Furnace Technologies – Gases used in ferrous metals


Although readers in the US and Canada may associate the name ‘furnace’ with central heating systems, this interpretation will not be discussed in this article. Instead, we will be focusing on furnace technologies and their roles within the ferrous metals industry, for steel production for example.

The earliest recorded furnace applications (circa 2500-1900 BC) were for making ceramic items but in the 21st century, metallurgical furnace technologies outnumber all others. It seems most logical to categorise furnace technologies by the industrial activities that they serve.

The reverberatory furnace
Specifically constructed to prevent direct contact between the charged material and the fuel, but not the combustion gases, this furnace type consists of two adjacent, closed chambers.

Solid fuel like wood, coal or coke is burnt in the first chamber or firebox, allowing the flame to blow across the charge and reverberate back off the arched roof and rear of the second chamber, before escaping via the flue opening.

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