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Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

Paper received: 04.08.2010


DOI:10.5545/sv-jme.2010.182 Paper accepted: 05.01.2011

Mathematical Model of an Autoclave


Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.
Aleksander Preglej1,* Rihard Karba2 Igor Steiner1 Igor krjanc2
1 INEA d.o.o., Slovenia
2 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Slovenia

This paper presents the mathematical modelling of the following autoclave processes: heating,
cooling and pressure changes. An autoclave is a pressure vessel of a cylindrical form where the composite
semi-products are placed on a metal plate above electrical heaters and heated at selected temperatures
and under a higher pressure. The purpose of the modelling is to build a mathematical model with which
the behaviour of the processes can be simulated and the temperature and pressure control in the autoclave
can be improved. Furthermore, using this mathematical model we intend to test advanced uni- and
multi-variable control algorithms. The mathematical model is built on the basis of the heat-transfer and
pressure-changing theories. While the pressure-changing process is not very complex, the heating and
cooling processes involve complex phenomena of heat conduction and convection. In the mathematical
model some simplifications were considered and so the heat-transfer correlations past flat plates were
used. Most of the data are real and obtained from the autoclave manufacturer, but where not possible,
the method of the models response fitting to the measured data with the criterion function of the sum of
squared errors was used. In this way, to a great extent simulated similarly to the real process responses
were obtained. It can be concluded that the obtained mathematical model is usable for the design of a
variety of process-control applications.
2011 Journal of Mechanical Engineering. All rights reserved.
Keywords: autoclave, mathematical model, heat transfer, convection, conduction, temperature,
pressure

0 INTRODUCTION forced convection is treated in [6], where heat-


transfer correlations for the flow in pipes, past
In the paper, the mathematical model of an flat plates, single cylinders, single spheres and
autoclave development is presented. The control for the flow in packed beds and tube bundles are
mechanism was already designed although it described. Most of the data are real and obtained
was not working well because the parameters from the autoclave manufacturer. However, in
of the controllers were not well tuned. The time cases where this was not possible, the method of
constants of the process are very long and so the the models response fitting to the measured data
tests of the controller parameter settings on the with the criterion function of the sum of squared
real-time process take a long time. That is why errors [7] was used. The other mathematically
it is reasonable to build a mathematical model treated process is pressure changing the basic
with which the control of the process in the principles of which can be found in [8]. Specific
Matlab environment can be simulated, where the theories about dimensionless numbers like the
execution time is very short which enables quick Nusselt, Reynolds and Prandtl numbers can be
and optimal settings of the controller parameters. found in [3] to [5] and [8] all various special heat-
Furthermore, using the developed mathematical transfer coefficients are listed.
model we also intend to test advanced uni- and Some papers proceed from basic heat
multi-variable control algorithms. transfer equations and deal with heat transfer
The basic principles of dynamic modelling coefficients, heat flow, conduction, convection,
are described in [1]. The main problem in the thermal resistance, Nusselt numbers, etc. in ice-
mathematical model of the autoclave is heat slurry flow [9], in the thermoregulatory responses
transfer, which has been extensively studied in of the foot [10] and during the gas quenching
many books, like [2] to [5], describing basic process [11]. While some papers like [12] to [14]
theories and theoretical models regarding various studied similar heat-transfer processes inside
types of heat transfer. A more restricted theory of autoclaves, their main focus was heat transfer
*Corr. Authors Address:
INEA d.o.o., Stegne 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, aleksander.preglej@inea.si
503
Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

