Gyrotron’s Glass Melting Technology

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Gyrotron’s Glass Melting Technology

It is well known that glass material at temperatures above its softening point is good at absorbing microwave radiation. This property is also present in the batch of raw materials used in glass production. The glass melting technology used to melt the batch is an essential part of glass production. However, it is not enough just to melt the batch, to obtain acceptable quality the batch must stay molten until all trapped gases and air are removed. During this process, gases are formed inside the batch as the result of chemical reactions between batch components. The process of removing gases, called fining, may take up to several hours until all gases form a layer of glass foam on the molten surface. The glass foam that develops on the surface has a very low heat transfer property that prevents its removal by heat from the glass or from outside.

The only way to expedite foam removal and the fining process is to heat the foam quickly and evenly along with new batch materials added to the surface. This is achieved by using powerful microwave energy directed at the surface of the molten glass. Microwave energy penetrates inside the foam, efficiently and rapidly, heating the foam and new batch materials. Chemical reactions between batch materials and the correspondent production of gases occur at the surface of the molten glass where conditions for gas escaping are favorable. The process of fining and gas escaping takes much less time because of the lower viscosity of the glass due to the high temperature of the melt surface, as well as the shorter distance the gas bubbles need to travel to escape.

Microwave assisted glass melting technology, along with other technologies that have been developed by Gyrotron Technology Inc., is more efficient and productive than existing processes that use electric resistance, hot gas or other common heat sources. It has been a long time since microwave energy has been applied for different industrial processes. Utilizing its ability to penetrate deep inside materials and heat them volumetrically, Gyrotron’s millimeter wave microwave generator produces an energy beam ranging from a few kilowatts to megawatts of power and is the only one of its kind. This beam is easy to control, using a simple mirror made of any metal the beam can be focused or spread over a large area with the desired uniformity and energy density. These unique properties of the gyrotron beam open many possibilities for new designs of glass melting equipment. Glass melting tanks can be made any size, including small. For glass manufacturers it simplifies tooling, requires less time to realign the production process and makes it easy to change glass composition. Common existing glass melting equipment can be modified for microwave-assisted glass melting technology and many industries can benefit by using gyrotron technologies. For more information about glass melting and other new industrial solutions using the microwave gyrotron beam visit www.gyrotrontech.com.

Gyrotron Technology, Inc.
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Gyrotron Technology, Inc.
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