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Feb. 5, 1963 H. E. SMITH ETAL 3,076,578 FURNACE PLUG MECHANISM Filed May 26. 1960‘ 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG. elk FURNACE IO TUBES INVENTORS. FIG.3. HOSEA E. SMITH, BY THURMAN V. DODSON, ATTORNEY. Feb. 5, 1963 H. E. SMITH ETAL 3,076,578 FURNACE PLUG MECHANISM Filed May 26, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 - W‘ BY INVENTORS. HOSEA E. SMITH, THURMAN V. DODSON, ' ATTORNEY. 3,076,578 United States Patent 0' we Fatented Feb. 5, 1963 i 2. such as gas jet 16 which is arranged in the center of the , I . 3,076,578. FURNACE PLUG MECHANISM Hosea E. Smith, Highlands, and Thurman V. Dodson, I Baytown, Tex., assignors to Esso Research and Engi neering Company, Elizabeth, N.J., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 26, 1360, Ser. No. 31,880 2 Claims. (Cl. 220-46) bottom of the furnace 10. _ , Fluids such as oil are ?owed into the furnace 10 and through the tubes 18 wherein they are heated by the heat in the combustion chamber of the furnace 10 and then ?owed from the furnace 10 to other areas where they are further processed. The tubes are provided with bends or headers 22 and 20 at the top and bottom of the furnace 10 so that there is a continuous ?ow path through the This invention relates to furnaces such as those com 10 tubes 18. monly used having tubes therein ?lled with oil or other Referring to FIG. 3, the top portions of the tubes 18 ?uids which are heated ‘for use in chemical processes, More particularly, this invention is an improved plug include return bends or headers 20 which are a?ixed to the tops of two adjacent tubes. The bottoms of the tubes member which can be removed to permit the entrance of 18 are connected by means of the lower bends or headers mechanical cleaning tools into ‘the heating tubes in order 15 22 which are at?xed to the two adjacent bottom portions of the tubes 18.‘ to clean these tubes. When it is desired to clean the tubes 18 after the forma ‘In using furnaces for heating oils or other ?uids, the tion of coke and/or corrosion has occurred,‘ plugs such oil is fed into a series of tubes arranged inside the combus as indicated generally by the numeral 24 in FIG. 3 may be tion chamber. Adjacent tubes are connected at the ends by devices known as headers. Oil is ?owed through tubes 20 removed from the headers 20 or 22. Cleaning members can beinserted through the exposed ports in the headers and headers and is then flowed from the furnace. In in order to clean therinternal surfaces of the tubes 18. this manner, the oils or other ?uids are heated and then It often occurs that very minute particles of coke or flowed to other devices used in the processing of the oil. other matter get between the outside perimeter of the During the heating, coke forms in the heating tubes and these tubes are also subject to corrosion. This forma 25 plug and the plug seat. At the high temperatures and pressures, ‘galling‘ also occurs in this same area. Such tion of coke and corrosion requires that the tubes in the conditions cause these plugs to be removed only with furnace be intermittently cleaned to remove the coke and difficulty. As formerly stated, when pry bars or other types of mechanisms are used to remove the plugs, the To permit the entrance of cleaning tools into the tubes, ports or holes are provided in the headers at various points 30 plugs can no longer be used due to excessive mutilation of the plugs. Also,- since oil is often trapped in the area of in the tube system. The ports are plugged by plug mem the plug, if heat is used to remove the plug, there is a bers when the tubes are being used. To clean the tubes, great ?re hazard. 1 the plug members are removed and cleaning tools in Referring to FIG. 4, which is an enlarged sectional serted to remove the coke and corrosion. It often happens that the plugs stick to the headers and 35 view taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 3, it is seen that the header 22 is provided with an inwardly and upwardly" are extremely hard to remove. In these instances, pry tapering plug seat 30. In conventionally utilized plugs, bars, levers, and hammers are ?rst used in efforts to re corrosion. , move the plugs. the plug beyond plug. As a last the plug area to , ‘ _ _ This mechanical abuse often mutilates reuse and also often fails to loosen the resort, heat is applied to the headers in expand the header away from the plug. a solid plug member is inserted to mate with the plug seat 30. It is this type of plug which often sticks and is di?icult to remove. Oil is often trapped in the tubes in the vicinity of the plug Rather than use a single solid plug which mate against the seat 30 of the header, this invention utilizes an an nular insert member 32. Insert member 32 has its outside and when heat is used to remove the plug, this creates perimeter shaped to sealingly engage the seat 30. The Although heating usually works, it is very dangerous. 