To continue a trend we started in 2017, Industrial Heating will highlight a topic on our website and list the most-popular articles under that topic according to page views. We do this for two reasons: first, to showcase some of the outstanding content on www.industrialheating.com; second, to provide a useful resource for readers who have a particular interest in that topic.

As you will see, industrial gases and atmospheres covers a wide range of technologies – from combustion to endothermic generators to thermal oxidizers. Here is a list of the five most-viewed IGA articles on our website in 2018.

 

Combustion Technologies Improve Melting-Furnace Productivity

This article from June 2018 was clearly the most popular in this topic on our website last year. Provided by Air Products, it discussed how the unique capabilities of two new burners helped SDI La Farga increase productivity, decrease specific fuel consumption and significantly reduce burner maintenance time in its secondary copper-melting furnace. It also highlighted how new combustion technologies offer metals producers the ability to adjust the energy distribution profile and customize heat release to the requirements of a given melting operation.

SDI La Farga is a recycling operation that refines all types of processed copper to produce Cu-FRHC (fire-refined, high-conductivity) products. In 2014, the company experienced challenges with non-uniform heat distribution in their melting furnace, which led to uneven wear of the furnace lining and limited productivity. Their burners were also susceptible to frequent and prolonged maintenance delays from molten metal splashing and wear due to the corrosive atmosphere in the furnace.

 SDILF’s desire to address these challenges and achieve aggressive productivity targets led to the evaluation and implementation of unique combustion technologies capable of adapting to the diverse needs of the operation.

Read this article at www.industrialheating.com/meltcomb.

 

Endothermic Generators for Management

This article from April 2018 was comfortably in second place in our rankings. Its focus, obviously, is on endothermic generators. With a wide processing capability, endothermic (endo) gas is a common industrial process gas. And with readily available ingredients, endo gas is simple and economical to generate.

Jeff McLaughlin of McLaughlin Services looks at equipment requirements, mixing systems, heating systems, safety and energy payback in this article. Pertaining to safety, endo gas is explosive, so simple operation is a consideration. Manual control can easily create an unsafe condition with untrained operators. PLC-based control systems on new generators with automatic controls will shut down the generator before a dangerous condition can develop.

As for energy payback, did you know that many local utility companies – on top of the utility savings from normal operation – have rebate programs for energy savings from new, efficient equipment? If this is offered, do your homework because it’s free money.

The bottom line here is that newer equipment offers easy-to-use operator-friendly controls and improved production costs. And, with the increasing availability of rebates from utility companies, replacement of older generators is an option worth careful consideration.

This article can be found at www.industrialheating.com/endgen.

 

Advanced Metal Manufacturing: Precision Heating and Cooling

This article reviews industrial-gas technologies that the metals industry can use to respond, improve and even help transform advanced metal-parts manufacturing and processing. Specifically, it covers technologies for aluminum remelting, furnace atmosphere-control systems, deep cold treatment, powder-metal sintering and additive manufacturing.

Provided by Linde and published in October 2017 (also that issue’s cover story), this article is technically a two-parter. The second installment appeared as a web exclusive in November 2017. Part 1 focuses on aluminum remelting, atmosphere-control systems and deep cold treatment, and part 2 covers powder-metal sintering and additive manufacturing.

Whatever part you read, the conclusion here is simple: Industrial gases and related process-control technology play a critical role in forming, treating and finishing advanced metal parts. Responding to challenges is an ongoing process that can yield significant cost, quality and performance advantages.

Part 1 can be read here: www.industrialheating.com/AMM.

 

The Value of Scheduled Combustion-System Maintenance

Provided by industry veteran Mike Shay, who has wide range of experience with single-burner and multi-burner applications, this article provides some basic information concerning the maintenance and adjustment of combustion systems.

According to Shay, experience has shown that regularly scheduled inspection and maintenance of combustion systems can provide heating processes with reliable and predictable results. In addition, lack or absence of regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance can cause poor performance, higher-than-required fuel usage, higher levels of emission and unexpected component failures that lead to unnecessary and unwanted downtime.

This article, published in October 2018 and in fourth place in terms of page views, makes the argument that regularly scheduled combustion-system inspection and maintenance can provide longer equipment life, reduced downtime, improved product quality, energy savings and reduced emissions.

Read the entire article at www.industrialheating.com/combsched.

 

The Impact of Thermal Oxidizer Sizing on Melt-System Capacity

Number five on our list was provided by Epcon Industrial Systems and appeared in our February 2018 issue.

Aluminum parts producers are looking to metals-recovery systems to control the costs of primary and secondary aluminum purchases and to mitigate operating costs by capturing value from byproducts. Understanding the true rate-limiting factors when configuring and sizing a metals-recovery system is critical to realizing the full potential of the system. Additionally, managing energy within the system will have a large impact on the operating costs and uptime/maintainability of the system.

The article concludes that understanding and applying best practices in aluminum scrap-recycling systems are vital to realizing the full potential of the recovery system. It suggests that by focusing on properly sizing and configuring the thermal oxidizer early in the design process, operators will be able to realize the full potential of the metals-recovery system and avoid wasted melt-furnace capacity. Focusing on addressing emissions-control rate-limiting factors – whether for a new system or a retrofit – will help ensure overall project success.

This article can be found here: www.industrialheating.com/TOsize.

 

Conclusion

There you have it – the five most-read articles on our website pertaining to Industrial Gases and Atmospheres. Our hope is that you find these articles useful if you have an interest in this important topic. If you would like to search for additional IGA articles in our archives, visit www.industrialheating.com/IGA.