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Title:
REPAIR OF REFRACTORY LINING OF FURNACES AND METHODS RELATED THERETO
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/221118
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein is internally refractory and insulation lined furnace with a reinforcement anchor assembly attached to the outer surface of the shell of the furnace. Also disclosed herein is a method of repairing a furnace refractory lining by attaching a reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the furnace.

Inventors:
MAITY, Manabendra Kumar (Sabic T&I, PO Box 11669, Jubail, 31961, SA)
KAMALAKANNAN, Natesan Muthan (Safco, PO Box 11044, Jubail, 31961, SA)
Application Number:
IB2017/053589
Publication Date:
December 28, 2017
Filing Date:
June 16, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SABIC GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES B.V. (Plasticslaan 1, 4612 PX Bergen op Zoom, 4612 PX, NL)
International Classes:
C21B7/06; C21B9/06; C21C5/44; F27B1/14; F27B3/14; F27B5/08; F27B7/28; F27B9/34; F27B13/10; F27B15/06; F27D1/00; F27D1/16
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A furnace comprising:

a) a shell comprising an inner surface and an outer surface;

b) one or more layers of insulating material;

c) optionally, one or more primary anchor assemblies attached to the inner surface of the shell, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; and

d) one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies, each attached to the outer surface of the shell and extending through a hole of the shell and through the one or more layers of insulating material to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell.

2. The furnace of claim 1, wherein the one or more layers of insulating material comprises one or more layers of fiber ceramic insulating material or similar other insulating or refractory materials.

3. The furnace of claims 1 or 2, wherein the damaged anchor assembly extends through the one or more layers of insulating material.

4. The furnace of any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein the damaged anchor assembly is not functional to assist in securing the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace.

5. The furnace of claim 4, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are located in proximity to the damaged anchor assembly that is not functional to assist in securing the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace.

6. The furnace of claim 5, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies cooperate with the at least one of the damaged anchor assembly to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace.

7. The furnace of any one of claims 1, 2, 5 or 6, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are welded to the outer surface of the shell.

8. The furnace of any one of claims 1, 5 or 6, wherein the one or more primary anchor assemblies are welded to the inner surface of the shell.

9. The furnace of any one of claims 1, 5 or 6, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies comprises a metallic rod and a holder at the tip.

10. The furnace of any one of claims 1, 5 or 6, wherein the furnace is a high temperature process refractory lined fired heater, reformer, or boiler.

11. The furnace of any one of claims 1, 5 or 6, wherein the furnace-is of industrial size.

12. A method of repairing refractory lining of a furnace comprising:

a) penetrating a shell of a furnace from an outer surface of the shell and penetrating one or more layers of insulating material attached to an inner surface of the shell, thereby creating a fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, wherein, optionally, the furnace comprises at least one or more primary anchor assemblies, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly;

b) inserting a reinforcement anchor assembly through the fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material; and c) attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the one or more primary anchor assemblies are attached to the inner surface of the shell.

14. The method of claims 12 or 13, wherein the method comprises repeating steps a) through c) at a different location on the furnace.

15. The method of any one of claims 12 or 13, wherein the method further comprises attaching a holder to the reinforcement anchor assembly to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell.

16. The method of any one of claims 12 or 13, wherein attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell comprises welding the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell.

17. The method of any one of claims 12 or 13, wherein the fluid cavity or channel is formed proximate to a location of a damaged anchor assembly.

18. The method of any one of claims 12 or 13, further comprising determining whether the furnace comprises one or more damaged anchor assemblies.

19. The method of any one of claims 12 or 13, wherein the one or more layers of insulating material comprises one or more layers of fiber ceramic insulating material or similar other insulating or refractory materials.

Description:
REPAIR OF REFRACTORY LINING OF FURNACES AND METHODS RELATED

THERETO

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/352,811, filed June 21, 2016, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

[0002] This invention relates generally to furnaces having one or more anchor assemblies, methods for installing one or more anchor assemblies into a furnace, and methods for repairing furnaces, especially the refractory lining of a furnace, with one or more damaged anchor assemblies.

