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What is a Rotary Hearth Furnace

Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF)


A Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF) is a type of furnace used for various high-temperature industrial processes, particularly in the steel industry. It is designed to heat and process materials such as iron ore, carbon-based materials, and other metallic and non-metallic substances.

The basic structure of a Rotary Hearth Furnace consists of a circular hearth or platform that rotates on a set of wheels or rollers. The hearth is typically made of refractory materials that can withstand high temperatures. The furnace chamber is enclosed and heated using burners or other heat sources.

The material to be processed is loaded onto the hearth, usually in the form of pellets, briquettes, or other compact shapes. The hearth then rotates, allowing the material to pass through different temperature zones within the furnace. Heating is achieved through direct exposure to the burners or by radiation from the refractory lining.

The rotating action of the hearth promotes uniform heating and facilitates the desired chemical reactions or physical transformations of the materials being processed. The exact nature of the processes performed in an RHF depends on the application, but they can include heating, drying, roasting, reduction, and melting.

One common application of Rotary Hearth Furnaces is in the direct reduction of iron ore, where iron oxide pellets or briquettes are heated to reduce the iron content and produce metallic iron or iron-rich materials. These furnaces are also used for processes like annealing, calcination, and heating for forging or heat treatment of various metals.

Rotary Hearth Furnaces offer advantages such as efficient heat transfer, good temperature control, and the ability to handle a wide range of materials and process conditions. They are often preferred when batch processing is required, or for handling materials that are difficult to move in a conveyor-based system.

It's worth noting that while the basic principles of Rotary Hearth Furnaces remain the same, there can be variations in design and operational parameters depending on the specific industrial application or the manufacturer's design.


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