Vibration in electromagnetically heated steel
When a ferromagnetic steel billet was heated by induction a large increase in the amplitude of longitudinal vibration frequently occurred as a result of resonance. This happened when a natural frequency of the bar coincided with twice the heating frequency or multiples thereof. The temperature at which resonance occurred depended on a number of factors including billet length and heating power. Resonance was most often observed when the surface temperature of the billet reached the Curie point. It is well established that magnetostrictive vibrations occur in a ferromagnetic material subjected to an alternating electromagnetic field, but existing data suggests that linear magnetostriction decreases towards the Curie point. Linear magnetostriction was measured in a sample of mild steel up to 800oC using a high temperature strain gauge. The magnetostriction constant 100 was calculated assuming an average grain orientation in mild steel. The data was found to be comparable to that published for single crystals of iron. It was discovered that linear magnetostriction was responsible for resonance below 600oC but not for temperatures near the Curie point. Other possible causes of resonance such as forces produced by the interaction between eddy currents and the alternating electromagnetic field, the alpha to gamma phase transformation and the existence of a thin ferromagnetic layer were investigated. None were found to account for resonance in bars of mild steel heated by induction. Experimental work relating to the induction heating of steel is compared to previous work on the subject of electromagnetic generation of ultrasound where a similar increase of the amplitude of longitudinal waves in steel is reported at the Curie point. It is concluded that the two phenomena are related as they show strong similarities.