various efficient solvers designed specifically for the solution of large sparse systems of linear algebraic equations. The resulting algorithm with a compressed storage scheme is considered effective and efficient to meet the demand of 3D large scale electromagnetic/thermal simulations required for processing industries. Examples of 3D electromagnetic and thermal analysis are presented for induction and microwave heating systems. Numerical performance of the computer code is assessed for these systems. Computed results are presented for the electric field distribution, power absorption, and temperature distribution in a food load thermally treated in an industrial pilot scale microwave oven designed for food sterilization. Computed temperature distribution in a food package compares well with experimental measurements taken using an infrared image camera.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic representation of MW Applicator System

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Figure 2

Schematic representation of the coupling of the finite element and boundary element

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Figure 3

Electric distribution along the center line of the standard WR-975 waveguide along the propagation direction with dominant mode TE10 computed by using meshes of different cell sizes (cz) in the propagation direction (z direction)

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Figure 4

3D view of the distribution of the dominant electric field (Ey component) and the module of the electric field (E) in the standard WR-975 waveguide with cz=1.25λz (red color represents the higher normal of the electric field/positive Ey component; blue color represents the lower normal of the electric field/negative Ey component)

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Figure 5

Dominant electric field (Ey component) distribution along the center line of the standard WR-975 waveguide in the propagation direction (negative z direction) obtained from the analytical, FEM and FE/BE solutions. The result by using FE/BE has only the bottom half part which is the FEM part.

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Figure 6

Electric field distribution (Ey component) for the semi-infinite metallic slab and part of induction heating coil

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Figure 7

Electric field (∣E∣) distribution in the industrial MW applicator loaded with a food package (140×100×30mm). The top part of the MW applicator is the standard MR-975 feeding waveguide with the height of 522.9 mm and the bottom cavity dimensions (496×192×100mm3).

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Figure 8

Temperature distribution over the top surface of a food gel slab package (in open air): (a) experimental measurements obtained using the infrared camera and (b) numerical data calculated using the coupled FE/BE electromagnetic and FE thermal model




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