Inspection Areas

FURNACE BOTTOM INSPECTION

Managing the health of a furnace bottom can be a complicated and risky issue. Previous methods of furnace bottom inspection have been speculative and required unsafe drilling into the refractory without knowing the vulnerability of the drilling area. If recycled glass is used, the presence of cullet creates even greater risk as metal begins to drill into the bottom. While drilling provides detail about the condition of a specific spot, SmartMelter® provides a three dimensional picture of the full furnace bottom.

Inspecting a Furnace Bottom for Glass Infiltration

First, the SmartMelter® team maps the furnace bottom into sections so that the exact location of each measurement can be identified in SmartMelter® XSight software. Next, your trained staff takes a measurement of each section from the outside of the furnace bottom. The furnace and any water cooling methods remain in operation.

Analyzing Data From the Furnace Bottom

Finally, our data analysis team ensures data quality and produces the furnace bottom inspection results as a visualized 3-D map and as color-coded data with detailed measurement information.

Smartmelter Mapping of Glass Penetration Over Time

Regular furnace monitoring with SmartMelter® will show the progress of glass infiltration over time. This data can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of cooling techniques and other preventative measures.

Measuring Over Metal Grating

Because radar cannot penetrate steel, inspection of a furnace bottom that is covered with steel can be challenging. SmartMelter® sensors are small and can fit within the openings of various steel grating, although it depends on the grating design. SmartMelter®-friendly grating is available off the shelf from various suppliers.

Glass Penetration Mapping of Full Steel Plate Furnace Bottoms

In the case of solid steel sheeting or grating that does not provide enough opening for our sensors, we have developed a protocol that overcomes this challenge and allows the inspection of specific areas of concern. Small areas of steel are cut away from high temperature areas without damaging the refractory. These areas are just large enough for a SmartMelter® sensor to collect data and assess the condition of that area.

Case and Validation Studies for Furnace Bottom Inspections

The following case studies outline how SmartMelter® Monitoring helped Cardinal Glass avoid unexpected leaks and save millions of dollars on furnace repair.

FURNACE SIDEWALL INSPECTION

The ability to see into furnace sidewalls expands the capabilities of manufacturers to manage furnace health. Optimize overcoats to extend furnace life. Evaluate batching patterns or cooling techniques. Determine how much to lower the glass level before a hot repair is planned, and identify exactly which blocks need to be replaced. The SmartMelter® monitoring program makes all of these decisions possible with regular furnace sidewall inspections.

First, the SmartMelter® team maps the furnace sidewalls into sections so that the exact location of each measurement can be identified in XSight software. Once the mapping is complete, two types of furnace sidewall inspections can be performed by your trained staff.

Metal (Glass) Line Inspection

Residual refractory thickness at the metal line is measured by placing the sensor directly on the refractory wall. SmartMelter currently measures fused-cast AZS and High Zirconia refractory wall thickness. Our current sensors have limited success with Chrome-Alumina refractories. In our roadmap, we  plan on extending our solution to cover Chrome-Alumina and dense Chrome refractory. Please inquire with us for details. 

SmartMelter uses the RTS200 sensor to measure the thinnest spot within roughly 150mm x 150mm area on the refractory block. For an 18-inch (450 mm) wide block, our protocol is to take three measurements (left, center and right of the block). For metal grating, SmartMelter has recently developed a new RTS100G that is designed for measuring through the grating. This sensor is shown on the left.

Analyzing Data from a Metal (Glass) Line Inspection

The Refractory Thickness Sensor (RTS) records the interface between the glass and the wall to record an accurate measurement. Our data analysis team ensures data quality and produces the results of the metal line inspection that is color-coded to easily identify problem areas.

Sidewall Insulation Inspection

Below the glass line, measurements are taken by placing the sensor directly on the outside insulation layer. Sidewall Insulation inspection identifies any glass penetration into the insulation to avoid any potential glass leak. SmartMelter is frequently used in Risk management of sidewall glass leak since refractories tend to have manufacturing voids, especially close to the bottom of the sidewalls.

Analyzing Data from a Sidewall Insulation Inspection

The Furnace Tomography Sensor (FTS) interacts with the insulation layers to map early-stage glass penetration and measure residual insulation thickness. Our data analysis team ensures data quality and produces the results of the sidewall inspection visualized in a 3-D map in case of glass penetration.

Insulation and Refractories that Can Be Monitored

Case and Validation Studies for Furnace Sidewall Inspections

The following case study explains how Libbey Glass was able to increase the campaign life on one of a furnace by 25% using SmartMelter® monitoring.

FURNACE THROAT INSPECTION

The SmartMelter® Monitoring Program can be used for regular furnace throat inspection to measure refractory thickness.

Inspecting Furnace Throats for Residual Thickness

First, the SmartMelter® team maps the furnace throat into sections on facer and cover blocks so that the exact location of each measurement can be identified in XSight software. Once mapping is complete, your trained staff can take measurements by placing the sensor directly on the outside of the block. Our data analysis team ensures data quality and produces the results of the throat inspection that is color coded to easily identify problem areas.

FURNACE SPECIALTY BLOCK INSPECTION

The SmartMelter® monitoring program can be used to inspect specialty block, such as electrode blocks.

Identifying Specialty Block for Inspection

Once you identify which blocks should be selected for inspection, our team prepares the blocks for measurement. The selected blocks are mapped so that the exact location of each measurement can be identified in XSight software.

Visualization of Inspected Specialty Block

Your trained staff takes a measurement of each section from the outside of the specialty block. If electrode blocks are being inspected, the electrodes must be briefly powered off. Our data analysis team ensures data quality and produces the specialty block inspection results with a mapping of the block thickness at the inspection points.

FURNACE CROWN INSPECTION

SmartMelter® enhances endoscopy with deterministic data for a more complete evaluation of your furnace crown. The SmartMelter® Monitoring Program can be used to deterministically monitor the erosion at the area of concern based on the endoscopy inspection.

Inspecting Furnace Crowns for Residual Thickness

The furnace crown inspection program is currently in the development stage and will be released soon. First, endoscopy is used to identify vulnerable areas in the furnace crown. Then, these areas are mapped so that the exact location of each measurement can be identified in XSight software. Your trained staff collects measurements by placing the sensor directly on the outside of the block. Our data analysis team ensures data quality and returns a 3-D visualization map of the measured areas along with the residual thickness measurements.