Electromagnetic levitation, which can provide rapid heating and melting, homogeneity of melt and minimal specimen contamination, is an important branch of containerless processing. The longitudinal electromagnetic levitator is a new type of levitation device, which was invented recently and has a potential to become a containerless manufacturing processing tool. It has some unique advantages, such as good visual access to the sample, capability to support multiple samples, large loads and cylindrical shape sample availability.
In this thesis, a brief review of the history and application of electromagnetic levitation is presented. Then the detailed theoretical analysis coupled with experimental work validating the theoretical models of the longitudinal electromagnetic levitator are presented. First, a new electric current model is introduced, which is more appropriate for the computation of the electromagnetic force field in the levitated specimen. Based on this new model, the essential equations for the electromagnetic field and the lifting force field for a cylindrical sample are derived, the current density distribution and the averaged power in the sample are analyzed. Additionally, both lifting force and lifting capacity for the longitudinal levitator are investigated analytically, and compared with experimental data with good agreement. These theoretical predictions can be used to design longitudinal levitators, to select suitable material for levitation, and to provide the framework for further investigation of materials processing using the longitudinal levitator.
In addition, temperature distribution simulation for the sample levitated in the longitudinal electromagnetic levitator is implemented by analytical and numerical ways. Isothermal case, steady state and lumped system are discussed respectively as some special cases. The exact solution and numerical simulation of the temperature distribution for the levitated sample are compared with good agreement. The flow motion within the levitated sample and the numerical simulation of the temperature distribution with flow convection has also been investigated. The results provide important information of the levitation phenomena which are very useful for scientific and engineering applications, especially for materials processing.