Muffle furnace

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An Automatic Oil Muffle Furnace, circa 1910. Petroleum is contained in tank A, and is kept under pressure by pumping at intervals with the wooden handle, so that when the valve B is opened, the oil is vaporized by passing through a heating coil at the furnace entrance, and when ignited burns fiercely as a gas flame. This passes into the furnace through the two holes, C, C, and plays under and up around the muffle D, standing on a fireclay slab. The doorway is closed by two fireclay blocks at E. Automatic Oil Muffle Furnace.png
An Automatic Oil Muffle Furnace, circa 1910. Petroleum is contained in tank A, and is kept under pressure by pumping at intervals with the wooden handle, so that when the valve B is opened, the oil is vaporized by passing through a heating coil at the furnace entrance, and when ignited burns fiercely as a gas flame. This passes into the furnace through the two holes, C, C, and plays under and up around the muffle D, standing on a fireclay slab. The doorway is closed by two fireclay blocks at E.
High temperature muffle-furnace, maximum temperature is 1,473 K (1,200 degC; 2,192 degF). Muffle-furnace.jpg
High temperature muffle-furnace, maximum temperature is 1,473  K (1,200 °C; 2,192 °F).

A muffle furnace or muffle oven (sometimes retort furnace in historical usage) is a furnace in which the subject material is isolated from the fuel and all of the products of combustion, including gases and flying ash. [1] After the development of high-temperature heating elements and widespread electrification in developed countries, new muffle furnaces quickly moved to electric designs. [2]

Contents

Modern furnace

Today, a muffle furnace is often a front-loading box-type oven or kiln for high-temperature applications such as fusing glass, creating enamel coatings, ceramics and soldering and brazing articles. They are also used in many research facilities, for example by chemists in order to determine what proportion of a sample is non-combustible and non-volatile (i.e., ash). Some models incorporate programmable digital controllers, allowing automatic execution of ramping, soaking, and sintering steps. [3] Also, advances in materials for heating elements, such as molybdenum disilicide, can now produce working temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Celsius (3,272 degrees Fahrenheit), which facilitate more sophisticated metallurgical applications. [ citation needed ] The heat source may be gas or oil burners, but more often they are now electric.

The term muffle furnace may also be used to describe another oven constructed on many of the same principles as the box-type kiln mentioned above, but takes the form of a long, wide, and thin hollow tube used in roll-to-roll manufacturing processes.[ citation needed ]

Both of the above-mentioned furnaces are usually heated to desired temperatures by conduction, convection, or blackbody radiation from electrical resistance heater elements.[ citation needed ] Therefore, there is (usually) no combustion involved in the temperature control of the system, which allows for much greater control of temperature uniformity and assures isolation of the material being heated from the byproducts of fuel combustion.

Muffle kilns

Historically, small muffle ovens were often used for a second firing of porcelain at a relatively low temperature to fix overglaze enamels; these tend to be called muffle kilns. The pigments for most enamel colours discoloured at the high temperatures required for the body and glaze of the porcelain. They were used for painted enamels on metal for the same reason.

Like other types of muffle furnaces, the design isolates the objects from the flames producing the heat (with electricity this is not so important). For historical overglaze enamels the kiln was generally far smaller than that for the main firing, and produced firing temperatures in the approximate range of 750 to 950 °C, depending on the colours used. Typically, wares were fired for between five and twelve hours and then cooled over twelve hours. [4]

See also

Related Research Articles

Kiln Oven that generates high temperatures

A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, a type of oven, that produces temperatures sufficient to complete some process, such as hardening, drying, or chemical changes. Kilns have been used for millennia to turn objects made from clay into pottery, tiles and bricks. Various industries use rotary kilns for pyroprocessing—to calcinate ores, to calcinate limestone to lime for cement, and to transform many other materials.

Producer gas

Producer gas is fuel gas that is manufactured from material such as coal, as opposed to natural gas. It can be produced from various fuels by partial combustion with air, usually modified by simultaneous injection of water or steam to maintain a constant temperature and obtain a higher heat content gas by enrichment of air gas with hydrogen. In this respect it is similar to other types of "manufactured" gas, such as coal gas, coke oven gas, water gas and carburetted water gas. Producer gas was used primarily as an industrial fuel for iron and steel manufacturing, such as firing coke ovens and blast furnaces, cement and ceramic kilns, or for mechanical power through gas engines. It was characteristically low in heating value but cheap to make, so that large amounts could be made and burned.

Boiler

A boiler is a closed vessel in which fluid is heated. The fluid does not necessarily boil. The heated or vaporized fluid exits the boiler for use in various processes or heating applications, including water heating, central heating, boiler-based power generation, cooking, and sanitation.

Barbecue grill

A barbecue grill is a device that cooks food by applying heat from below. There are several varieties of grills, with most falling into one of three categories: gas-fueled, charcoal, or electric. There is debate over which method yields superior results.

Fluidized bed combustion

Fluidized bed combustion (FBC) is a combustion technology used to burn solid fuels.

Oven

An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking, or drying of a substance, and most commonly used for cooking. Kilns and furnaces are special-purpose ovens used in pottery and metalworking, respectively.