and distribution within the composite material semi-products are placed on a metal plate
and determining the optimal temperature profile, above electrical heaters and heated at selected
otherwise known as the cure cycle. On the temperatures and under a higher pressure. These
other hand, our focus was the process inside the semi-products like boat moulds, kiosks, plane and
autoclave, which can be more simply described automobile parts, childrens playthings, flower
as heating, cooling and changing the pressure. pots, etc. are composed of composite materials
Similar work with heating and cooling processes like resin, metal, ceramics, glass, carbon, etc.
was reported in [15], where the convection which under the applied conditions become harder
coefficients were estimated experimentally. and therefore of a higher quality. In the autoclave
The radiation heat transfer was considered the working pressure is up to 7 bar and the
separately, which is not neglected in the presented working temperature is up to 180 C.
mathematical model, but considered in the Nusselt The autoclave is made of stainless steel
number coefficients. and isolated with mineral wool and an isolating
The definition of the modelling purpose aluminium coat. The length of the cylindrical
is highly significant [1] in the process of model coat is 2850 mm, where the useful length is only
development. In this case it is to gain more 2600 mm, the inner diameter is 1500 mm and the
accurate data and improve the temperature and thickness of the metal coat is 100 mm. The volume
pressure control in the autoclave. As temperature of the autoclave is 5600 litres.
and pressure are mutually closely connected by
physical laws, we would like to consider them
in a multi-variable manner which indicates
interactions between them will have to be taken
into account.
However, at the moment temperature and
pressure control are treated as two independent
control loops.
The temperature is controlled continuously
with two predictive functional controllers (PFC)
and pulse-width modulation of heating with
the electrical heaters and cooling with the water
cooler and the analog valve.
The pressure is discretely controlled with Fig. 1. The treated autoclave
pressure increasing through the on-off valve and
pressure decreasing through two on-off valves of The autoclave is heated with electrical
different sizes. heaters of power up to 110 kW (the temperature
The paper is organized in the following gradient is up to 3 C/min) and cooled with
way: in Section 1 the technological data of the an inner cooler of power up to 73 kW (the
autoclave are described. In Section 2 and 3 the temperature gradient is up to -2 C/min), where
modelling of the autoclave heating and cooling the cooling medium is water with a temperature
is presented and in Section 4 the modelling of of 15 C.
the pressure changes is given. The results of The pressure in the autoclave is increased
the modelling are collected in Section 5, while by a compressed air flow up to 100 kg/h and
the model validation is depicted in Section 6. decreased by the air flow up to 100 kg/h.
The optimization experiment is presented in the A centrifugal ventilating fan on the back
Appendix A. of the autoclave with a water-cooled mechanical
axle washer and an electromotor drive outside the
1 AUTOCLAVE TECHNOLOGICAL DATA autoclave of power up to 11 kW provide the air
circulation.
An autoclave is a pressure vessel of a The cooperative energy sources are
cylindrical form shown in Fig. 1, where composite compressed air of 7 bar pressure and a 300 kg/h

504 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

flow, cooling water of pressure from 3 to 6 bar and Wen1 is the heat flow from the metal coat to
5 m3/h flow, and an electrical current at a 380 V the environment over the isolation and
voltage and 115 kW of attachable power. Wen2 is the heat flow from the metal coat to
the environment over the non-isolated metal.
2 MODELLING OF THE AUTOCLAVE Joining the heat flows W3 and Wen1 and
HEATING eliminating the coat temperature 3 was also
proposed. However, it did not work well, because
2.1 Description of the Process in that way quite a lot of the mass of the metal coat
was not taken into account.
The process can be presented as cylindrical
vessel seen in Fig. 2. The wall is composed of the 2.2 The Mathematical Model
inner metal coat, the isolation with mineral wool
and the exterior metal coat. On the back of the The heat flows [2] are as follows:
autoclave, where the ventilating fan is mounted,
there is just a layer of the exterior metal coat W1 = Qel , (1)
without isolating material as seen in Fig. 2. The
1 2
cooler, the ventilating fan and all the other metal W2 = K ame S ame (1 2 ) = , (2)
parts inside the vessel can be approximated as Rame
one vertical metal block. The composite material,
1 3
which is inserted into the autoclave, can be W3 = K ac S ac (1 3 ) = , (3)
represented as a horizontal block. Rac
1 4
W4 = K am S am (1 4 ) = , (4)
Ram
3 en
Wen1 = K ce S ce (1 en ) = , (5)
Rce
1 en
Wen 2 = K nim S nim (1 en ) = . (6)
Rnim

Energy balance Eqs. [2] are the following:


Fig. 2. Scheme for the heating process modelling 1 2 1 3
W1 1
In Fig. 2 the following notations are ma ca Rame Rac
(7)
presented: 1 4 1 en
1 [K] is the temperature of the air in the
Ram

