All furnace and kiln structure and refractories are subject to deterioration once commissioned. This deterioration may be in the forms of general and normal refractory wear or possibly in structural damage caused by movement and cracking.
This structural deterioration and damage is likely to be apparent during routine monitoring or visual surveys and inspections.
The extent of any refractory wear rate deterioration is unlikely to be neither apparent nor accurately assessed during a visual survey or inspection.
However, with the aid of thermal imaging techniques refractory wear rates can be more accurately assessed.
Refractory surface temperature data can be collated, monitored and trended. This allows any developing faults or problem areas to be highlighted at an early stage, assisting companies with their hot work maintenance programmes and also allows more precise and accurate planning of future remedial repairs and rebuilds.
In serious cases these faults or problem areas can be brought to the client's attention immediately, allowing the necessary remedial action to take place at an early stage, possibly preventing dangerous occurrences and catastrophic failures.
A furnace or kiln thermographic survey or inspection can be completed at any time convenient to the client, and can be incorporated into existing predictive and preventative maintenance programmes and risk avoidance measures.
However, following the commissioning of a new furnace or kiln or following remedial repairs to a running furnace or kiln is an ideal time. Base line measurements can be taken and logged, then referred back to during future surveys or inspections to monitor the furnace condition.