The use of energy-saving processes and cutting-edge technologies in industry and commerce plays a key role in achieving the goals of the energy transition. The efficient use of energy contributes both to climate protection and at the same time reduces operating costs. For many industrial companies having constant process temperatures is essential. Yet, heat use also accounts for two thirds of industry’s energy consumption.

For example, when passing through a strip galvanizing line steel parts are preheated in special belt furnaces; the operating temperatures reach approx. 440 °C. Conventional transport rollers are usually water-cooled, which protects them from excessively high temperatures and prolongs their service life. Heat transfer to the water-cooled transport rollers can result in losses of up to 12 million kWh per year in some preheating furnaces.

This is exactly where the ReflexRoll project comes in: by developing innovative coatings, a consortium of steel companies is aiming to further reduce high cooling losses and at the same time increase the service life of the rollers. First, the heat losses from water-cooled furnace rollers in preheating furnaces will be investigated with the aim of achieving a long-term reduction in cooling losses. Based on this analysis, the partners will develop optimised coatings with reflective and anti-adhesive materials that have a low emissivity. Using demonstrator rolls, the coatings will then be tested in a plant.

The BMWi is funding the joint project over a period of three years until the end of January 2022.