Rnim
= 1 ,
autoclave,
2 is the temperature of the metal,
1 1 2
3 is the temperature of the metal coat,
mme cme Rame
= 2 , (8)
4 is the temperature of the composite
material,
en is the temperature of the environment, 1 1 3 3 en
W1 [W] is the heat flow from the heaters to

mc cc Rac

Rce
= 3 , (9)

the air in the autoclave,
W2 is the heat flow from the air in the 1 1 4 (10)
autoclave to the metal,
mm cm Ram
= 4 .
W3 is the heat flow from the air in the
autoclave to the metal coat, In Eqs. (1) to (10) (some notations are
W4 is the heat flow from the air in the presented in Fig. 2) the following notations are
autoclave to the composite material, included:

Mathematical Model of an Autoclave 505


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

Qel [W] is the electrical heaters power, mm is the material mass and
Kame [W/(m2K)] is the heat-transfer cm is the specific heat capacity of the material.
coefficient between the air in the autoclave
and the metal, 2.3 Calculation of the Parameters
Same [m2] is the area between the air in the
autoclave and the metal, In addition to the influence of the
Rame [K/W] is the resistance of the thermal conductance on the heat transfer, forced
conductivity between the air in the autoclave convection [3] is also significant. The air in the
and the metal, autoclave namely circulates as shown in Fig. 3.
Kac is the heat-transfer coefficient between
the air in the autoclave and the metal coat,
Sac is the area of the thermal conductivity
between the air in the autoclave and the metal
coat,
Rac is the resistance of the thermal
conductivity between the air in the autoclave
and the metal coat,
Kam is the heat-transfer coefficient between
the air in the autoclave and the material,
Sam is the area of the thermal conductivity
between the air in the autoclave and the
material, Fig. 3. Scheme for the air circulation modelling
Ram is the resistance of the thermal
conductivity between the air in the autoclave In the simplified case it can be presumed
and the material, that the air flow in every part of the autoclave is the
Kce is the heat-transfer coefficient between consequence of forced convection (in Figs. 4 to 6
the metal coat and the environment, marked with straight lines). Also the conductance
Sce is the area of the thermal conductivity through the layer of metal and material (in Figs.
between the metal coat and the environment, 4 to 6 marked with wavy line and the letter l) is
Rce is the resistance of the thermal assumed.
conductivity between the metal coat and the The cylindrical metal coat can be
environment, represented as flat plates, as seen in Fig. 4. The
Knim is the heat-transfer coefficient between part without the isolation also has different
the air in the autoclave and the environment convection, but the conductance is the same in the
over the non-isolated metal, whole metal coat.
Snim is the area of the thermal conductivity
between the air in the autoclave and the
environment over the non-isolated metal,
Rnim is the resistance of the thermal
conductivity between the air in the autoclave
and the environment over the non-isolated
metal,
ma [kg] is the mass of the air in the autoclave,
ca [J/(kgK)] is the specific heat capacity of
the air in the autoclave,
mme is the mass of the metal,
cme is the specific heat capacity of the metal,
mc is the mass of the metal coat,
cc is the specific heat capacity of the metal
coat, Fig. 4. Simplified air circulation

506 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

The air flow next to the metal is considered me [W/(mK)] is the thermal conductivity of
only on the left-hand side and so the upper, lower the metal,
and right-hand air flows are neglected, but the hame [W/(m2K)] is the convection coefficient
conductance is present in the whole metal, as seen between the air in the autoclave and the metal,
in Fig. 5. lc is the metal coat thickness,
c is the metal coat thermal conductivity,
hac is the convection coefficient between the
air in the autoclave and the metal coat,
lw is the mineral wool thickness,
w is the mineral wool thermal conductivity,
hce is the convection coefficient between the
metal coat and the environment,
lm is the material thickness,
m is the material thermal conductivity,
Fig. 5. Simplified air flow next to the metal ham is the convection coefficient between the
air in the autoclave and the material,
The air flow next to the material is lnim is the non-isolated metal thickness,
considered only on the upper side, because the nim is the non-isolated metal thermal
material is placed on a straight basis. The side conductivity,
air flows are neglected, but conductance is again hanim is the convection coefficient between
present in the whole material as seen in Fig. 6. In the air in the autoclave and the non-isolated
Figs. 4 to 6 a, b, d, n and j are dimensions needed metal and
in the below equations. hnime is the convection coefficient between the
non-isolated metal and the environment.
Furthermore, we must calculate the
convection coefficients must be calculated :
hame = a Nume Lme , (16)
hac = a Nuac Lci , (17)
Fig. 6. Simplified air flow next to the material
hce = a Nuce Lce , (18)
We have to calculate the heat transfer
ham = a Nuam Lm , (19)
coefficients [4], which are the inverse values
of sums of the conductance and the convection hanim = a Nuanim Lnim , (20)
inverses need to be calculated:
hnime = a Nunime Lnim . (21)
K ame = 1 , (11)
( lme / me + 1 / hame ) In Eqs. (16) to (21) the following notations
K ac = 1 , (12) are included:
( lc / c + 1 / hac ) a is the air thermal conductivity,
K ce = 1 , (13) Lme [m] is the length of the characteristic
( lc / c + lw / w + 1 / hce ) metal,
Nume is the Nusselt number for the convection
K am = 1 , (14)
( lm / m + 1 / ham ) between the air in the autoclave and the metal,
Lci is the characteristic inner metal coat
K nim = 1 . (15) length,
( lnim / nim + 1 / hanim + 1 / hnime ) Nuac is the Nusselt number for the convection
In Eqs. (11) to (15) the following notations between the air in the autoclave and the inner
are included: metal coat,
lme [m] is the metal thickness, Lce is the characteristic exterior metal coat
length,

