Low profile kiln apparatus

Heating – Work feeding – agitating – discharging or conveying... – Removable furnace bottom section or kiln cart


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432137, 432144, F27D 312






The present invention relates to an apparatus for efficiently producing brick. More specifically, the invention relates to an automated, ultra low profile, continuously moving dryer, kiln and brick handling system which provides efficient, effective heating of the brick, and wherein the kiln uses only top burners. The invention thus eliminates the need for burners placed both on top and below the kiln or in other positions throughout the kiln to provide effective heating.
In a typical brick making process, unfired (green) bricks are stacked on the deck of a kiln car traveling on tracks through the kiln. The bricks are typically stacked on the kiln car in piles of about 14 bricks high. The brick stacks may have different configurations but typically the bricks are stacked so as to minimize the thickness of the stack, thereby allowing the hot gases in the kiln to more quickly and evenly heat the brick. The brick stacks are typically arranged in rows, with rows being separated by a distance of 2 to 6 inches which allows better hot gas circulation resulting in quicker and more even firing of the bricks. Brick producing plants producing bricks in this manner typically use a kiln firing time on the order of 30-80 hours, depending upon the particular raw material used to make the brick. Such lengthy firing times are necessary due to the amount and manner in which the bricks are passed through the kiln.
Some brick making systems use a "low profile" dryer and kiln. A typical low profile system uses a stack of bricks from 1-8 high. Such a low profile system is disclosed in Applicant's prior U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,850. This patent discloses a low profile dryer and kiln, in combination with low mass kiln cars carrying stacks of bricks from high 1-8, which is able to utilize a greatly shortened drying and firing cycle. The present invention is an improvement over Applicants prior U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,850, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference thereto.


The present invention provides an ultra-low profile brick making system, i.e., one limited to a stack of bricks no greater than two bricks high. The invention also provides a continuously moving system, i.e., a system wherein a load of green bricks moves continuously through a kiln without interruption. Further the invention is able to achieve effective and efficient firing of the brick by providing a kiln having heating elements or burners only in the top of the kiln. There are no burners provided in the bottom of the kiln, as is done in all other known continuously moving kilns.


FIG. 1 is a top view of tunnel kiln according to the invention.
FIG. 2 is a temperature profile for a kiln according to the invention.
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a dryer used in conjunction with the invention.
FIG. 3A is a sectional elevation of a dryer used in conjunction with the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a cross-section of the furnace zone in the kiln of the present invention.
FIG. 5 is plan view of a kiln car used in the present invention.
FIG. 6 is rear elevation of a kiln car used in the present invention.
FIG. 7 is a side elevation of a kiln car used in the present invention.
Although specific forms of apparatus have been selected for illustration in the drawings and although specific terminology will be resorted to in describing those embodiments in the specification appearing hereinafter, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the illustrated and described embodiments are merely examples within the broad scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.


A typical brick producing facility is illustrated in Applicant's prior U.S. Pat. No. 4,773,850. As disclosed therein raw brick material, typically comprising a mixture of clay, water and optionally other known additives, is formed into green bricks. The green bricks are loaded onto a kiln car and continuously conveyed through a dryer and kiln. In accord

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"The One High Kiln in 1972" by F.E. Jeffers, Brick & Clay Record, Apr. 1972.
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