BACKGROUND

[0003] The integrity of anchor assemblies in furnaces with one or more layers of insulating material can be compromised over time due to the harsh conditions present in the furnaces during use. Currently, to repair a damaged anchor assembly, the one or more layers of insulating material have to be removed and are often discarded. This technique can consume a significant amount of time, causing an elongated shutdown period, due, at least in part, to the steps required.

[0004] Accordingly, there remains a need for furnaces and methods to repair furnaces that overcome these drawbacks. Such furnaces and methods to repair furnaces are disclosed herein.

SUMMARY

[0005] Described herein, in one aspect, is a furnace comprising: a) a shell comprising an inner surface and an outer surface; b) one or more layers of insulating material; c) optionally, one or more primary anchor assemblies attached to the inner surface of the shell, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; and d) one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are attached to the outer surface of the shell and extend through holes of the shell and through the one or more layers of insulating material to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell.

[0006] Also disclosed herein is a method of repairing a furnace comprising: a) penetrating a shell of a furnace from an outer surface of the shell and penetrating one or more layers of insulating material attached to an inner surface of the shell, thereby creating a fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, wherein, optionally, the furnace comprises one or more primary anchor assemblies, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; b) inserting a reinforcement anchor assembly through the fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material; and c) attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell.

[0007] In the context of the present invention, embodiments 1 to 19 are described. Embodiment 1 is a furnace having a) a shell comprising an inner surface and an outer surface; b) one or more layers of insulating material; c) optionally, one or more primary anchor assemblies attached to the inner surface of the shell, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; and d) one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies, each attached to the outer surface of the shell and extending through a hole of the shell and through the one or more layers of insulating material to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell. Embodiment 2 is the furnace of Embodiment 1, wherein the one or more layers of insulating material includes one or more layers of fiber ceramic insulating material or similar other insulating or refractory materials. Embodiment 3 is the furnace of Embodiments 1 or 2, wherein the damaged anchor assembly extends through the one or more layers of insulating material. Embodiment 4 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 1 to 3, wherein the damaged anchor assembly is not functional to assist in securing the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. Embodiment 5 is the furnace of Embodiment 4, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are located in proximity to the damaged anchor assembly that is not functional to assist in securing the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. Embodiment 6 is the furnace of Embodiment 5, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies cooperate with the at least one of the damaged anchor assembly to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. Embodiment 7 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 1 to 6, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are welded to the outer surface of the shell. Embodiment 8 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 3 to 7, wherein the one or more primary anchor assemblies are welded to the inner surface of the shell. Embodiment 9 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 1 to 8, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies includes a metallic rod and a holder at the tip. Embodiment 10 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 1 to 9, wherein the furnace is a high temperature process refractory lined fired heater, reformer, or boiler. Embodiment 11 is the furnace of any one of Embodiments 1 to 10, wherein the furnace is of industrial size.

[0008] Embodiment 12 is method of repairing refractory lining of a furnace. The method includes penetrating a shell of a furnace from an outer surface of the shell and penetrating one or more layers of insulating material attached to an inner surface of the shell, thereby creating a fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, wherein, optionally, the furnace includes at least one or more primary anchor assemblies, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; inserting a reinforcement anchor assembly through the fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material; and attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell. Embodiment 13 is the method of Embodiment 12, wherein the one or more primary anchor assemblies are attached to the inner surface of the shell. Embodiment 14 is the method of Embodiments 12 or 13, wherein the method includes repeating steps a) through c) at a different location on the furnace. Embodiment 15 is the method of any one of Embodiments 12 to 14, wherein the method further includes the step of attaching a holder to the reinforcement anchor assembly to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell. Embodiment 16 is the method of any one of Embodiments 12 to 15, wherein attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell includes welding the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell. Embodiment 17 is the method of any one of claims 12 to 16, wherein the fluid cavity or channel is formed proximate to a location of a damaged anchor assembly. Embodiment 18 is he method of any one of Embodiments 12 to 17, further comprising determining whether the furnace comprises one or more damaged anchor assemblies. Embodiment 19 is the method of any one of claims 12 to 18, wherein the one or more layers of insulating material includes one or more layers of fiber ceramic insulating material or similar other insulating or refractory materials. [0009] Additional advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description that follows or may be learned by practice of the invention. The advantages of the invention can be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0010] These and other features of the preferred embodiments of the invention will become more apparent in the detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings, wherein:

