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Traveling Billet Homogenizing Furnace

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Traveling Billet Homogenizing Furnace

William R. Weyand, SECO/WARWICK Corporation, USA


ABSTRACT --- Another furnace option developed in the recent past to replace or
complement the conventional load car bottom or tray batch furnace design is the
traveling billet homogenizing furnace. This alternate style of furnace utilizes a pair of
fixed load bases to support the load of billets. The aluminum billets are stacked on
load bases, similar to a car bottom or tray design with billet spacers. When the cycle is
completed on base number one, the furnace moves into position over the second base
and immediately begins heating the new load. The previous load is allowed to cool,
and then unloaded and replaced with a new series of billets to be homogenized. Thus,
replacement of billets can all be accomplished before the other homogenizing cycle is
completed. The traveling furnace provides savings in floor space since the two load
bases require significantly less floor space than a double-ended stationary furnace with
two load cars, or a transfer car with loading trays. This type of design lends itself well
to an existing plant, with limited floor space to install a new furnace. Some of the key
design features of this furnace are casing construction and support, the loading base
design, and the furnace drive components. All of these features are critical to the
successful operation and life of this style of furnace. With the correct base and floor
seal design, superior temperature uniformity can be achieved. This presentation will
discuss the details of this furnace concept and a recent case study at a major
Northeastern United States billet producer along with the major advantages of this style
of furnace.

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