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BATCH CHARGING                               CHANNEL & FOREHEARTH

        The mixed raw materials are fed into the furnace, where they react and melt with each other at nearly 1600o C atmospheric temperatures.  All GSI furnaces are constructed from special high temperature refractories mounted on and contained within an integrated welded and bolted structure steel frame.  Glass contact refractory will be mostly chromic oxide with some dense zircon.  Superstructure refractory will be a combination of AZS, mullite, zircon, zircon-chrome, clay flux, firebrick and insulation firebrick.

        The operating life for a glass furnace is typically ten (10) years or more depending on the amount of lifetime production.  At the end of useful furnace life, the refractory tiles must be removed and replaced.  The re-lining operation of a large furnace takes about 45 to 60 days.

        The production of glass is a very energy intensive process.  The preferred GSI furnace uses the latest state-of-art natural gas and oxygen burner system to heat the furnace melter and minimize the formation of oxides of nitrogen. GSI uses the latest state-of-art crown burners, which burn directly downard onto the glass surface in the melting zone for maximum transfer of energy into the glass and sidewall burners over the cooler fining area. Sidewall oxy-gas burners are used throughout the front-end where fuel savings of 70% are possible. The melter will require about 1100 to 1300 kcal of fuel per melted ton along with the use of electric boost.  The absence of boron oxide and fluorine in our special "E" glass and the use of oxygen/gas burners will result in the cleanest exhaust stream possible.  This combination, where in use around the world, doesn't require the use of air pollution control equipment. 

        The liquid glass mass flows down special channels and then through platinum alloy bushings, which form the filaments.  The molten glass emerges through the many orifices of the bushings, separates into individual continuous filaments, contacts an applicator for the special water-based coatings and is attenuated by a winding machine which automatically collects the combined strands onto paper tubes for drying. 




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