[0011] FIG. 1 is cross-sectional side view of a prior art furnace.

[0012] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional side view of an exemplary furnace as disclosed herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] The present invention can be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description, examples, drawings, and claims. However, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific devices, systems, and/or methods disclosed, unless otherwise specified. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects and is not intended to be limiting.

[0014] The following description of the invention is provided as an enabling teaching of the invention in its best, currently known embodiment. To this end, those skilled in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate that many changes can be made to the various aspects of the invention described herein, while still obtaining the beneficial results of the present invention. It will also be apparent that some of the desired benefits of the present invention can be obtained by selecting some of the features of the present invention without utilizing other features. Accordingly, those who work in the art will recognize that many modifications and adaptations to the present invention are possible, even potentially desirable, and are a part of the present invention. Thus, the following description is provided as illustrative of the principles of the present invention and not in limitation thereof.

[0015] Moreover, it is to be understood that unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not actually recite an order to be followed by its steps or it is not otherwise specifically stated in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is in no way intended that an order be inferred, in any respect. This holds for any possible non-express basis for interpretation, including: matters of logic with respect to arrangement of steps or operational flow; plain meaning derived from grammatical organization or punctuation; and the number or type of embodiments described in the specification.

[0016] All publications mentioned herein are incorporated herein by reference to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.

[0017] As used throughout, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "an outlet opening" can include two or more such outlet openings.

[0018] Ranges can be expressed herein as from "about" one particular value and/or to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another aspect includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations (e.g., by use of the antecedent "about"), it will be understood that the particular value forms another aspect. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint and independently of the other endpoint.

[0019] As used herein, the terms "optional" or "optionally" mean that the subsequently described event or circumstance may or may not occur and that the description includes both instances where said event or circumstance occurs and instances where it does not.

[0020] The word "or" as used herein means any one member of a particular list and also includes any combination of members of that list.

[0021] The terms "comprise" (and any form of comprise, such as "comprises" and "comprising"), "have" (and any form of have, such as "has" and "having"), and "include" (and any form of include, such as "includes" and "including") are open-ended linking verbs. As a result, an apparatus that "comprises," "has," or "includes" one or more elements possesses those one or more elements, but is not limited to possessing only those elements. Likewise, a method that "comprises," "has," or "includes" one or more steps possesses those one or more steps, but is not limited to possessing only those steps. [0022] Any embodiment of any of the apparatuses, systems, and methods can consist of or consist essentially of - rather than comprise/have/include - any of the described steps, elements, and/or features. Thus, in any of the claims, the term "consisting of or "consisting essentially of can be substituted for any of the open-ended linking verbs recited above, in order to change the scope of a given claim from what it would otherwise be using the open- ended linking verb.

[0023] Furnaces, such as, for example, process furnaces, fired reformers, boilers, heaters (including refractory lined fired heaters), and high temperature vessels, can have one or more layers of insulating material, such as, for example, one or more layers of fiber ceramic blanket lining. The one or more layers of insulating material are in close proximity to and shield the shell of the furnace from the heat and chemicals present inside of the furnace. The physical and mechanical integrity of anchor assemblies are important to keep the one or more layers of insulating material in close proximity to the shell.

[0024] The anchor assemblies are often metallic and can be weakened by harsh conditions in the furnace atmosphere. Premature anchor assembly failure is one of the major concerns for the reliability of the one or more layers of insulating material.