45 inside diameter of the annular member 32 is substantially a great ?re hazard. constant throughout its length and the inside diameter is This invention provides the art with a new furnace heat ing tube plug mechanism which is simple in construction large enough to permit cleaning tools to be inserted and can be installed in place of the plugs which are cur through the insert 32 and up through tubes 18. The an rently used for such heating furnace headers. These new nular insert 32 is provided with a downwardly facing plugs can be easily removed and thus the use of pry bars, 50 annular shoulder 34. _ A removable solid plug 36 is used to plug the hole de?ned by the insert 32 when ?uids are being heated in the tubes 18. The plug 36 is provided with an upwardly ?re hazard are eliminated. facing annular shoulder 38 which is adapted to mate with The invention as well as its many advantages will be further understood by reference to the following detailed 55 the shoulder 34 of the insert 32 and separated from insert 32 by means of a substantially ?at annular metal sealing description and drawings in which: gasket 40. The shoulder 38 on plug 36 is substantially FIG. 1 is a schematic, elevational view, partly in sec the same size as the shoulder 34 on insert 32. Notice tion, showing the arrangement of the tubes in a typical fur also that the plug 36 is provided with a short upright nace for heating oil; 60 section 42 which comes into contact with the inside perim FIG. 2 is a view taken along lines 2—2 of FIG. 1; eter of the annular insert 32. This, along with the gasket FIG. 3 shows the arrangement of the flow path through 40, provides a sealtight engagement of the plug member the vertical tubes of the furnace; with the insert 32. The upper portion of the plug 36 FIG. 4 is an enlarged view taken along lines 4-4 of upwardly and inwardly towards its axis and extends FIG. 3 showing the construction of the new plug mech 65 tapers into the annular insert 32. anism; and The solid plug 36 is held releasably pressed against the FIG. 5 is a view taken along lines 5—-5 of FIG. 4. annular metal sealing gasket 40 by means of a threaded Referring to the drawings in which like parts are referred bolt 44. The end of the threaded bolt 44 presses against to by like numerals, a furnace 10 is shown having a bot a bolt seat 46 provided centrally within the plug 36. Bolt tom portion 12 which is supported above the earth’s sur 70 44 is threaded through a holding member 48 which has face by means of supports 14. Heat is applied to the extending portions 50 which extend through ports 52 pro combustion chamber of furnace 10 by means of a burner vided in downwardly extending cars 54. When the bolt levers, hammers, and heating need not be resorted to. Thus, the mutilation of the plug beyond reuse and the 4 3 44 is screwed upwardly (looking at FIG. 4), the end of the bolt forces plug 36 into tight engagement with insert 32 and also the holding member 48 is forced downwardly against the lower portion of the ports 52 in ears 54. Of course, as the oils within tubes 18 are heated, a high cleaning tools to be inserted therethrough and a pair of ear members extending from the heating member and diametrically spaced about said opening, each of said ear members having a port formed therein, and said heating member being provided with an annular plug seating shoulder adjacent said opening: a removable solid plug temperature and pressure are developed within the tubes having an annular shoulder adapted to seat on said seat 18. The metal gasket 40 is a leak-free seal. The gasket is also strong enough to remain in place despite the high ing shoulder, the entire end of the removable solid plug located outside of said heating member being substantially temperatures and pressures within the tubes 18. The ?at and the portion of the solid plug extending into said gasket also absorbs any unevenness between the insert 32 opening of substantially constant diameter tapering in and the plug 36 due to extreme heating. wardly toward its axis from a point adjacent said plug The plug 36 is tapered in its upper part to provide a shoulder; a substantially flat annular metal sealing gasket space 56 between the tapered portion of the plug 36 and adapted to ?t between said seating shoulder and said plug the inside diameter of the insert 32. Thus, any coke which tends to form within the heating tubes 18 will fall 15 shoulder with the dimensions of said seating shoulder, in the space 56. This will prevent sticking of the plug said plug shoulder, and said ?at annular metal sealing gasket being substantially the same; a holding member within the insert 32. The plug 36 is removed simply by loosening the bolt having a central portion and diametrically spaced out wardly extending portions, each‘ of the extending portions port, turning the holding member 90", and removing the 20 being adapted to extend into a port in an ear member, said central portion of the holding member being provided bolt, holding member, plug, and gasket from the ears 54. 44, moving one of the extending portions 50 from its with a threaded bore extending therethrough; and a If it should happen that the insert 32 sticks to the seat 30 because of the formation of coke between the insert 32 threaded bolt adapted to extend through said threaded and the seat 30, this insert member may be left in the bore and coaxial with the solid plug to press against the seat 30 and need not be removed. The plug, gasket, and 25 solid plug. other members will fall of their own weight and can be 2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said plug is easily removed. provided with a bolt seat. The insert 32 need only be used when it is desired to References Cited in the ?le of this patent substitute this new type plug mechanism for existing plugs now used in conventional heating furnaces. Of course, 30 UNITED STATES PATENTS with new furnaces, if the headers are provided with a seat 590,584 McKeone ____________ .. Sept. 28, 1897 conforming in shape and dimension to the shoulder 34 1,841,523 Crowe et a1 ___________ __ Jan. 19, 1932 so that the insert 32 is made an integral part of the headers 1,981,061 Moorhead ___________ __ Nov. 20, 1934 20 or 22, it would be unnecessary to use a separate insert and the remaining parts of the system disclosed herein 35 can be used. We claim: 2,046,029 2,309,122 Muchnic ____________ __ June 30, 1936 Keenan ______________ __ Jan. 26, 1943 679,366 France ______________ .._ Jan. 9, 1930 ‘ FOREIGN PATENTS 1. In combination with a heating member having an opening of substantially constant diameter permitting ‘g.- .