Bb-OFT: Blackbody Optical Fiber profilo-Thermometer

In the metallurgical industry (e.g. Xstrata, Elkem, Eramet, Alcoa, Vestas,
Saint Gobain, etc) processes and phase transformation occurs in, so called,
harsh environments at temperature ranging from 1000°C to 3000°C. Under
such extreme condition accurate monitoring of the process is challenging and
henceforth optimization of the energy consumption and process efficiency is
often based on empirical models and operator knowledge.
In this proposal we are presenting a new type of thermometer: Bb-OFT,
that allows monitoring of temperature in harsh environment. Unlike
thermocouples that measure temperatures only at a single point, Bb-OFT
have the capability to measure temperature at their tip but also along their
body, allowing the operator to obtain the temperature profile in the furnace.
Enabling furnace temperature profiling under such range of temperatures
(> 1000 °C) would be a breakthrough for optimizing energy consumption,
process efficiency but also safety. Indeed, localized hot spots can be formed
in a furnace and dangerous leaks may occur. Last incident known by the
author took place at Ovako s plant in Finland on 16th of May 2013 when
a pot used in steel casting burnt through. 65 tons of molten steel at an
estimated temperature of 1700°C was released. The incident caused several
fires leading to a maintenance stoppage of several weeks at the steel plant.
The device presented in this proposal could have helped to prevent this
incident.