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refractory in EKO 40

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by weiland13, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. weiland13

    weiland13 Member

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    Has anyone tried to make their own refractory out of metal or metal alloys? I know you can buy a replacement. I also know I can make my own with castable refractory cement. What I would like to explore is the option of a formed metal lower refractory. I picture something that is easy to remove and clean. The brick and cement type refractory are pretty delicate so I don't like moving them any more than I have to. Has this been tried? I know steel or even stainless steel will not last forever because of the heat, but even if they lasted 2 years it may be an attractive option if it were cheap enough. I work at a fabrication/machine shop and we probably have close to 1 million if material inventory so I do not have to worry about getting materials. I also have some inconel or alloy 600 which is very expensive but can take the heat. Just thinking out loud and checking if it is worth trying out.

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  2. Vinced

    Vinced Member

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    I doubt any steel will hold up to the temperture. It will get red hot (or even white hot) and deform and will just melt away. I'd look into ceramic fiber blanket. It can take the heat, much cheaper and easier to work with. You can saturate it with a "rigidizer" and form it. No special tools needed to work with it and no special curing process.
  3. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I recently purchased a small piece of the type of blanket you are talking about like this. http://www.ceramicfiber.net/ceramicfiberblanket.htm Not sure if that was the same manufacturer or not. The local plumbing and heating supply place sells it by the foot. Roll was right there, but no markings on it to tell who makes it. It was a 2' wide roll that was 1/4" thick. I bought 1 linear foot of it, 2' wide, for $7. I used it to replace the seal around the ash tray for the cyclone on my Wood Gun. I noticed it was starting to peel off and I did not want to take the chance of getting smoke or smell leaking out of there. It is very strong stuff, cuts super easy with a knife, and will withstand very high temperatures, according to the guys at the supply place. I may try to use a similar, but thicker roll, on my door seals when they need it. So far, they are holding up very nicely though. I do not know about using it on the inside of a boiler.

    Wieland13. If you are replacing the ceramics. Would you be talking about it also forming the nozzle? If that is the case. Vince, would the blanket stand up to the wood being put on top of it after it was rigidized? Would he place that on top of something? Like the steel? Maybe I am not following your idea correctly. Can you explain how that might work? I am interested because sooner or later the nozzle in the Wood Gun will need to be replaced. I guess it will have to be replaced fairly frequently. I will probably just buy the nozzle ceramics from AHS, but have thought about other possibilities as well. Thanks.
  4. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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    This "ceramicfiberblanket" if used with the rigidizer could it be formed to make a tunnel pictured below . Could it be used to make a gasket between the heat exchanger and base on my Jetstream boiler pictured below.

    weiland13 sorry for leaving your thread for a moment , but this is a interesting product . :exclaim:

    Attached Files:

  5. weiland13

    weiland13 Member

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    Not a problem. I am looking for options just like everyone else. That is an interesting product.
  6. Singed Eyebrows

    Singed Eyebrows New Member

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    Nofossil posted some time ago that he tried some exotic alloys in his EKO 25 & they didn't last. I got the impression they were in the inconel class although he didn't clarify. Take a small piece of the metal from work & put it directly under the nozzle & see if it stands up to the heat, Randy
  7. Vinced

    Vinced Member

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    Yes!
  8. weiland13

    weiland13 Member

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    I did just that a few days ago. I have a piece of 304 stainless and a piece of alloy 600. Both 1/4" thick, formed into a channel. The 304 is experiencing some, but not much, corrosion or precipitation. The alloy 600 is just discolored. During the burn, they both do get nearly white hot.
  9. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

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    I think the Froling has a metaal plate on the firebox side of the nozzle.

    Could you use some stainless to make a cover for a refractory nozzle to reduce erosion?

    Maybe weld a small open box the size of the nozzle opening to a plate.

    gg
  10. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    I've been considering trying this very thing! After burning around 15 cord my nozzle is worn almost down to the holes.
    I think I'll order a new one for next winter and make a piece of steel to put over it and see if it helps slow the erosion. At
    $100.00 a pop 2 years don't seem very long. I dont Know if I could make my own becouse of all the holes in it.
  11. Did the erosion happen more in the second year? Or did you see signs of erosion the first year?

    On mine, after about 5 cord, I am seeing only the slightest signs of wear. Basically the corners are not quite as sharp looking as when new. Nothing more than 1/8" of chipping - only along maybe 25% of the upper part of the nozzle.
  12. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Never really noticed it untill a couple weeks ago I cleaned the ash out of the top chamber and seen it.
  13. mr.fixit

    mr.fixit Member

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    This thread http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/79536/ shows what I did to extend the life of the nozzle in the eko.
    So far it has worked fine this season. The fire brick I used is showing signs of wear on the edges that form the nozzle but at least they are easily replaceable. Actually I believe the boiler works slightly better since making this modification.
    It may be because the nozzle is slightly smaller,allowing slower fan speeds and also less coals to fall through .

