A Pusher Furnace, also known as a Pusher-Type Furnace, is a type of industrial furnace used for continuous heat treatment processes, typically in high-volume production settings. It is designed to handle a continuous flow of workpieces or materials, pushing them through the furnace for heating, soaking, and cooling stages.
The main feature of a Pusher Furnace is its pusher mechanism, which moves the workpieces or materials along a fixed path through the furnace. The pusher mechanism consists of a series of pusher plates or rams that push the load from one end of the furnace to the other.
The operation of a Pusher Furnace generally involves the following steps:
Loading: The workpieces or materials to be heat treated are loaded onto the pusher plates or rams outside the furnace.
Heating Zone: The furnace is divided into different temperature zones. As the workpieces enter the furnace, they are exposed to the heating zone where burners or electric heating elements raise the temperature to the desired level.
Pushing: The pusher mechanism pushes the workpieces through the furnace at a controlled speed, ensuring they spend the required amount of time in each temperature zone for proper heat treatment.
Soaking Zone: In the soaking zone, the workpieces remain at a specific temperature for a predetermined period to allow for uniform heating and completion of desired transformations within the material.
Cooling Zone: After the soaking zone, the workpieces continue to be pushed through a cooling zone, where they are gradually cooled to the desired temperature. This can involve the use of fans, water sprays, or other cooling methods.
Unloading: Once the heat treatment process is completed, the workpieces are unloaded from the pusher plates or rams at the end of the furnace for further processing or handling.
Pusher Furnaces are commonly used in applications such as annealing, normalizing, and reheating of steel billets, slabs, or rods in the steel industry. They are known for their ability to handle large production volumes, provide uniform heat treatment, and maintain precise temperature control.
It's important to note that the design and features of Pusher Furnaces can vary based on specific application requirements and manufacturer specifications. Different variations may include additional features like atmosphere control systems, quenching capabilities, or protective gas environments to meet the specific needs of the heat treatment process.
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