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Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

Nuce is the Nusselt number for the convection In these Eqs. also the following notations
between the exterior metal coat and the are included:
environment, [kg/m3] is the air density,
Lm is the length of the characteristic material, u [m/s] is the velocity of the air circulation in
Nuam is the Nusselt number for the convection the autoclave,
between the air in the autoclave and the [kg/(ms)] is the air viscosity,
material, g [m/s2] is the gravitational acceleration,
Lnim is the length of the characteristic non- ce is the exterior metal cts temperature,
isolated metal, which is simplified 3,
Nuanim is the Nusselt number for the v is the velocity of the air circulation in the
convection between the air in the autoclave environment,
and the non-isolated metal and a.abs is the absolute air temperature, which is
Nunime is the Nusselt number for the the same as en, and
convection between the non-isolated metal nim is the non-isolated metal temperature,
and the environment. which is simplified 3.
The Nusselt numbers are calculated as The air density in the Nusselt numbers is
follows: changing as follows:
y z
Lme u ca = p ( R ) . (28)
Nume = x , (22)
g 1

a In Eq. (28) Rg is the gas constant [J/(kgK)].


y z
Lci u ca The air density depends on the pressure p [kg/
Nuac = x , (23) (ms2)] and the temperature 1 in the autoclave, so
a the Nusselt numbers are constantly changing.
w
g (ce en ) Lce 3 Finally, the characteristic lengths must be
Nuce = q
v a.abs
, (24) assumed and calculated for all cases where we use
the length of a flat plate. The material data is not
z
y yet defined, because no material was placed in the
Lm u ca
Nuam = x , (25) autoclave (in the below equations marked with not
a def.). Therefore, the data were set in a way to avoid
y z the problems with zero division. Material surface
Lnim u ca
Nuanim = x , (26) was set to zero so that multiplication returned zero.
a
w Lme= n= 1, (29)
g (nim en ) Lnim 3
Nunime = q
v a.abs
. (27)
Lci = 2 ( a + b ) d =
(30)

= 2 ( 2.85 + 1.5 ) 0.5 = 8.2,
In Eqs. (22) to (27) coefficients x, y, z, q
Lce = 2 ( e + f ) d =
and w are defined experimentally and so they are (31)
unique for every mathematical model [5]. For the = 2 ( 3.09 + 1.74 ) 0.5 = 9.16,
presumed theory of flat plates the recommended
Lm= j= not def . (32)
values for forced convection are x = 0.664,
y = 0.5 and z = 0.333, and for natural convection
Lnim= d= 0.5. (33)
q = 0.478 and w = 0.25 [6]. For the coefficients y,
z and w we used recommended values, while for In Eqs. (29) to (33) the meaning of the
the coefficients x and q the recommended values coefficients a, b, d, n and j is evident from Figs.
were not usable. Therefore, the models response 4 to 6. The values of the parameters Lme (n) and
fitting to the measured data described in Eq. (34) Lnim (d) were assumed and other values were
was used to obtain x = 431.6 and q = 310.7. It can calculated. The coefficients e and f are lengths a
be presumed that these values also consider the and b with the added mineral wool and exterior
radiation heat transfer. metal coat thickness.

