Five things to know when buying an industrial furnace
- The maximum rated operating temperature of the industrial furnace may not be the sustained operating temperature. For example, an industrial furnace with a maximum use temperature of 1700 deg C might have a recommended continuous use temperature of 1600 deg C. This means that if you run the furnace at the maximum rated temperature for a longer period of time than that recommended by the manufacturer, you may see significant deterioration of the furnace lining and an accelerated rate of loss of heating elements.
- Stainless steel furnace exteriors look good, but they have to be cooled to protect the operator. Those attractive surfaces can cause burns. The usual solution for this is to use cooling fans between the furnace body and the stainless enclosure. And cooling fans can fail. A better solution? Offset fiberboard furnace exteriors eliminate the need for fan cooling to prevent high surface temperatures.
- Splatter and outgassing of corrosives can leave furnace insulation looking like the surface of the moon. Ask the furnace manufacturer if they have design solutions for these conditions. If not, you may be frequently replacing linings (and elements).
- The temperature controller matters. For some applications, an inexpensive single setpoint controller may be adequate. But you may need multiple programs, multiple segments per program, and even recipes for different product runs. Excellent controllers with sophisticated features are now available at relatively little extra cost.
- Information is key. Let the manufacturer bring their knowledge and experience to the design of your industrial furnace by providing as much detail as possible about your product and firing process. Concerned about sharing proprietary information? Ask for a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Find a manufacturer who can offer the best solution for your most difficult firing problems. This might require a custom design or design modifications.