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Distribution Channel

With the increasing use of matrix bottle forming machines matched on each glass furnace, more and more manufacturers have experienced the different concepts of working pool and distribution channel in practice. This led to the transformation of glass furnaces from the working pool to the modern distribution channel in the early 1980s in countries like Europe and the United States, gradually perfecting the design and matching concepts of the distribution channel. Therefore, the distribution channel of modern glass furnaces should be highly valued and treated as the primary prerequisite for matching the feeding channel in the matrix bottle forming process.

The modern distribution channel for bottle and jar glass, which is completely separated from the flame of the glass furnace, is an independent entity connected to the ascending channel of the fluid hole of the furnace. For this reason, we propose the concept of a modern distribution channel.

Design Elements of the Distribution Channel

Typical modern distribution channels and the arranged feeding channels must provide the following elements:

  1. Type of glass properties
  2. Glass color
  3. Depth of glass liquid
  4. Distribution of feeding channels
  5. Changeover times
  6. Minimum/maximum discharge amount for each feeding channel

These elements are essential parameters and important criteria for designing the distribution channel, considering specific requirements of the matrix bottle forming process.

Importance of the Distribution Channel
  1. As a distribution channel matched with the matrix bottle forming process, it is a crucial prerequisite for the smooth operation of the feeding channel. The success or failure of distribution channel design can cause a series of impacts on subsequent processes. This is particularly important for large-scale matrix bottle forming machines with multiple drops and significant daily output, an experience recognized in China only in recent years.
  2. According to the latest foreign views, the most important function of the distribution channel is to effectively regulate the glass temperature, ensuring the adjustment of liquid temperature in the feeding channel.
Association between the Distribution Channel and the Furnace
  1. The latest concept of the distribution channel considers it as an independent entity. Precise design of the distribution channel is centered on serving the requirements of the matrix bottle forming process. After the high-temperature glass liquid enters the distribution channel from the ascending channel of the fluid hole, the temperature is adjusted by the distribution channel. The temperature range of the glass liquid entering the distribution channel from the ascending channel is around 1150-1420°C, while the entrance temperature of the feeding channel is roughly between 1150-1300°C.
  2. The design of the distribution channel is crucial, and it varies based on the number of matching feeding channels, different process arrangements, and the discharge amount and temperature requirements of each feeding channel. Its rigorous scientific nature is far from being a simple concept of the furnace working pool.
  3. The relative elevation of the distribution channel is not the same as the elevation of the glass furnace. The height difference depends on the temperature and viscosity of different glass liquids or the size of the melting area of the glass furnace.
  4. There must be a drop in the relative elevation of the distribution channel and the relative elevation of the feeding channel. The decrease in height also depends on the temperature and viscosity of different glass liquids or the size of the melting area of the glass furnace.
  5. The relationship between the modern distribution channel and the glass furnace varies depending on the size of the daily output of the furnace, classified into single fluid hole and double fluid hole.

Typical examples of modern distribution channels are shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3.

Relationship between the Distribution Channel and the Feeding Channel
  1. The distribution channel is a prerequisite for the feeding channel. As mentioned above, the design and matching principles of the distribution channel must be based on the arrangement of the feeding channel, the daily output, and various factors such as the temperature indicators at the entrance of the channel.
  2. The temperature range of the distribution channel can be adjusted over a wide span, while the adjustment range of the glass liquid in the feeding channel is only a small range of 80-140°C. Therefore, it must meet the temperature indicator requirements at the entrance of the feeding channel (1150-1300°C), which is a rigid requirement for the forming process.
  3. According to foreign data, the temperature relationship between the distribution channel and the feeding channel is shown in Figure 4.
  4. Relationship between the Distribution Channel and Droplet Preparation
The relationship between the distribution channel and droplet preparation is very close.
  1. Technical requirements: If the design of the distribution channel is unreasonable, it will cause fatal flaws in the forming process.
  2. The distribution channel should be the prerequisite for the easier preparation of high-quality and stable droplets.
  3. Foreign experience indicates that they attach great importance to the distribution channel. They insist on considering the distribution channel and the feeding channel as a whole and regard them as key hardware for the successful preparation of droplets.
  4. Foreign distribution channels are equipped with gas heating and matching cooling air systems. These hardware facilities are designed to regulate the temperature of the glass liquid before entering the feeding channel, making it comply with the entrance temperature indicator of the feeding channel, which is the most important prerequisite for droplet preparation. This rigorous scientific attitude can be learned from by the domestic bottle and jar glass industry.
Relationship between the Distribution Channel and Forming Process

