Title:
Suspended refractory curtain
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vertically suspended refractory wall having at least two rows of refractory shapes. Each refractory shape of the upper row has a recess in a bottom portion or a lower portion of the refractory shape. Each refractory shape of the lower row has a head portion or an upper portion that lockingly engages within at least a portion of the recess of the refractory shape of the upper row. The interlocked and vertically suspended refractory wall can be used as refractory curtain, such as within an industrial furnace.



Inventors:
Lindeman, Fred (Dubuque, IA, US)
Park, Timothy (Dubuque, IA, US)
Application Number:
12/156451
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
05/30/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F23M5/02
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Primary Examiner:
LAUX, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Douglas H. Pauley (Hoffman Estates, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A vertically suspended refractory wall comprising: a plurality of refractory shapes forming a first row and a second row vertically aligned with said first row, each said refractory shape having an upper portion and a lower portion, a flange of each said refractory shape extending away from an upper face of said upper portion, said refractory shape having a recess extending inward from a lower face of said lower portion, and at least a portion of said upper portion of said refractory shape of said second row lockingly engaged within at least a portion of said recess of said refractory shape of said first row.

2. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein adjacent said refractory shapes of said first row contact each other and adjacent said refractory shapes of said second row contact each other.

3. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said refractory shapes of said first row and said second row are tightly fit with respect to each other to seal the refractory wall from an upline side to a downline side of the suspended wall.

4. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 2, wherein said refractory shapes of said first row and said second row are tightly fit with respect to each other to seal the refractory wall from an upline side to a downline side of the suspended wall.

5. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 4, wherein said upper portion has a rectangular cross section.

6. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said upper portion of said second row engaged within said recess of said refractory shape of said first row vertically aligns said first row and said second row.

7. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said upper portion has a T-shaped cross section.

8. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said upper portion has a L-shaped cross section.

9. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said refractory shapes of said first row are adjacent each other at a first row joint, said refractory shapes of said second row are adjacent each other at a second row joint, and in a horizontal direction said first row joint is offset with respect to said second row joint.

10. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein outer edges of the suspended wall are free from an external structural support.

11. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein with said upper portion engaged within said recess said upper portion of said refractory shape of said second row interferes with a body of said second shape that forms said recess.

12. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein said recess of said refractory shape of said first row and said upper portion of said refractory shape of said second row have a correspondingly engageable shape.

13. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 1, wherein an upper face of said upper portion of said refractory shape of said second row has a surface shape that corresponds to said lower face of said lower portion of said refractory shape of said first row.

14. A vertically suspended refractory wall comprising: a plurality of refractory shapes forming at least two vertically aligned rows, each said refractory shape having an upper portion and a lower portion, each said refractory shape having a recess extending inward from a lower face of said lower portion, and at least a portion of said upper portion of said refractory shape of a lower row lockingly engaged within at least a portion of said recess of said refractory shape of an upper row.

15. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 14, wherein said flange has a neck and a head, and a first width of said head is greater than a second width of said neck.

16. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 14, wherein with said upper portion engaged within said recess said upper portion of said refractory shape of said lower row interferes with a body of said refractory shape of said upper row that forms said recess.

17. A vertically suspended wall according to claim 14, wherein said refractory shapes of said first row and said second row are tightly fit with respect to each other to seal the refractory wall from an upline side to a downline side of the suspended wall.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to at least two rows of refractory shapes forming a suspended refractory wall, wherein a head section of a refractory shape of a lower row engages with a recess within a refractory shape of an upper row to interlock the upper row with respect to the lower row.

2. Discussion of Related Art

Tongue and groove connections have been used to connect structural shapes with respect to each other. Known interlocking connections have been used to fix the horizontal position of structural shapes, with respect to each other.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Vertically aligned refractory shapes can be interlocked with respect to each other to form a vertically suspended refractory wall. The weight, due to gravity, of lower refractory shapes can be used to apply forces that interlock each lower row with respect to a corresponding upper row of refractory shapes. The assembled and interlocked refractory wall can be used as a suspended refractory curtain, such as in an industrial furnace to isolate or separate furnace zones.

In certain embodiments of this invention, a plurality of refractory shapes form two vertically aligned rows of refractory shapes. A head portion or another suitable upper portion or section of a refractory shape of the lower row can fit within or be engaged with at least a portion of a recess of a refractory shape of an upper row of refractory shapes, for example, to lockingly engage the refractory shapes of the lower row and a corresponding upper row.

