The Innovators: Suspended copper coolers
A smelting furnaces refractory bricks were damaged and had to be quickly replaced. High-powered electric metallurgical furnaces provide very high heat and copper coolers are used to arrest and stabilize refractory-brick erosion.
In normal circumstances, if the brick has to be replaced, copper waffled coolers would be cut out of the furnace, but it was a new furnace. The client hoped for another, innovative option.
Hatch recommended suspending the coolers from the roof steel to allow for the removal and reinstallation of the bricks. It was an unprecedented concept. Removing and reinstalling the coolers would have been very costly, from both a budget and time perspective. Suspending the coolers in place not only shortened the rebricking time, but allowed for a quicker startup, so the furnace could return to profitable production.
The Hatch innovators were Rob Sullivan, the furnace-group project engineer; Clarence Nichols, structural engineer; Nick Boonzaaier, construction manager; and Corrie Holl, assistant construction manager.