    I think weiland was originally talking about the lower chamber refractory though and not the nozzle opening?
  14. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    I can only think that if a metal refractory were desirable, feasible or otherwise worthwhile to pursue the boiler mfg's would have done it for us. Just my overly simple thinking though!
  15. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    TITANIUM

    Physical properties: A metallic element, titanium is recognized for its high strength-to-weight ratio.[7] It is a strong metal with low density that is quite ductile (especially in an oxygen-free environment),[2] lustrous, and metallic-white in color.[9] The relatively high melting point (more than 1,650 °C or 3,000 °F) makes it useful as a refractory metal. It is paramagnetic and has fairly low electrical and thermal conductivity.[2]

    If it was good enough for the SR71 Blackbird it is good enough for your boiler. LOL
  16. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    :lol: Good one. I wonder what it would cost for that! Hey Steam Man. Is that you in your picture there? And what are you crawling out of? I can not tell, picture is too small. Maybe you should post a full size of that so we can see really see it better. What do you say?
  17. Vinced

    Vinced Member

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    Ok, sorry for the short post, thats all I had time for. I used to work for an industrial insulation contractor and this ceramic fiber blanket was are go to insulation. We used it in 5ft rolls, 1" thick, and the rolls weighed 230lbs. I even witnessed boilermakers plugging a hole in a boiler with this stuff for a tempory fix. I never formed it with the rigidizer, but the factory rep stopped by once and told us how it could be soaked in this rigidizer and be vacuum formed to almost any shape. All it had to do was air dry for 24 hours and it was good to go. I believe that the cermaic liner in the Garn secondary chamber is made this way. I read the specs on the rigidizer and one of the things I remember is it said it made it more resistant to impact. I'd like to get a small piece of this and soak it in the rigidizer and do some tests with it.
  18. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Then they wouldn't make any money selling parts.
  19. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    Not too many people ask about that picture. I am crawling into a 145,000 lb/hr dual fuel marine water tube boiler's furnace on a 945' long 125000 m3 LNG carrier. I think that was in a shipyard in Japan. Tight squeeze-I've ripped brand new overalls to shreds crawling in there. Thus it burns HFO and natural gas. I was setting up the 3 vertical burners after an overhaul. The oil rate was about 10000lbs/hr max. I forget the gas rate. That's why it looked so clean-new refractory. I have replaced some burner assemblies due to meltdowns from windbox fires. I was thinking if it was made of titanium they would have survived. The gas nozzles and ring they are mounted to are steel. The nozzles looked stainless, the gas ring may have been an alloy or regular steel. It really needed airflow over them when firing to keep the heat projected away from the burners. I had just did a new design on the burner throats using a stuff called Plibrico "plastic" refractory. You just cold form it by hammering it into place and shape and then slow curing. The floors are castable refractory. I actually have some pretty good pictures of the boilers but my computer crashed with them on it. I'll try and recover them. www.plibrico.com has a complete list of their stuff. Not much for the low level consumer though.

    I was trying to do a cost comparison for titanium verses steel. For the raw material my guess is 4-5X that of steel.Depending on the application titanium can be more cost effective if since you don't have to replace it if at all verses mild steels for the application. Example in salt water heat exchangers, piping etc. Basically anywhere where labor is the high percentage of the cost. On the other hand go to http://www.manvstool.com/post/1020489862/titanium-vs-steel-are-titanium-hammers-worth-the to see if a titanium hammer is right for you.

    I suppose one could do a cost analysis to see if how many times you have to replace refractory over a boiler's lifetime to see if it woud be worth it. The intial cost would make any boiler go through the roof so it would be a hard sell.

    I just ordered some gaskets that go between the plates in a large 105 plate titanium heat exchanger (no-large ones are not brazed). The clip on gaskets alone were quoted at almost 10K, not counting installation. Ouch!
  20. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the information steam man. Interesting stuff. Now that is what I would call a confined space. How much Confined Space Entry training do you have to go through? Who regulates the safety when working on a ship?
  21. bigburner

    bigburner Feeling the Heat

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    TITANIUM - You can thank the CIA for affordable titanium. Makes a great super sonic cruiser.
  22. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    I guess I would say I have a lot of confined space experience over the years including professional training. Air in confined spaces is always flushed and tested before entry. Ships are unique in that OSHA does not regulate them-the Coast Guard does. OSHA is only notified if someone gets hurt within 3 miles of land and then its still the CG's jurisdiction. All shipping companies have an approved safety management system which must be followed though it can be skipped by idiots since a ship usually operates far from land away from any inspectors who do not show up on ship anyway.

    If you call that a confined space you should see what the double bottom tanks and heavy fuel oil tanks are like going into. I would like to see Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs take some of my jobs on. LOL
  23. weiland13

    weiland13 Member

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    ****UPDATE****
    I ended up replacing the lower bricks with an assembly I made from stainless steel. I have been using it, and watching closely, now for a month or so. I have had fires just about every day. The wood has been mostly aspen and pine. I made it so it was raised up off the floor because I thought I could get airflow to get to the inside heat tubes and outside tubes equally. I have checked it out while burning and the stainless is completely red hot. I do not know the exact temperature in there but I know it is very hot. The output of the boiler seems just as good as before. So far it is holding up well and has not erroded away. The lower chamber is much easier to clean now, that is one of the positives.
  24. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Vigas makes a metal nozzle as a replacement if you want. I haven't heard how they work. I thought I would try them when I'm due to switch mine out.

    We'll see how long the originals last.

    JP
  25. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    The patch I did on my nozzle with premixed refractory is holding up very well. I don't Know if it is becouse it is a better grade or if it becouse I don't clean the ashes off of it anymore. I have a replacement on hand but havn't needed it. Zenon said the replacement refractory is a beter grad than what came originally in the biomass. So far I had to replace two piecies of the 6 pieces of lower refractory. I will replace each piece only when I have to. the two piecies in front and the door piece take the most wear on the biomass.

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