Friday, July 21, 2017

Fuel Based Furnace Types and Applications

Large furnace
Large furnace in production (Hotfoil-EHS)
With fuel-based systems, heat is generated by the combustion of solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel, and transferred either directly or indirectly to the material. The combustion gases can be either in contact with the material (direct heating), or be con ned and thus be separated from the material (indirect heating, e.g., radiant burner tube, retort, muffle). Examples of fuel-based process heating equipment include furnaces, ovens, kilns, lehrs, and melters.

Fuel-based process heating systems are common in nearly every industry segment, and include furnaces like ovens, heaters, kilns, and melters, but also the surface treatment in ambient air. Typical fuel-based furnaces include the following:

  • Atmosphere generators. Used to prepare and/or condition protective atmospheres. Processes include the manufacture of endothermic gas used primarily to protect steel and iron during processing, and exothermic gas used to protect metals, but also to purge oxygen or volatile gases from con ned areas.
  • Blast furnaces. Furnaces that burn solid fuel with a blast of air, often used to smelt ore.
  • Crucible furnaces. A furnace in which the heated materials are held in a refractory vessel for processes such as melting or calcining.
  • Dryer. A device that removes free water, or other volatile components, from materials through direct or indirect heating. Dryers can be grouped into several categories based on factors such as continuous versus batch operation, type of material handling system, or source of heat generation.
  • Indirect process heaters. Used to indirectly heat a variety of materials by remotely heating and circulating a heat transfer uid.
  • Kilns. A furnace used to bake, dry, and re ceramic ware or wood. Kilns are also used for
    Heat treating furnace (Hotfoil-EHS)
    calcining ores.
  • Lehrs. An enclosed oven or furnace used for annealing, or other forms of heat treatment, particularly in glass manufacturing. Lehrs may be the open type (in which the flame comes in contact with the ware), or the muffle type.
  • Muffle furnaces. A furnace in which heat is applied to the outside of a refractory chamber or another enclosure containing the heated material that is enveloped by the hot gases. The heat must reach the charge by flowing through the walls of the container.
  • Ovens. A furnace-like chamber in which substances are heated for purposes, such as baking, annealing, curing, and drying. Heated systems can use forced convection or infrared.
  • Radiant-tube heat-treating furnaces. Used for processing iron, steel, and aluminum under a controlled atmosphere. The flame is contained within tubes that radiate heat to the work. Processes include carburizing, hardening, carbo-nitriding, and austempering. The atmosphere may be inert, reducing, or oxidizing.
  • Reverberatory furnaces. Furnaces in which open flames heat the upper portion of a chamber (crown). Heat is transferred to the material mainly by radiation ( flame, reflection of the flame by the crown) and convection (combustion gases).
  • Salt bath furnaces. Metal pot furnaces filled with molten salt where heat is applied to the outside of the pot or inside of the pot by radiant tube. Salt bath furnaces are used for processes such as heat treating metals and curing plastics and rubber.
  • Solid waste incinerators. Used to dispose of solid waste material through burning.
  • Thermal oxidizers. Used to oxidize volatile organic compounds (VOC) in various industrial waste streams. Processes include paint and polymer curing and/or drying.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Induction Heating Basics

Induction Heating
Induction heating coils
around large pipe for
pre-weld heat treatment.
Induction heating occurs when passing alternating magnetic fields through conductive materials. This is accomplished by placing an alternating current carrying coil around or in close proximity to the materials. The alternating fields generate eddy currents in the materials. These currents interact with the resistance of the material to produce heat. There is a secondary heating process called hysteresis. This disappears at the temperature at which the material loses its magnetic properties.

Direct Induction
Direct induction heating occurs when the material to be heated is in the direct alternating magnetic field. The frequency of the electromagnetic field and the electric properties of the material determine the penetration depth of the field, thus enabling the localized, near-surface heating of the material. 

Comparably high power densities and high heating rates can be achieved. Direct induction heating is primarily used in the metals industry for melting, heating, and heat treatment (hardening, tempering, and annealing).

Indirect Induction
With indirect induction heating, a strong electromagnetic field generated by a water- cooled coil induces an eddy current into an electrically conducting material (susceptor), which is in contact with the material to be treated. Indirect induction heating is often used to melt optical glasses in platinum crucibles, to sinter ceramic powders in graphite crucibles, and to melt materials in crucibles prior to drawing crystals. Indirect induction is also used to heat susceptors used for joining operations.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Fourth of July from HotfoilEHS

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

THOMAS JEFFERSON, Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Quick Facts About Welding as a Profession

Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Because of its strength, welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and thousands of other manufacturing activities. Welding also is used to join steel beams in the construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures and to join pipes in pipelines, power plants, and refineries.

Welders work in a wide variety of industries, from car racing to manufacturing. The work that welders do and the equipment they use vary with the industry. Arc welding, the most common type of welding today, uses electrical currents to create heat and bond metals together—but there are more than 100 different processes that a welder can use. The type of weld normally is determined by the types of metals being joined and the conditions under which the welding is to take place.

