GATHER quick-disconnect couplingwell with 26-circuit multicoupling

Double shutoff function, ready for installation in a 26-circuit multicoupling, of stainless steel

In a novel type of arc furnace designed for the continuous melting of steel scrap the heat from the melting operation has to be removed from a system component by means of a water cooling system. The vertically arranged electrode of this furnace is located in a well from which it can be pulled upwards.

A water-cooled hood shrouding the electrode is located at the lower end of the well – directly above the melt. This hood prevents the furnace heat from escaping upwards through the well. A lagged pipeline cooling system protects it from overheating. After a certain operating time, the hood has to be removed without having to empty the cooling system and causing water leakage. The newly developed multicoupling enables the hood to be replaced while reducing downtime to a minimum: the hood is disconnected and the replacement hood put in place and connected.

As the hood is connected, the multicoupling rings are first adjusted relative to each other, then plugs and sockets slide into place. Finally, the two sides interlock. Both the sockets and the plugs are provided with integrated shutoff valves preventing water from leaking out while the hood is being replaced: the water stays in the cooling system, residual water contained in the disconnected hood cannot exit. The sockets and plugs are provided with specially sealed flanged connections. The sockets are mounted in a „floating“ manner so that dimensional tolerances are offset. The coupling is designed for ease of maintenance and component replacement without the need to dismantle the coupling. The sockets and plugs are designed and arranged to prevent the ingress of dust and dirt. All coupling sockets in the well-side ring and all coupling plugs in the hood-side ring are arranged in a circular pattern (pitch circle diameter 1,600 mm!).

Advantages of the GATHER quick-disconnect coupling:

  • No need to drain the cooling water for maintenance
  • The shutoff valves integrated in the sockets and plugs prevent water from exiting above the melt
  • Quick hood replacement without long production downtimes
  • Couplings can be serviced in built-in condition