Stove Device that burns fuel to heat items or a space

A stove is a device in which fuel is burned to heat either the space in which the stove is situated, or items placed on the heated stove or inside it in an oven.

Central heating

A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be an HVAC system.

Heating element Device that converts electricity into heat

A heating element converts electrical energy into heat through the process of Joule heating. Electric current through the element encounters resistance, resulting in heating of the element. Unlike the Peltier effect, this process is independent of the direction of current.

Wood-fired oven Oven that uses wood fuel for cooking

Wood-fired ovens, also known as wood ovens, are ovens that use wood fuel for cooking. There are two types of wood-fired ovens: "black ovens" and "white ovens". Black ovens are heated by burning wood in a chamber. Food is cooked in that same chamber while the fire is still going, or in the heated chamber after the fire and coals have been swept out. White ovens are heated by heat transfer from a separate combustion chamber and flue-gas path. Thus, the oven remains "white", or clean from ash. While the traditional wood-fired oven is a masonry oven, such ovens can also be built out of adobe, cob or cast iron.

Pyrometallurgy is a branch of extractive metallurgy. It consists of the thermal treatment of minerals and metallurgical ores and concentrates to bring about physical and chemical transformations in the materials to enable recovery of valuable metals. Pyrometallurgical treatment may produce products able to be sold such as pure metals, or intermediate compounds or alloys, suitable as feed for further processing. Examples of elements extracted by pyrometallurgical processes include the oxides of less reactive elements like iron, copper, zinc, chromium, tin, and manganese.

Air preheater

An air preheater It is any device designed to heat air before another process (for example, combustion in a boiler With the primary objective of increasing the thermal efficiency of the process. They may be used alone or to replace a recuperative heat system or to replace a steam coil.

Forced-air

A forced-air central heating system is one which uses air as its heat transfer medium. These systems rely on ductwork, vents, and plenums as means of air distribution, separate from the actual heating and air conditioning systems. The return plenum carries the air from several large return grills (vents) to a central air handler for re-heating. The supply plenum directs air from the central unit to the rooms which the system is designed to heat. Regardless of type, all air handlers consist of an air filter, blower, heat exchanger/element/coil, and various controls. Like any other kind of central heating system, thermostats are used to control forced air heating systems.

Ceramic glaze

Ceramic glaze is an impervious layer or coating of a vitreous substance which has been fused to a ceramic body through firing. Glaze can serve to color, decorate or waterproof an item. Glazing renders earthenware vessels suitable for holding liquids, sealing the inherent porosity of unglazed biscuit earthenware. It also gives a tougher surface. Glaze is also used on stoneware and porcelain. In addition to their functionality, glazes can form a variety of surface finishes, including degrees of glossy or matte finish and color. Glazes may also enhance the underlying design or texture either unmodified or inscribed, carved or painted.

Crematorium machine or building in which cremation takes place

A crematorium or crematory is a venue for the cremation of the dead.

Overglaze decoration Method of decorating pottery

Overglaze decoration, overglaze enamelling or on-glaze decoration is a method of decorating pottery, most often porcelain, where the coloured decoration is applied on top of the already fired and glazed surface, and then fixed in a second firing at a relatively low temperature, often in a muffle kiln. It is often described as producing "enamelled" decoration. The colours fuse on to the glaze, so the decoration becomes durable. This decorative firing is usually done at a lower temperature which allows for a more varied and vidid palette of colours, using pigments which will not colour correctly at the high temperature necessary to fire the porcelain body. Historically, a relatively narrow range of colours could be achieved with underglaze decoration, where the coloured pattern is applied before glazing, notably the cobalt blue of blue and white porcelain.

This is a list of pottery and ceramic terms.

Pellet heating is a heating system in which wood pellets are combusted. Other pelletized fuels such as straw pellets are used occasionally. Today's central heating system which run on wood pellets as a renewable energy source are comparable in operation and maintenance of oil and gas heating systems.

Industrial furnace Device used for providing heat in industrial applications

An industrial furnace, also known as a direct heater or a direct fired heater, is a device used to provide heat for an industrial process, typically higher than 400 degrees celsius. They are used to provide heat for a process or can serve as reactor which provides heats of reaction. Furnace designs vary as to its function, heating duty, type of fuel and method of introducing combustion air. Heat is generated by an industrial furnace by mixing fuel with air or oxygen, or from electrical energy. The residual heat will exit the furnace as flue gas. These are designed as per international codes and standards the most common of which are ISO 13705 / American Petroleum Institute (API) Standard 560. Types of industrial furnaces include batch ovens, vacuum furnaces, and solar furnaces. Industrial furnaces are used in applications such as chemical reactions, cremation, oil refining, and glasswork.

References

  1. Bulletin - United States Geological Survey, Issues 47–54, 1889, pp. 180 (834)
  2. Crowley, C.A. (June 1937). "Electric furnace". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 67 no. 6. pp. 941–945.
  3. StableTemp Furnace Datasheet
  4. Hughes, G Bernard, The Country Life Pocket Book of China, 1965, Country Life Ltd, pp. 34–35