[0025] The conditions in the furnace can reach temperatures as high as 1,200 °C during certain processes, such as, for example, a firing and drying process. A furnace that is configured to operate at a temperature of up to 1,250 °C can be characterized as a high- temperature process furnace. The furnace can also be configured to operate under elevated pressures and/or in the presence of corrosive elements.

[0026] With reference to FIG. 1, in a conventional furnace 100, the one or more layers of insulating material 104 are held in close proximity to the inner surface of shell 102 by one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 that are attached (e.g., often welded) to the inner surface of the shell 102. These one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 can get damaged by harsh conditions inside the furnace and eventually lose their functionality to hold the one or more layers of insulating material 102 in close proximity to the shell 104. When this occurs, repairs may be needed.

[0027] Conventional repairs are performed by removing all layers of insulating material and then welding new anchor assemblies to the inner surface of the shell. However, such a method has several drawbacks, such as: 1. is time consuming to remove (e.g., and dispose of) the layers of insulating material, which leads to extended shutdown of the furnace that in turn leads to significant financial cost and loss of revenue; 2. new layers of insulating material are often needed during the repair as it is difficult to reuse the old layers of insulating material; and 3. the handling of the old insulating materials is hazardous to the worker.

[0028] These issues are avoided or reduced by the disclosed method of repairing a furnace comprising: a) penetrating a shell of a reactor vessel from an outer surface of the shell and penetrating one or more layers of insulating material attached to an inner surface of the shell, thereby creating a fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, wherein, optionally, the reactor vessel comprises one or more primary anchor assemblies, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; b) inserting a reinforcement anchor assembly in the fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material; and c) attaching the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell.

[0029] In one aspect, the method comprises repeating steps a) through c) at a different location on the furnace. For example, the steps a) through c) can be repeated two or more times at two or more different locations on the furnace.

[0030] In one aspect, the shell of the furnace can be metallic. In one aspect, penetrating the shell of the furnace from the outer surface of the furnace comprises cutting or drilling the shell. For example, penetrating the shell of the furnace from the outer surface of the furnace can comprise cutting the shell. In another example, penetrating the shell of the furnace from the outer surface of the furnace can comprise drilling the shell.

[0031] In one aspect, the furnace can comprise steel, cement, concrete or similar construction material, or a combination thereof. For example the furnace may be a furnace including steel, cement, concrete, or a similar construction material for the walls, floor, and ceiling of the furnace.

[0032] The one or more layers of insulating material in the furnace may not need to be removed during some embodiments of the present methods. In one aspect, penetrating the one or more layers of insulating material comprises cutting or drilling the one or more layers of insulating material. For example, penetrating the one or more layers of insulating material can comprise cutting the one or more layers of insulating material. In another example, penetrating the one or more layers of insulating material can comprise drilling the one or more layers of insulating material. By creating a fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material from the outer surface of the shell, the one or more layers of insulating material may remain in place and substantially unaffected.

[0033] A reinforcement anchor assembly is then inserted though the fluid cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material. Accordingly, some embodiments of the present methods allow for the reinforcement anchor assembly to conveniently be placed in the furnace without discarding the one or more layers of insulating material. In one aspect, the structural components of the one or more primary anchor assemblies and the reinforcement anchor assembly can be substantially identical or identical.

[0034] In one aspect, an anchor assembly, such as, for example, a primary anchor assembly and/or a reinforcement anchor assembly, comprises a rod or flat bar of rectangular cross-section (hereinafter referred to as a "rod") and a holder or metallic or ceramic washer or cuplock. Optionally, the holder can comprise a lock and a washer. The rod and holder cooperate together to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. It is also contemplated herein that any structure capable of holding in place the one or more layers of insulating material within the furnace can be used as a holder. The holder is configured to hold in place the one or more layers of insulating material within the furnace. The rod is configured to extend through the cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, and the washer is configured to hold down the inner most layer of insulating material (see, FIGs. 1 and 2). In such aspects, the rod is attached to the outer surface of the shell. For example, the rod can be welded to the outer surface of the shell from outside. In one aspect, the anchor assembly can be made of a metallic material. In another aspect, the anchor assembly can be made of a ceramic material.