A refractory wall of two or more rows of refractory shapes can be used to form a suspended refractory wall. In certain embodiments of this invention, the refractory shapes can be constructed or made of refractory materials or any other suitable material that can withstand the different temperature and other operating conditions, for example of an industrial environment, such as a furnace.

According to this invention, the upper row of refractory shapes can be connected to or engaged by a suitable structural support, such as a suspension metallic or other casting that is connected to or otherwise supported by a base structure or other suitable supporting structure. The second row and successive lower rows of refractory shapes can be connected or attached with respect to each other by engaging the head portion or upper portion of a refractory shape of a lower row with at least a portion of a recess within a portion, such as a bottom portion, of a refractory shape of an upper row.

The size and shape of a head portion or other upper portion can correspond to or have a similar cross sectional shape as a recess of the refractory shapes of the lower row. The shapes can be selected to fill the entire recess or only a portion of the recess.

In certain embodiments of this invention, the vertically suspended refractory wall can have unsupported vertical sides. For example, in some embodiments of this invention it is not necessary to have structural support or other bucking steel on one or more vertical sides of the suspended wall structure. Thus, down time and costs can be reduced when installing and/or retrofitting a suspended refractory curtain of an industrial furnace, according to this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This invention is explained in view of exemplary embodiments, making reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective front view of a plurality of rows or refractory shapes each including a plurality of refractory shapes interlocked with respect to each other to form a refractory wall;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a refractory shape or refractory brick, according to one embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of a refractory shape, according to one embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the refractory shape, as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the refractory shape, as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the refractory shape, as shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of a vertical refractory wall supported by structure at a head portion or an upper portion of an upper row of the refractory shapes, according to one embodiment of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows refractory wall 20 oriented in a generally vertical position, particularly with respect to horizontal direction 21. Refractory wall 20 of this invention can be supported with any suitable support structure or structural element. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,638,617, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated into this specification by reference, discloses a refractory curtain wall which is vertically suspended from a hanger bracket and/or a tubular member. Any other structure or structural element can be suitably connected to or attached with respect to refractory wall 20, particularly first row 22 of refractory wall 20, to structurally support refractory wall 20.

FIG. 7 shows structure 18 connected, attached and/or mounted with respect to refractory wall 20. According to this invention, it is also possible to support refractory wall 20 from the bottom of refractory wall 20, for example at or below the lowermost row of refractory shapes 30. Although FIGS. 1 and 7 show the lowermost row of refractory shapes 30 with recesses 38, in other embodiments of this invention, one or more refractories 30 of the lowermost row can have a closed bottom without recess 38.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, with refractory wall 20 according to this invention, it is not necessary to use bucking steel or any other framing or structural element on outer edges 28 and 29 of refractory wall 20. Thus, installation and/or replacement of an entire refractory wall 20 or even a portion of refractory wall 20 is simplified and more cost-effective as compared to conventional refractory curtain walls that require framing or other structural support at outer edges of the wall structure.

As shown in FIG. 1, a plurality of refractory shapes 30 form first row 22 and a plurality of refractory shapes 30 form second row 24. In some embodiments of this invention, second row 24 is vertically aligned with first row 22, such as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7. In other embodiments of this invention, additional second rows 24 can be positioned or interlocked with respect to first row 22 or any other row positioned below second row 24. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, refractory wall 20 comprises more than two rows of refractory shapes 30. Depending upon a particular design requirement, any other suitable shape and/or size of refractory wall 20 can be constructed with any other suitable shape and/or size of refractory shapes 30 according to this invention.

As shown in FIGS. 2-6, each refractory shape 30 has upper portion 32 and lower portion 36. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, flange 34 extends away from or outward with respect to upper face 33. Any other suitable projection or structural equivalent to upper portion 32 can be integrated with body 31 or can be a separate and connected part or component with respect to body 31 of refractory shape 30.

In some embodiments of this invention, each refractory shape 30 has recess 38 that extends inward or into and from lower face 37 of lower portion 36.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, at least a portion of upper portion 32 of each refractory shape 30 of lower or second row 24 is lockingly engaged within at least a portion of a corresponding recess 38 of a corresponding refractory shape 30 of upper or first row 22.