508 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

Some parameters were optimized with obtained from the various theories mentioned and
the method of the model response fitting to the from the physical equations of the process.
measured data with the criterion function of the By the real process step response the
sum of squared errors [7], described symbolically temperature rises after 30 s and this dead time was
as follows: also considered in the simulations.
p.set = argmin ( ( y process
ymodel )
2
) . (34) 3 MODELLING OF THE AUTOCLAVE
COOLING
In Eq. (34) the following notations are
included: 3.1 Description of the Process
p.set is the set of parameters,
yprocess is the real process output and
The cooling process is very similar to the
ymodel is the mathematical model output.
heating one. The only difference is the source,
The experiments with the mentioned
which is represented here by the cooler with its
optimization method are depicted in greater detail
own heat flow as seen in Fig. 7. All the other heat
in the Appendix A.
flows are the same as presented in Fig. 2.
2.4 Defined or Estimated Data

In the real process of autoclave heating


the pressure was approximately 3.23 bar (p =
323000 kg/(ms2)), the power of the heaters was
at 3% of the maximum value (W1 = 3300 W), the
environment temperature was at room temperature
(en = 23 C) and the initial air temperature in the
autoclave was in = 61.3 C.
Other data values are:
The specific heat capacities: ca = 725,
cme = 510, cc = 510, cm = not def.
The gas constant: Rg = 287.05.
The autoclave volume: V = 5.6 m3. Fig. 7. Scheme for the cooling process modelling
The thicknesses: lem = 0.5, lc = 0.01, lw = 0.1,
lm = not def., lnim = 0.01. In Fig. 7 the following notations are
The surfaces: Same = 3, Sac = 17, Sam = not presented:
def., Sce = 20, Snim = 0.75. 1 is the temperature of the air in the
The masses: ma = aV, mme = 1208, autoclave,
mc = 1198, mm = not def. cw is the temperature of the cooling water,
The thermal conductivities [8]: a = 0.025, cwi [m3/s] is the volume flow of the cooling
w = 0.04, me = 16.3, c = 16.3, m = not def. water,
The air circulation velocity by forced Wcw is the heat flow between the cooler and
convection is u = 3 and by natural convection the air in the autoclave,
is v = 0.3. in is the entry temperature of the cooling
The air viscosity: = 2.48410-5. water and
The acceleration due to gravity: g = 9.81. out is the exit temperature of the cooling
The metal and coat masses were first water.
estimated at 1500 kg and then optimized with the
above mentioned method of the models response 3.2 The Mathematical Model
fitting to the measured data. Additionally, the
values of the parameters lme, lw, Same, u and v The volume flow of the cooling water cwi
were first assumed and finally optimized with the is controlled by the entry valve and therefore, the
above mentioned method. Other parameters were coolers heat flow [2] is as follows:

Mathematical Model of an Autoclave 509


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

1 + cw
Wcw = K cwa S cwa (1 + cw ) = = hcwm = w Nucwm Lme , (38)
Rcwa
(35) hma = a Numa Lme . (39)
Wcw
1 + In Eqs. (38) and (39) (some meanings have
cw cwi 1 Wcw
= = + . already been presented in Eqs. (16) to (21)) the
Rcwa Rcwa Rcwa cw cwi following notations are included:
In Eq. (35) the temperatures are summed Lme is the characteristic length of the metal
because the coolers heat flow is given as a length,
negative value. Nucwm is the Nusselt number for the
The energy balance equation [2] is the convection between the cooling water and the
following: metal and
Numa is the Nusselt number for the convection
1 1 2 1 3 1 4 between the metal and the air in the autoclave.

