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Water cooled inner cover for annealing furnace

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5961322.

An annealing furnace inner cover cooperates with a furnace base to define a treatment chamber within which a charge of metal such as steel is housed for annealing, wherein the inner cover carries at least one interior cooling conduit through which cooling water from an exterior source is circulated to expedite the cooling of gas that is circulated within the treatment chamber during cooling portions of an annealing cycle. The water cooled inner cover is especially well suited for expediting the cooling of stacked coils of steel sheet from an annealing temperature, and preferably utilizes a helix of cooling coils that surround mid-height portions of the stack, wherein the cooling coils are protectively housed within an inwardly facing recess defined by an enlarged diameter mid-height portion of the inner cover both to prevent cooling coil damage due to impact during cover movement, and to ensure that gas circulation within the inner cover is not adversely restricted by the presence of the cooling coils.

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