Glass Furnace Hot Repairs
The simplified version of the biggest challenge to glass manufacturing was traditionally defined as finding a container to economically hold and melt glass at the required temperatures (1204oC to 1593oC) as to convert batch materials to a molten product suitable for forming.
To date tremendous improvements have been achieved with the use of refractory materials held in a binding steel framework. The glass furnace is actually defined as a masonry structure made of materials that can withstand the searing temperatures and corrosive actions that go into making glass.
Furnace Hot Repairs
Hot repairs are preventive maintenance interventions made on a furnace in its hot state to restore it to a good and safe operating condition. Hot repairs are carried out while conforming to Health and Safety Regulations and are guided by procedures and work instructions that avoid injury (burns) and heat stress on personnel. Hot repair works include the following:
- Ceramic welding
- Furnace endoscopy and Thermal Imaging Audits
- Furnace Draining, Cooldown, Heat-up and expansion joint sealing
- Port paving cleaning
- Checker sulphate cleaning
- Target wall repairs and checker removal
- Crown castable overcoat
- Port cap castable overcoat
- Furnace drilling
Benefits of Hot Repairs
Timeous hot furnace repairs result in direct and indirect benefits for the following aspects:
Furnace Life Extension
Generally, annual refractory costs represent a significant portion of a glass furnace. Extending the life of refractories by a year will result in savings on the refractory materials cost of up to 50%. Even smaller extensions (fractions of a year) may be worthwhile. The hot repairs result in production disruptions however this is minimal as they require no cooldown time and procedures.
Maintaining the furnace in good condition helps to keep the fuel efficiencies of the system at optimal levels, ultimately avoiding additional fuel costs that would be incurred due to lowering of efficiencies.
Maintaining the furnace in good condition results in the system’s ability to consistently melt all the glass required for production to the required levels, ultimately maintaining optimum levels of system throughputs and quality.