Flange 34 and/or upper portion 32 can have any suitable shape, dimension and/or design that correspondingly fits within recess 38 to lockingly engage refractory shape 30 of first row 22 with a corresponding refractory shape 30 of second row 24.

In some embodiment of this invention, upper portion 32 tightly fits within recess 38. In certain embodiments of this invention, refractory shapes 30 of first row 22 and refractory shapes 30 of second row 24 are tightly fit with respect to each other to form a barrier or to seal refractory wall 20. For example, refractory wall 20 can be vertically suspended in an industrial furnace and refractory shapes 30 can fit tightly with respect to each other so that upline side 26 of refractory wall 20 is isolated from or sealed with respect to or prevents flow in a desired manner to downline side 27 of refractory wall 20.

In certain embodiments of this invention, within each first row 22 adjacent refractory shapes 30 contact or abut each other. Likewise, in second row 24 and/or any lower row of refractory shapes 30, adjacent refractory shapes 30 contact each other. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, refractory shapes 30 of first row 22 form joint 23 between adjacent refractory shapes 30. Refractory shapes 30 of second row 24 form joint 25 between adjacent refractory shapes 30. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, in horizontal direction 21, joint 23 and joint 25 are offset with respect to each other. In other embodiments of this invention, joint 23 is offset at a different position with respect to joint 25. In yet other embodiments of this invention, joints 23 can be aligned with joints 25.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, outer edges 28 and 29 of suspended wall 20 are free from any external structural support or other structural member. In other embodiments of this invention, structural support can be added to enhance the structural integrity of refractory wall 20.

In certain embodiments of this invention, upper portion 32 has an overall rectangular cross section. As shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 7, upper portion 32 has an overall T-shaped cross section. In other embodiments of this invention, upper portion 32 can have an overall L-shaped cross section, a C-shaped cross section, an arcuate cross section or any other suitably shaped cross section, particularly if the cross-sectional shape corresponds to or engages with the corresponding shape and/or size of recess 38.

In certain embodiments of this invention, when connected with respect to each other, a plurality of rows 22 and 24 form refractory wall 20 with an overall vertically aligned shape. For example, upline side 26 and/or downline side 27 of refractory wall 20 can have a relatively flat or planar overall surface.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, with upper portion 32 engaged within at least a portion of recess 38 of a corresponding refractory shape 30 of first row 22, upper portion 32 interferes with body 31 that forms recess 38, for example to lockingly engage refractory shape 30 of second row 24 with respect to refractory shape 30 of first row 22. Any suitable size, shape and/or design of upper portion 32 and/or flange 34 can be used to connect, attach and/or lockingly engage vertically adjacent refractories 30, such as within first row 22 and second row 24.

In some embodiments according to this invention, in order to form a relatively tight fit, upper portion 32 and/or flange 34 of each refractory shape 30 has a shape that corresponds to recess 38 of refractory shape 30 of first row 22. The corresponding shapes can be used to form a relatively tight fit and thus seal or otherwise significantly limit flow from upline side 26 to downline side 27 of refractory wall 20.

In other embodiments according to this invention, upper face 33 can have a surface shape that corresponds to the shape of lower face 37, so that connected, engaged and/or stacked rows of refractory shapes 30 are sealed with respect to each other or prevent or limit flow across refractory wall 20, particularly from upline side 26 to downline side 27 of refractory wall 20.

In some embodiments of this invention, flange 34 has a neck and a head. To lockingly engage two vertically aligned refractory shapes 30, a width of the head can be greater than a width of the neck. With such arrangement, such as shown in FIGS. 1 and 7, two or more rows of refractory shapes 30 can be stacked with respect to each other in a self supporting manner.

Refractory shape 30 of this invention can comprise any other suitable refractory, refractory brick, refractory block or other similar structure, such as those used in an industrial furnace or a commercial furnace operating at a relatively high temperature. The dimensions, shapes and/or proportions of refractory 30 can be varied to accommodate any suitable use of refractory wall 20. Refractory shape 30 can be constructed from any suitable refractory material, such as refractory materials that can withstand relatively high temperatures without degrading or warping. For example, refractory shape 30 can be constructed of any suitable zircon, fireclay, silica, alumina, chromite and/or silicon carbide material.

While in the foregoing specification this invention has been described in relation to certain preferred embodiments thereof, and many details have been set forth for purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention is susceptible to additional embodiments and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the basic principles of the invention.