Kanthal, a product area within Sandvik Materials Technology, has supplied Superthal heating modules fitted with Kanthal Super CS elements as part of a forehearth redesign project in a major glass plant. Part of a two-year project to improve production efficiency, increase capacity, reduce energy consumption, and maintain or improve glass quality by building and installing a larger furnace, Kanthal was responsible for the design and production of special forehearth heating elements. The furnaces are electrically heated through immersed tin oxide electrodes; historically, the main heat source for the forehearth also came from tin oxide electrodes. These electrodes are water cooled and fitted through holes in the refractory sub structure. The top heating in the forehearth was provided by silicon carbide heating elements operating at around 1250C. Redesigning the forehearth top heating system to accommodate the specially designed Kanthal Super multi-shank elements has yielded several advantages, including uniform forehearth heating, which optimizes glass quality. The new muffle elements and improved muffle design have enabled the removal of some of the immersed water cooled electrodes, and the result has been a reduction in forehearth consumption energy of 48%.
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