[0035] In one aspect, the reinforcement anchor assembly comprises a rod and a holder. The holder can comprise a lock and a washer. The holder is configured to hold in place the one or more layers of insulating material. Accordingly, in one aspect, some methods further comprise attaching a holder to the reinforcement anchor assembly. The rod is configured to extend through the cavity or channel defined by the shell and the one or more layers of insulating material, and the washer is configured to hold down the top most exposed layer of insulating material (see, FIG. 2). In one aspect, the reinforcement anchor assembly can be made of a metallic material. In another aspect, the reinforcement anchor assembly can be made of a ceramic material. [0036] The reinforcement anchor assembly is then attached to the outer surface of the shell. In one aspect, the reinforcement anchor assembly is welded to the outer surface of the shell. Such welding can comprise any welding process appropriate for the materials to be welded. For example, the welding process can use the standard industry approach; for example, the welding process can comprises arc welding. The attachment process of the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell also fills in the space of, blocks access from the outside to, and/or seals the fluid cavity or channel defined by the outer surface of the shell. Thus, after attachment of the reinforcement anchor assembly to the outer surface of the shell, there is no longer a cavity in the outer surface of the shell where the reinforcement anchor assembly was inserted that is accessible from outside of the shell.

[0037] Thus, in one aspect, disclosed herein is a furnace comprising: a) a shell comprising an inner surface and an outer surface; b) one or more layers of insulating material; c) optionally, one or more primary anchor assemblies attached to the inner surface of the shell, wherein, optionally, at least one of the one or more primary anchor assemblies is a damaged anchor assembly; and d) one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies, wherein the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are attached to the outer surface of the shell and extend through the shell and through the one or more layers of insulating material to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell.

[0038] A primary anchor assembly is an anchor assembly that is attached to the inner surface of the shell at the time of construction or shutdown maintenance of the furnace. The primary anchor assembly functions to secure the one more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell of the reactor. Thus, a new furnace comprises a plurality of primary anchor assemblies that together cooperate to secure the one more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell of the furnace. In one aspect, the furnace comprises one or more primary anchor assemblies that are attached to the inner surface of the shell and extend through the one or more layers of insulating material.

[0039] In one aspect, a damaged anchor assembly is an anchor assembly in which the structural components of the anchor assembly have been compromised from their original state. Such a damaged anchor assembly may not be able to adequately secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. Thus, in one aspect, a damaged anchor assembly is not functional to effectively secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the furnace. [0040] In one aspect, the one or more layers of insulating material comprises one or more layers of ceramic insulating material. For example, the one or more layers of insulating material can consist of one or more layers of ceramic insulating material. An insulating material, such as a fiber-based soft ceramic insulating or insulating board material, is known in the art and is also referred to a refractory material.

[0041] In one aspect, the furnace comprises two or more reinforcement anchor assemblies, wherein the two or more reinforcement anchor assemblies are attached to the outer surface of the shell and extend through the shell and through the one or more layers of insulating material to secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell.

[0042] In one aspect, the furnace comprises from 5 to 25 primary anchor assemblies and/or reinforcement anchor assemblies per square meter of shell within the furnace. For example, the furnace comprises from 10 to 18 primary anchor assemblies and/or reinforcement anchor assemblies per square meter of shell within the furnace.

[0043] In one aspect, the furnace comprises two or more layers of insulating material. For example, the furnace can comprise from 1 to 20 layers of insulating material, such as, for example, from 2-20 layers of insulating material.