ma ca Rame

Rac

Ram
Finally, the Nusselt numbers must be
(36) calculated as follows:
1 en 1 Wcw
= 1.
y z
L u c
Rnim Rcwa Rcwa cw cwi Nucwm = x w me w w w , (40)
w w
In Eqs. (35) and (36) (some meanings have
y z
already been presented in Figs. 2 and 7 and in Eqs. L u c
(7) to (10)) the following notations are included: Numa = x a me a . (41)
Kcwa is the heat-transfer coefficient between a
the cooling water and the air in the autoclave, In Eqs. (40) and (41) (some meanings
Scwa is the area of the thermal conductivity have already been presented in Eqs. (7) to (10),
between the cooling water and the air in the (22) to (27) and (36)) the following notations are
autoclave, included:
Rcwa is the resistance of the thermal w is the density of the water,
conductivity between the cooling water and uw is the velocity of the water motion and
the air in the autoclave and w is the viscosity of the water.
cw is the waters specific heat capacity. However, for the cooling process there is
much less disposable data than for the heating
3.3 Calculation of the Parameters one. For the given modelling purposes it is not
significant how the heat-transfer coefficient
The heat-transfer coefficient [4] can be between the cooling water and the air in the
calculated similarly as presented for the heating autoclave is calculated. We decided to use
process: the method of models response fitting to the
K cwa = 1 ( lw / w + 1 / hcwm + 1 / hma ) . (37) measured data described in (34).

In Eq. (37) the following notations are 3.4 Defined or Estimated Data
included:
lw is the thickness of the cooler filled with the In the real process of autoclave cooling the
cooling water, pressure was approximately 1.3 bar, the coolers
w is the thermal conductivity of the water, heat flow was at 20% of the maximum value
hcwm is the convection coefficient between the (Wcw = -14600 W), the environment temperature
cooling water and the metal and was at room temperature (en = 23 C) and the
hma is the convection coefficient between the initial air temperature in the autoclave was in =
metal and the air in the autoclave. 135.1 C.
Below let us calculate the convection Other data values are:
coefficients: The waters specific heat capacity: cw =
4181.3.

510 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

The volume flow of the cooling water: p is the pressure in the autoclave,
estimated as cwi = 0.011. 1 is the temperature in the autoclave,
The cooler surface: estimated as Scwa = 0.31. is the air density,
The heat-transfer coefficient between the pin is the entry pressure,
cooling water and the air in the autoclave was Sin is the entry valve cross-section area,
estimated using the already-mentioned method: in [kg/s] is the entry mass flow of air,
Kcwa = 1905. pout is the exit pressure,
Because in Kcwa also some amount of the Sout is the exit valve cross-section area,
coolers metal was taken into account, which in mout is the exit mass flow of air and
the heating process was considered with all the V is the autoclave volume.
other metal in the autoclave, the values of the
surface Same and the metal thickness lme, which 4.2 The Mathematical Model
were defined by the heating process, must be
correspondingly reduced. The new values were The mass balance equation is described [8]
estimated as Same = 0.312 and lme = 0.002. as follows:
By the real process step response the min mout = V . (42)
temperature falls after 30 s and this dead time was
The air density described in Eq. (28) is
also considered in simulations.
pressure and temperature dependent, and so its
derivative is described as follows:
4 MODELLING OF THE PRESSURE
CHANGES dp d1
= + . (43)
p dt 1 dt
4.1 Description of the Process
Furthermore, the partial derivatives are:
p = 1 Rg1 , (44)
The pressure in the autoclave is increased
2
with compressed air through the entry on-off valve 1 = p Rg1 . (45)
and decreased by letting the air out through two
exit on-off valves of different sizes. Valves are Then the mass flows can be given in the
modelled as analog ones, where both exit valves form:
are considered as a single valve with a larger min = K in Sin pin , (46)
dimension. Fig. 8 shows the pressure changing
situation. mout = K out Sout pout ( p pout ) . (47)
In Eqs. (46) and (47) the following notations
are included:
Kin [s/m] is the entry valve constant and
Kout is the exit valve constant.
The final Eq. is given in the form:
Rg1
p = ( Kin Sin pin
V
(48)
)
K out Sout pout ( p pout ) + K nl
p
1
1.

