(click images to enlarge)
A shiny steel exterior skin now covers the furnace building at Carbide Industries LLC's Louisville plant, masking the monumental work that has been going on inside the building for many months.
Up until early December 2011, one could see through the skeleton of the building, which at one time was essentially stripped of all equipment and infrastructure down to its vertical support beams (see news archive).
Today, on the fifth floor inside the over 100 foot tall building, the new charge conveyor has been installed and tested, and is being hooked up to the charge bins on the fourth floor. The charge bins in turn are awaiting the final installation of charge chutes to take the lime and coke down to the furnace.
Also on the fourth floor, the hydraulic system that manages the continuous casting of the Soderberg electrodes has been repaired and reinstalled and is ready to go.
On the third floor, the three huge transformers are back from their lengthy refurbishment and have been installed. Meanwhile, on the second floor, electricians are running the busswork to take the power to the electrodes, and also wiring the inumerable sensors and actuators used to operate this state of the art furnace.
On the ground floor, the furnace shell, refractory hearth, and cover are essentially complete. Engineers are preparing the furnace and the electrodes for a required baking period that lasts many days. Once high power can be applied, it will then take several weeks for the furnace to heat to the temperatures required to produce consistent, high purity, calcium carbide.
Over two-hundred CI personnel, contractors, technicians, and engineers are working around the clock on the myriad of details that must be completed before the start up the furnace.
NEWS FROM CARBIDE INDUSTRIES
CARBIDE INDUSTRIES' FURNACE REBUILD NEARS COMPLETION