The conventional method used for glass melting is air-fuel firing, which is inefficient, energy-intensive and time-consuming. In this study, an innovative in-flight melting technology was developed and applied to glass production for the purposes of energy conservation and environmental protection. Three types of heating sources, radio-frequency (RF) plasma, a 12-phase alternating current (ac) arc and an oxygen burner, were used to investigate the in-flight melting behavior of granulated powders. Results show that the melted particles are spherical with a smooth surface and compact structure. The diameter of the melted particles is about 50% of that of the original powders. The decomposition and vitrification degrees of the prepared powders decrease in the order of powders prepared by RF plasma, the 12-phase ac arc and the oxygen burner. The largest heat transfer is from RF plasma to particles, which results in the highest particle temperature (1810°C) and the greatest vitrification degree of the raw material. The high decomposition and vitrification degrees, which are achieved in milliseconds, shorten the melting and fining times of the glass considerably. Our results indicate that the proposed in-flight melting technology is a promising method for use in the glass industry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science