In Eq. (48) Knl is the nonlinearity, which


Fig. 8. Scheme for the pressure changing considers interactions between the temperature
modelling and the pressure. Knl was estimated with already-
mentioned method of models response fitting to
In Fig. 8 the following notations are the measured data.
presented:

Mathematical Model of an Autoclave 511


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

4.3 Defined or Estimated Data 10, and in the middle, but responses do not differ
more than 2 C.
With the increasing pressure the
temperature in the autoclave increased by
approximately 5 C, from an initial 51 to 56 C, 62.8
63

and with the decreasing pressure the temperature 62.6

temperature [C]
in the autoclave dropped by approximately 3.5 C, 62.4

from an initial 47 to 43.5 C. 62.2

62
The other data values are: 61.8

The nonlinearity: estimated as Knl = 1.97. 61.6

The compressor entry pressure is pin = 7 bar, 61.4

while the exit pressure is almost a vacuum 0 50 100 150


time [s]
200 250 300

pout = 0.015 bar. Fig. 10. A more detailed comparison of the


The valve cross-section areas: Sin = (0.025 heating responses: real process (solid line) and
m/2)2 = 4.9110-4 and Sout = ((0.032 m +
mathematical model (dashed line)
0.015 m)/2)2 = 1710-4.
The valve constants: estimated as Kin =
5.2 Comparison of the Cooling Responses
1.0610-3 and Kout = 50.510-3.
By the real process step response the
pressure rises or falls after 1 s and this dead time Figs. 11 and 12 represent a comparison
was also considered in the simulations. of the mathematical model and the real process
of the autoclave cooling responses at the given
5 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION conditions.

5.1 Comparison of the Heating Responses 140

130

Figs. 9 and 10 represent a comparison 120


temperature [C]

110
of the mathematical model and the real process 100

autoclave heating responses at the given 90

conditions. 80

70

60

50
180
40
0 5000 10000 15000
160 time [s]
temperature [C]

140
Fig. 11. Cooling responses comparison: real
process (solid line) and mathematical model
120

100
(dashed line)
80

60
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Both responses again fit well as seen in
time [s] 5

Fig. 11. The fitting is slightly worse than for the


x 10

Fig. 9. Heating responses comparison: real heating, which could be ascribed to the lack of real
process (solid line) and mathematical model
data of the autoclave cooling system, and for this
(dashed line)
reason used method of models response fitting to
Both responses fit very well, as seen the measured data. Because the cooling response
in Fig. 9. The real process response has has a similar course as the heating one, the
more nonlinearities, which are not seen in differences the most noticeable at the beginning,
the mathematical model response because of as seen in Fig. 12, but responses do not differ for
unmodelled dynamics. These differences are the more than 5 C. The error in the steady state is less
most noticeable at the beginning, as seen in Fig. than 0.53 C.

512 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

13 and 14. Smaller deviations, which can be again


135
ascribed to unmodelled dynamics, can be seen.
130
temperature [C]

125 6 MODEL VALIDATION


120

6.1 The Heating Model Validation


115

110
The mathematical model of the heating was
250 300 350 400 450
time [s]
500 550 600 650 700 750
validated under different conditions as presented
in Fig. 15. The pressure was approximately 1
Fig. 12. A more detailed comparison of the bar, the power of the heaters was at 2% of the
cooling responses: real process (solid line) and maximum value (W1 = 2200 W), the environment
mathematical model (dashed line) temperature was at room temperature (en = 23
C) and the initial air temperature in the autoclave
5.3 Comparison of the Pressure Changing was in = 24.5 C.
Responses
160

Figs. 13 and 14 show a comparison of 140

the mathematical model and the real process temperature [C] 120

autoclave pressure changing responses at the 100

given conditions. 80

60

3 40

2.5 20
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5
time [s] x 10
5
pressure [bar]

1.5
Fig. 15. Validation of the mathematical model
of the heating under different conditions: real
1
process (solid line) and mathematical model
0.5
(dashed line)
0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300
time [s]
In Fig. 15 it can be seen that both
Fig. 13. Pressure increasing responses responses have very similar courses, however
comparison: real process (solid line) and the fitting is worse than in Fig. 9, which can be
mathematical model (dashed line) the consequence of some simplifications with
different working conditions, the above mentioned
3.5 unmodelled dynamics and interactions between
3 the temperature and the pressure. The steady state
2.5
of both responses differs by approximately 3.5 C.
pressure [bar]

1.5
6.2 The Cooling Model Validation
1

0.5
The mathematical model of the cooling
0
0 50
time [s]
100 150 was also validated under different conditions
as presented in Fig. 16. The pressure was
Fig. 14. Pressure decreasing responses
approximately 3 bar, the coolers heat flow was at
comparison: real process (solid line) and
18% of the maximum value (Wcw = -13140 W), the
mathematical model (dashed line)
environment temperature was at room temperature
(en = 23 C) and the initial air temperature in the
The responses of the increasing and
autoclave was in = 151 C.
decreasing pressure fit very well, as seen in Fig.

