Industrial gas quenching is a cost-effective, environmental-friendly alternative to conventional fluid-based quenching processes used for the heat treatment of workpieces mainly in the automotive industry. The influence of the heat exchanger geometry in a novel gas quenching chamber on the gas flow was investigated through measurement in parallel to CFD-simulations. With reduced quenching chamber dimensions, a flow guiding system utilizing a perforated plate placed between the heat exchanger and the batch has been found to play a significant role on the velocity and turbulence distribution of the gas flow. The use of various perforated plates in this gas quenching process focuses on the exploration of two main parameters: plate porosity and perforation hole diameters. By combining in situ flow and CFD-simulations of heat and fluid flow, optimized parameters have been determined indicating improved uniformity and intensity of the velocity distribution in the quenching chamber, thus obtaining the potential of an overall improvement of the gas quenching process. Geometric parameters of perforated plates introduced into the gas quenching chamber facility are investigated as, e.g., the distance between the plate and the batch. More generally, the use of a perforated plate system to optimize gas flows may be extended to other applications where tube bundle heat exchangers in gas flow processes are involved.
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