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers typically do the following:
  • Study blueprints, sketches, or specifications
  • Calculate dimensions to be welded
  • Inspect structures or materials to be welded
  • Ignite torches or start power supplies
  • Monitor the welding process to avoid overheating
  • Maintain equipment and machinery

The median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $39,390 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,800, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,100.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
  • Specialty trade contractors - $42,900
  • Repair and maintenance - $39,340
  • Manufacturing - $38,200
  • Merchant wholesalers, durable goods - $37,790
Wages for welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers vary with the worker’s experience and skill level, the industry, and the size of the company.

Most welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers work full time, and overtime is common. Many manufacturing firms have two or three 8- to 12-hour shifts each day, allowing the firm to continue production around the clock if needed. As a result, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers may work evenings and weekends.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Process Heating: Induction

Induction Heater
Induction heating coils around large pipe
in preparation of welding.
The principles of induction heating have been applied to manufacturing operations since the 1930s, when the first channel-type induction furnaces were introduced for metals melting operations. Soon afterward, coreless induction furnaces were developed for melting, superheating, and holding. In the 1940s, the technology was also used to harden metal engine parts. More recently, an emphasis on improved quality control has led to increased use of induction technology in the ferrous and nonferrous metals industries.

In a basic induction heating setup, a solid state power supply sends an alternating current (AC) through a copper coil, and the part to be heated is placed inside the coil. When a metal part is placed within the coil and enters the magnetic eld, circulating eddy currents are induced within the part. These currents ow against the electrical resistivity of the metal, generating precise and localized heat without any direct contact between the part and the coil. 

An induction furnace induces an electric current in the material to be melted, creating eddy currents which dissipate energy and produce heat. The current is induced by surrounding the material with a wire coil carrying an electric current. When the material begins to melt, electromagnetic forces agitate and mix it. Mixing and melting rates can be controlled by varying the frequency and power of the current in the wire coil. Coreless furnaces have a refractory crucible surrounded by a water-cooled AC current coil. Coreless induction furnaces are used primarily for remelting in foundry operations and for vacuum refining of specialty metals.

Induction heating power console
Induction heating power console (Hotfoil-EHS)
Channel furnaces have a primary coil wound on a core. The secondary side of the core is in the furnace interior, surrounded by a molten metal loop. Channel furnaces are usually holding furnaces for nonferrous metals melting, combined with a fuel- red cupola, arc, or coreless induction furnace, although they are also used for melting as well.

The efficiency of an induction heating system for a specific application depends on several factors: the characteristics of the part itself, the design of the induction coil, the capacity of the power supply, and the degree of temperature change required for the application.

Induction heating works directly with conductive materials only, typically metals. Plastics and other nonconductive materials often can be heated indirectly by first heating a conductive metal medium that transfers heat to the nonconductive material.

With conductive materials, about 80% of the heating effect occurs on the surface or “skin” of the part. The heating intensity diminishes as the distance from the surface increases, so small or thin parts generally heat more quickly than large thick parts, especially if the larger parts need to be heated all the way through.

Induction heating can also be used to heat liquids in vessels and pipelines, primarily in the petrochemical industry. Induction heating involves no contact between the material being heating and the heat source, which is important for some operations. This lack of contact facilitates automation of the manufacturing processes. Other examples include heat treating, curing of coatings, and drying.

Induction heating often is used where repetitive operations are performed. Once an induction system is calibrated for a part, work pieces can be loaded and unloaded automatically. Induction systems are often used in applications where only a small selected part of a work piece needs to be heated. Because induction systems are clean and release no emissions, sometimes a part can be hardened on an assembly line without having to go to a remote heat treating operation.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hotfoil-EHS Attending the 2017 Global Petroleum Show in Calgary

Hotfoil-EHS is pleased to announce our products will be on display at the Global Petroleum Show on June 13 through 15, 2017 at the Stampede Park in Calgary, Canada.

Hofoil-EHS will in exhibiting as a guest of Stein Industries in London, Ontario. Stein will be exhibiting its high quality, custom designed, affordable induction heaters built to withstand harsh environments with wide applications.

This is a great opportunity to see major welding equipment vendors and new technologies being introduced. If you plan on being at the Global Petroleum Show, please stop by the Stein Industries at booth 4404.

The Global Petroleum Show provides direct access to the entire supply chain, innovative technologies, products & services and a massive number of educational seminars within the energy sector. Global Petroleum Show is an industry leading event, where more than 50,000 energy professionals from more than 90 countries converge for three days to strengthen business relationships, network, and do business with more than 1,000 exhibitors. During this pivotal, evolutionary period for the oil & gas sector, it’s never been more vital to re-connect with your global industry. From upstream to downstream, GPS provides a forum where business gets done.