[0044] With respect to FIG. 2, in a furnace 100 the one or more layers of insulating material 104 are held in close proximity to the shell 102 by one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 that are attached (e.g., welded), to the inner surface of the shell 102. These one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 can become damaged by harsh conditions inside of the furnace and can lose their functionality to effectively secure the one or more layers of insulating material 102 in close proximity to the shell 104. Thus, one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 can be a damaged anchor assembly 106. One or more reinforcement anchor assemblies 110, which can be inserted from outside of the shell without disturbing (e.g., other than by drilling and/or cutting, as described above) the existing insulating layers 104, can be present to support the one or more layers of insulating material (e.g., instead of or in addition to the one or more primary anchor assemblies 106, which may have effectively lost such functionality). For example, the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies 110 can be present to support the one or more layers of insulating material instead of or in addition to the one or more primary anchor assemblies 106, such as damaged anchor assembly 106, which may have effectively lost the ability to secure the one or more layer of insulating material 104 to the inner surface of the shell 102. The one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies 110 are attached 112 (e.g., welded) to the outer surface of the shell 102 without removing insulating material 104 from the shell.

[0045] Accordingly, in one aspect, the one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 are not functional to effectively secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell. Thus, in one aspect, at least one of the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies 110 is located in proximity to at least one primary anchor assembly 106 that is not functional to effectively secure the one or more layers of insulating material to the inner surface of the shell. In another aspect, the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies 110 cooperate with the one or more primary anchor assemblies 106 to secure the one or more layers of insulating material 104 to the inner surface of the shell 102.

[0046] In one aspect, as described above, the one or more primary anchor assemblies can be attached to the inner surface of the shell. For example, the one or more primary anchor assemblies can be welded to the inner surface of the shell. In such an exemplary aspect, the one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies can be attached (e.g., welded) to the outer surface of the shell.

[0047] In additional aspects, the disclosed furnace and the components of the disclosed furnace can be shaped and sized to permit operation on an industrial scale. Similarly, it is contemplated that the disclosed furnace and the components of the disclosed furnace can comprise materials having material properties that are configured to permit production of desired products on an industrial scale. In further aspects, the disclosed furnace and the components of the disclosed furnace can be shaped and sized to produce the desired reaction products in accordance with the desired time scale or production schedule. Similarly, it is contemplated that the disclosed furnace and the components of the disclosed furnace can comprise materials having material properties that are configured to permit production of desired products in accordance with the desired time scale or production schedule.

[0048] In additional aspects, the disclosed furnace can be operated and perform at the same capacity as compared to a conventional furnace without one or more reinforcement anchor assemblies attached to the outer surface of the shell of the conventional furnace.

[0049] The disclosed furnace can be used to perform a process requiring thermal heat, such as, for example, a chemical reaction, reforming, conversion, pre-heating, steam generation, and/or the like, to thereby produce one or more desired reaction products. In exemplary aspects, the chemical reaction can comprise pre-heating, cracking, reforming, and/or steam generation.

[0050] Although several embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in the foregoing specification, it is understood by those skilled in the art that many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to which the invention pertains, having the benefit of the teaching presented in the foregoing description and associated drawings. It is thus understood that the invention is not limited to the specific embodiments disclosed hereinabove, and that many modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims.

EXAMPLES

[0051] The following examples are put forth so as to provide those of ordinary skill in the art with a complete disclosure and description of how the reactor vessel and method described and claimed herein are made and evaluated and are intended to be purely exemplary and are not intended to limit the scope of what the inventors regard as their invention. Efforts have been made to ensure accuracy with respect to numbers (e.g., amounts, temperature, etc.) but some errors and deviations should be accounted for. Unless indicated otherwise, parts are parts by weight, temperature is in °C or is at ambient temperature, and pressure is at or near atmospheric.

1. Example 1: Repair of Furnace with damaged anchor assembly

[0052] During routine repair, the previous procedure for adding new anchors to a furnace was to remove all existing insulating layers so that each new anchor could be welded to the furnace from inside. In a procedure according to the invention, more than 1000 new anchors were added without disturbing (e.g., other than by cutting and/or drilling) or removing the existing insulating layers. This method helped to reduce shutdown duration and materials cost. After 6 months of operation with the repair as described, operations were stable and no shutdowns or additional maintenance were required.