A transient inverse heat conduction problem focused on gas quenching of steel plates and rings is posed and solved, both analytically and numerically. The quenching objective is to calculate the transient convective heat transfer coefficient which would produce an optimized phase transformation cooling curve. The governing nonlinear heat equation is nondimensionalised, and a small parameter, the reciprocal of the Fourier number, is identified. This allows the construction of an analytic solution in the form of an asymptotic series. For higher values of the reciprocal Fourier number, a numerical scheme incorporating the function specification and Keller Box methods is used to generate solutions. Comparison of the results proves favorable, and suggests that for this inverse problem asymptotic methods provide an attractive alternative to solely numerical ones.

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