This paper describes a heat transfer model currently being developed for a next generation controlled atmosphere brazing furnace for production of automotive aluminum heat exchangers. This furnace will be numerically controlled to improve product yield. Part of the control loop decision will be based on predicted heat exchanger temperatures for set operating conditions. The numerical program is a transient heat transfer model simulating the radiant heat transfer between the furnace and the heat exchanger and the conduction heat transfer within the heat exchanger.
The program solves the three-dimensional conduction equation for a solid using an implicit finite difference method. The boundary conditions to the solid is the radiant heat exchange. The program determines the radiant heat exchange based on the assumption of gray diffuse surfaces. Using an existing viewfactor program that uses contour integration, viewfactors are used to determine modified configuration factors to ultimately determine the boundary heat fluxes.