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Патент USA US3076588

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Feb. 5, 1963
Filed May 26. 1960‘
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
Feb. 5, 1963
Filed May 26, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
United States Patent 0' we
Fatented Feb. 5, 1963
such as gas jet 16 which is arranged in the center of the
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
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.
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
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
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
with new furnaces, if the headers are provided with a seat
McKeone ____________ .. Sept. 28, 1897
conforming in shape and dimension to the shoulder 34
Crowe et a1 ___________ __ Jan. 19, 1932
so that the insert 32 is made an integral part of the headers
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:
Muchnic ____________ __ June 30, 1936
Keenan ______________ __ Jan. 26, 1943
France ______________ .._ Jan. 9, 1930
1. In combination with a heating member having an
opening of substantially constant diameter permitting
‘g.- .
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