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High-purity ovens increase productivity cost-effectively.

When the Slurry Pump Div. of Goulds Pumps, Inc., Ashland, Pennsylvania, expanded its foundry operation, officials considered switching from a light-off alcohol-based core coating to a zircon water-based coating to improve productivity and casting quality. Their biggest concern with the new water-based coatings was the investment in preheating and drying ovens.

It was recommended that Goulds select either high-purity infrared, ceramic core infrared or conventional gas-fired technology as heating methods.

Thermal Innovations Corp., Manasquan, New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., conducted an energy-use analysis of Goulds' options. They found a high-purity infrared systems provided the same benefits as gas convection, at half the cost. And although more expensive than typical ceramic core infrared systems, the high-purity system could provide a savings of 30% on utility bills. The additional cost would be made up in energy savings in less than a year.

Thermal Innovations' infrared heating ovens heat cores directly, so the desired coating temperature is reached in seconds to provide controlled and efficient heating.

The foundry purchased a 6.5-ft infrared preheating oven from Thermal Innovations, which allowed them to apply a thicker layer of coating to complete the process in one pass. A 13-ft drying oven also was installed and eliminated the need to leave ovens running when cores weren't being heating or dried, leading to considerable energy savings.

"The two infrared ovens have allowed us to improve our productivity and increase process flexibility without sacrificing floor space," said Rafael Nariman, Goulds Foundry technical director. "By the end of the year, the equipment will have already paid for itself."
COPYRIGHT 1992 American Foundry Society, Inc.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Product Innovations
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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