Flow processes in a radiant tube burner: isothermal flow

Nick Tsioumanis, John G. Brammer, J. Hubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the first part of a study of the combustion processes in an industrial radiant tube burner (RTB). The RTB is used typically in heat-treating furnaces. The work was initiated because of the need for improvements in burner lifetime and performance. The present paper is concerned with the flow of combustion air; a future paper will address the combusting flow. A detailed three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model of the burner was developed, validated with experimental air flow velocity measurements using a split-film probe. Satisfactory agreement was achieved using the k-e turbulence model. Various features along the air inlet passage were subsequently analysed. The effectiveness of the air recuperator swirler was found to be significantly compromised by the need for a generous assembly tolerance. Also, a substantial circumferential flow maldistribution introduced by the swirler is effectively removed by the positioning of a constriction in the downstream passage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • radiant tube burner
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • swirling flow


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