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Accurate temperature measurement in industrial environments is as important as it is challenging. Precise control over temperature measurement is crucial when processing metals, such as iron or steel, where temperature monitoring is critical to productivity and product quality. In the steel manufacturing process, temperature measurement of molten pig iron is particularly important, as it is a required parameter of the physical models used to control operations in steel furnaces. However, measuring the temperature of molten pig iron is not an easy task. Conventional methods using thermocouples or pyrometers present serious drawbacks which limit their applicability and do not provide accurate measurements. In this paper, an infrared computer vision system is proposed to measure the temperature of molten pig iron while it is being poured. The proposed system confronts two challenges: The stream must be detected in the infrared images, and the slag, which can partially cover the stream of molten pig iron, must be detected and removed from the stream. Fast, robust, and accurate methods are proposed. A calibration procedure for the emissivity of the molten pig iron and for the temperature level is also proposed and applied. This procedure makes it possible to differentiate molten pig iron from slag in the stream. Tests indicate that the results meet production needs.
Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:61 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: May 2012