With StrikoWestofen’s newly developed mobile heating station, ceramic components of dosing furnaces can now be heated up directly on site. As a result, riser tubes, filling funnels etc. can be carefully heated to the ideal temperature of 400ºC right before use. Until now, this crucial process has often been performed incorrectly using improvised set-ups, simply because the market did not offer any well-designed technical solutions to the problem. Not only did this put the integrity of the ceramics at risk, it also compromised the safety of foundry workers.
It’s a phenomenon we are all familiar with: when a teapot kept in a cold place is hit by briskly boiling water, the ceramics crack. This is known as “thermal shock” - an abrupt change in temperature that leads to mechanical tensions between the part of the material which is still cold and the part which is already hot. Cracks are the result.
The same applies to ceramic components in dosing furnaces, such as riser tubes or filling funnels, and it is why they should be carefully pre-heated before being used in or on the furnace. However, this heating process is currently often carried out using inappropriate methods, causing more damage than the pre-heating is supposed to prevent.
As of today, StrikoWestofen is offering its customers a new solution to tackle thermal shock: a mobile heating station with which ceramic components can be heated uniformly to the ideal temperature of 400ºC. The unit can be used anywhere and can be placed directly next to the dosing furnace. This improves foundry logistics, as the ceramic parts can be installed directly after the heating process, without having to be transported first.
The new station has two separate heating zones which can be controlled independently of one another. This means components can be heated to different temperatures at the same time. Various adapter rings allow the flexible loading of the heating station. They also simplify handling for workers and protect them from injury.
“The advantages of our mobile heating station are obvious: the uniform heating of ceramic components extends their life span. Plant downtime due to repairs are minimised, which in turn has a positive effect on the overall productivity of the foundry,” explains Holger Stephan, VP AM Sales Support & Service at StrikoWestofen in Gummersbach.
The station is heated electrically using a standard CEE 16 amperes plug - no special adapter needed. StrikoWestofen’s new mobile heating station will be available in Europe and Asia from the second and third quarter of 2018, with the US, Mexico and the rest of the world to follow in the fourth quarter.