OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATerrace-Wall™ reformers are a proprietary design supplied worldwide by Foster Wheeler. While it is still a steam methane reformer from a process viewpoint, the refractory issues are different from those of multi-row reformers. The lower radiant walls have thermal and mechanical issues peculiar to the design. Burners fire directly onto a sloped wall before radiating heat to the process tubes. This heat load and velocity require special engineering and material considerations. Significant and dynamic tube movement results in complex furnace sealing issues at the top of the furnace, affecting efficiency, operational control and emissions. This tube movement also creates a problem in protecting the lower outlet pigtails and manifold from radiant heat on some models.

To address significant tube movement while maintaining a seal, THORPE custom designs, manufactures and installs HOTSEAL® Furnace Penetration Seals. These are dynamic seals capable of accommodating the tube movements and heat. To minimize air infiltration, HOTSEAL® Furnace Penetration Seals are designed as a composite system using multiple layers of carefully selected materials for each application to best handle heat while preventing air ingress. THORPE also custom designs lower radiant heat shields to protect the outlet pigtails and manifolds while accommodating similar tube movement.

Thorpe is very experienced at optimizing the lower brick wall lining to best endure stress from direct flame impingement and utilizing Z-BLOK™ ceramic fiber module system for the upper walls. Z-BLOK™ is the most durable ceramic fiber module system available, specially designed to handle high heat loads and velocities common to these units. We have unique approaches to address the lower floor and bullnose issues as well as various methods to protect the lower pigtails from radiant heat. Thorpe designs and manufactures three different peepsite surround systems including FIBERLITE®, DURALITE® and Z-BLOK™ for different lining considerations. By protecting the steel openings thermally, the doors maintain a better seal improving furnace performance. Other areas in which we assist customers include convection section repairs and retrofits, transfer line linings, PGB boiler plenums and secondary reformer linings.

Thorpe has extensive design and installation experience in solving field refractory problems. Our in –house turnkey capabilities allow Thorpe to design, manufacture or supply, and install repairs or complete lining systems. We are able to upgrade customer’s furnace linings to include the latest in refractory thermomechanical design and material science in a single outage or over a series of outages as schedules allow. Examples of common problem areas we address:

  • Arch failures
  • Furnace penetration seals
  • Lower and upper radiant walls
  • Peep site surrounds and door plugs
  • Floors and outlet bullnoses
  • Outlet pigtail and manifold radiant heat shields
  • Transfer line linings and nozzle connection hotspots
  • Convection section bullnose, walls and floors
  • Secondary reformer hotspots
  • Application of Emisshield® High Emissivity Coating installations