Prior to the welding process, material is blended to match the wall type and mixed with alum oxide and silicon metal. This material is then blown in on our patented equipment with a stream of oxygen. The silicon metal is then heated to ~5000°F and fuses the wall back together. This unique process requires no welding rod, producing a reaction similar to that of welder’s torch.
Ceramic welding is applied during furnace operation by conveying a dry mixture of refractory aggregate and oxidizable particles together through specially designed watercooled lances. Many different lance sizes and configurations can be utilized to reach damaged areas inside the furnace or vessel.
Ceramic Welding Benefits
No Down Time
The key benefit of using ceramic welding is that it is performed while the furnace or vessel is at or near operating temperature. There is no need for shut down or even cool down. The end result is no or minimal loss of production. With the sometimes staggering cost of even a partial rebuild or reline, ceramic welding becomes an attractive alternative to extending furnace or vessel life.
The oxygen-rich stream of powder contacts the hot furnace refractory lining where the metals oxidize during a highly-exothermic reaction. Enough heat is produced (between 1600-2200°F) by the combustion of the metals to melt the surface area of the refractory particles in the mixture as well as the surface of the damaged refractory lining. This reaction creates a long-lasting durable bond.
Ceramic welding does, in fact, provide a very similar weld mass compared to the substrate refractory being restored. Difficult repairs are better facilitated with the use of Fuse Tech’s special water-and-air-cooled furnace viewing equipment which allows technicians to view hard-to-see areas of interest. This equipment is capable of recording color or black and white video with audio.
Fuse Tech is also able to print on-site photographs of any area inside the furnace or vessel. This provides a useful tool to help gauge ceramic welding value by showing customers the before and after photos of the repairs.
- No Down Time
- Durable Bonds
- Visual Accuracy
- Repair Verification
EASIER ACCESS USING THE DIAMOND CHAINSAW
Fuse Tech has the capability to cut through refractory walls and crowns with a diamond chainsaw while the production unit is in operation. This service is used to provide access entry points for Fuse Tech’s Ceramic Welding Service as well as to provide additional openings in furnaces for peepholes, oxy fuel conversions, drain or tapout openings, and expansion joints where required. Not only do we provide our own access openings, but we also employ masons with many years of quality experience to brick in and seal the openings when we are finished with repairs inside the furnace or vessel.
The latest addition to the Fuse Tech/Hot Tech refractory cutting equipment is the water-cooled ring saw. This saw allows straight accurate cutting both vertically and horizontally on both hot and cold walls. When possible, a wall-cutting rail is used to allow precise and accurate straight level cuts. If the wall is thicker than 10″ the initial cut is made with the ring saw for accuracy and the remaining material would be cut using the conventional water-cooled diamond chain saw.
Glass furnaces are required over a long period of time to produce quality glass at the most efficient rate possible. Extending and maximizing the life of a furnace is a top priority which can be challenging when keeping costs low and efficiency high. When replacements and cold repair shutdowns are not an option, hot repair is an ideal answer. Fuse Tech provides high quality, turnkey solutions for a variety of hot repair needs, including sidewall, superstructure, crown and regenerator capabilities.
When damage is severe and a more in-depth repair or redesign is required, cold repair is the preferred option. This requires a controlled cool down or complete shutdown and emptying of the furnace to make the needed replacements and repairs. Due to the production stoppage, it is critical to have an experienced team to complete this process as quickly as possible, without compromising quality or safety protocols. Fuse Tech offers a complete solution from assessment to completion, keeping the suspension of production as short as possible. Our end result will be a more efficient furnace, maximizing long-term production at the lowest cost possible.
Hot Tech offers a variety of overcoating procedures to repair or replace sidewalls. Regular overcoating of the sidewall is a good maintenance practice to extend the life of the sidewall. After a while, overcoating will not be enough and a rebuild may need to occur.
When conducting the overcoating step, the glass containment area of the furnace needs special attention to be certain that the molten glass is “frozen off” behind the old existing wall. This ensures the overcoat will be secured to the wall surface and not glass.
REBUILDS: Refurbishment and Replacement
Hot Tech supplies a complete range of services for furnace rebuild projects including refurbishment to total replacement. Our expert technicians work to meet the design specifications of the furnace. We obtain all supplies necessary to rebuild or replace components as needed. Once the furnace is adjusted for maintenance, we want nothing to slow the rebuild work. Our mission is to minimize downtime.
Our extensive rebuild experience includes not only the furnace but we work with specialists in metal ductwork, steelwork, pipework, and refractory materials. The needed materials are supplied by our quality network of suppliers.
Our fully-equipped truck is set with all the necessary equipment needed for any work we conduct on site. The extensive speciality equipment needed for safely drilling glass furnaces, coupled with the expert knowledge, makes hiring out this work the best economic choice.
Our water-cooled equipment is a must for replacing thermocouples, electrodes, and bubblers both above and below glass on operating furnaces. This equipment is also useful for most installations on furnaces under construction because of the material hardness of the refractory.
Burner Block Replacement
Extending furnace life and keeping emissions within allowed limits make burner block performance an important element to both efficient operation and overall glass quality. We can evaluate the condition of this equipment and, if necessary, replace the old ones. Through the use of water-cooled chainsaws, the old blocks can be removed and, if necessary, new ones of different size or configuration can be installed.
These blocks are the channel which directs the heat, ensuring these are intact for optimal fuel use. This is an important step in regular maintenance.