Modeling and Simulation of the Float Glass Process
- Since its invention by Sir Allistair Pilkington in 1952, the float glass process has been used to manufacture long thin flat sheets of glass. Today, float glass is very popular due to its high quality and relatively low production costs. When producing thinner glass the main concern is to retain its optical quality, which can be deteriorated during the manufacturing process. The most important stage of this process is the floating part, hence is considered to be responsible for the loss in the optical quality. A series of investigations performed on the finite products showed the existence of many short wave patterns, which strongly affect the optical quality of the glass. Our work is concerned with finding the mechanism for wave development, taking into account all possible factors. In this thesis, we model the floating part of the process by an theoretical study of the stability of two superposed fluids confined between two infinite plates and subjected to a large horizontal temperature gradient. Our approach is to take into account the mixed convection effects (viscous shear and buoyancy), neglecting on the other hand the thermo-capillarity effects due to the length of our domain and the presence of a small stabilizing vertical temperature gradient. Both fluids are treated as Newtonian with constant viscosity. They are immiscible, incompressible, have very different properties and have a free surface between them. The lower fluid is a liquid metal with a very small kinematic viscosity, whereas the upper fluid is less dense. The two fluids move with different velocities: the speed of the upper fluid is imposed, whereas the lower fluid moves as a result of buoyancy effects. We examine the problem by means of small perturbation analysis, and obtain a system of two Orr-Sommerfeld equations coupled with two energy equations, and general interface and boundary conditions. We solve the system analytically in the long- and short- wave limit, by using asymptotic expansions with respect to the wave number. Moreover, we write the system in the form of a general eigenvalue problem and we solve the system numerically by using Chebyshev spectral methods for fluid dynamics. The results (both analytical and numerical) show the existence of the small-amplitude travelling waves, which move with constant velocity for wave numbers in the intermediate range. We show that the stability of the system is ensured in the long wave limit, a fact which is in agreement with the real float glass process. We analyze the stability for a wide range of wave numbers, Reynolds, Weber and Grashof number, and explain the physical implications on the dynamics of the problem. The consequences of the linear stability results are discussed. In reality in the float glass process, the temperature strongly influences the viscosity of both molten metal and hot glass, which will have direct consequences on the stability of the system. We investigate the linear stability of two superposed fluids with temperature dependent viscosities by considering a different model for the viscosity dependence of each fluid. Although, the temperature-viscosity relationships for glass and metal are more complex than those used in our computations, our intention is to emphasize the effects of this dependence on the stability of the system. It is known from the literature that in the case of one fluid, the heat, which causes viscosity to decrease along the domain, usually destabilizes the flow. For the two superposed fluids problem we investigate this behaviour and discuss the consequences of the linear stability in this new case.
- Modellierung und Simulationen vom Float Glas Prozess