Mathematical Model of an Autoclave 513


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

160
Figs. 17 and 18 show that both responses fit
140
relatively well. However, the fitting is (especially
for the pressure increasing) worse than in Figs.
temperature [C]

120
13 and 14, what can again be ascribed to some
100
simplifications with different working conditions,
to unmodelled dynamics and to interactions
80

60
between the temperature and the pressure.
40
0 5000 10000 15000
time [s]
5
Fig. 16. Validation of the mathematical model
of the cooling under different conditions: real 4

process (solid line) and mathematical model

pressure [bar]
3

(dashed line)
2

In Fig. 16 it can be seen that both responses 1

again have a similar course, but fitting is 0


0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160
logically worse than in Fig. 11, which can also be time [s]
contributed to some simplifications with different Fig. 18. Validation of the mathematical model of
working conditions, to unmodelled dynamics pressure decreasing under different conditions:
and to interactions between the temperature and real process (solid line) and mathematical model
the pressure. The steady state of both responses (dashed line)
differs by approximately 5 C.
7 CONCLUSIONS
6.3 The Pressure Changing Model Validation
For the needs of mathematical modelling
The mathematical model of the increasing of the autoclave processes (heating, cooling and
and decreasing pressure was again validated under pressure changing) first all the responses were
different conditions as presented in Figs. 17 and recorded, then the detailed mathematical models
18. With the increasing pressure, the temperature with physical descriptions were developed
in the autoclave increased by approximately 4 C, and finally simulated. Considering some
from an initial 48 to 52 C, and with the decreasing simplifications and using curve fitting procedure
pressure the temperature in the autoclave dropped
very similar simulated and real process responses
by approximately 6.5 C, from an initial 53 to 46.5
were obtained, what means that the designed
C.
model is usable for the design of a variety of
process control, including advanced uni- and
6 multi-variable control algorithms.
5 In the future also interactions between the
temperature and the pressure will have to be taken
pressure [bar]

3
into account to show whether the autoclave should
2
be controlled as two independent uni-variable
1
processes or as one multi-variable process.
In spite of the fact that the developed
0
0 50 100 150 200 250
time [s]
300 350 400 450 500
model works well for the given conditions, it will
have to be additionally validated also for the other
Fig. 17. Validation of the mathematical model of real operating conditions. Due to the very different
pressure increasing under different conditions: regimes of operation of multifaceted modelling
real process (solid line) and mathematical model including fuzzy approaches can be expected.
(dashed line)

514 Preglej, A. Karba, R. Steiner, I. krjanc, I.


Strojniki vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering 57(2011)6, 503-516

8 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS better response presented in Fig. A2 with value of


the criterion function Eq. (A1) 3.478104.
The operation part was financed by
the European Union, European Social Fund.
Operation implemented in the framework of the
Operational Programme for Human Resources
Development for the Period 2007-2013,
Priority axis 1: Promoting entrepreneurship and
adaptability, Main type of activity 1.1.: Experts
and researchers for competitive enterprises.

APPENDIX A:
OPTIMIZATION EXPERIMENT Fig. A1. Initial experiment of the fitting process:
real process (solid line) and mathematical model
The fitting of the parameters using Eq. (34) (dashed line)
is very critical to the success of the model. We
used this method for several parameters, but not
for all at the same time, because using a lot of the
parameters results in a lot of the model variations.
For the useful results of the optimization also
the initial values of the parameters are very
important. We have reasonably chosen a few of
the parameters at a time, then logically set their
assumed initial values and started the optimization
method.
It took a lot of time, effort and performed Fig. A2. Operation of the fitting process: real
optimization experiments to obtain the right process (solid line) and mathematical model
values of the parameters that gave satisfying (dashed line)
mathematical model responses. We used
environment Matlab and its function fminsearch. At the end the optimization returned
The goal of the optimization is to minimize the optimal values Same = 0.312, lme = 0.002 and
criterion function ISE (integral square error) Kcwa = 1905 with minimal value of the criterion
described as: function 268.62. That results returned already
presented responses in Figs. 11, 12 and 16.
( y process (t ) ymodel (t ) )
2
ISE = dt . (A1)
0 9 REFERENCES

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