Data show that the importance of droplet preparation to bottle forming accounts for more than 70% of the factors. The distribution channel, as the basic prerequisite for the feeding channel, witnesses its significant impact on the forming process.

  1. The design of the distribution channel must be based on the requirements of the matrix bottle forming machine’s forming process, fully considering the different temperature requirements of the forming process. The requirement for the entrance temperature of the feeding channel is particularly strict, representing a rigid requirement for the forming process.
  2. In today’s situation of large-scale modern furnaces with multiple lines in one furnace, using the simple thinking of the general glass furnace design concept will inevitably lead to mistakes. The experience of several domestic cases of mistakes is enough for us to change our mindset.

[Points of Attention]

  1. The latest foreign views on the distribution channel emphasize that, to adapt to the needs of the matrix bottle forming machine’s forming process, it is crucial to consider the distribution channel and the feeding channel as a whole and absolutely distinguish them from the concept of glass furnace melting.
  2. Depending on the different positions of the feeding channel, the width of the distribution channel varies. The depth of the distribution channel also changes gradually with different output amounts of glass liquid and temperature adjustment requirements. High-temperature glass liquid gradually becomes shallower after leaving the ascending channel of the fluid hole.
  3. The distribution channel must meet the temperature indicator requirements at the entrance of the feeding channel, which is a rigid temperature indicator for the forming process. Experience shows that this is not only necessary but also somewhat difficult. The distribution channel must be treated seriously and rationally.
  4. It should be noted that although the distribution channel is equipped with gas heating and related cooling devices, these are auxiliary fine-tuning measures. From the perspective of industrial economics, the economic rationality of the distribution channel still relies on its own reasonable design. Additional heat sources and cooling devices will not only reduce the intrinsic homogeneity of the glass liquid flow but also add unnecessary costs, which is uneconomical.

【Comprehensive Points of Attention】

  1. With the trend of domestic large-scale matrix bottle forming machines and the increasingly stringent specific requirements for forming process conditions, there is an urgent need for a mindset and practice shift in the domestic design of the distribution channel. Analyzing and researching the design concepts of foreign distribution channels, learning from their practices, and drawing from their experiences are not only necessary but also beneficial.
  2. The systematic nature and close continuity of bottle forming processes determine that the distribution channel issue cannot be approached with a one-sided mindset. This is because the stability of the entrance temperature of the feeding channel is determined by the liquid temperature and operational adjustments. Data shows that the rationality of the design and matching of the distribution channel is crucial for the forming process and droplet shaping.
  3. The connection issues between the steel structures supporting the distribution channel, the steel structure of the furnace’s fluid hole ascending channel, and the steel structure supporting the feeding channel must be handled properly. This is a crucial consideration for operational safety.
  4. Attention must be paid to the rational selection of the relative elevation of the distribution channel and the elevation difference with the glass furnace. The elevation values, as well as the elevation relationships between various parts such as the ascending channel of the fluid hole, must be carefully considered. Inappropriate choices may lead to negative impacts on droplet shaping.
  5. It is also essential to consider the absolute size selection of the relative elevation of the distribution channel and the elevation difference with the feeding channel. This has a significant impact on the stability of the glass liquid in the feeding channel. Improper handling may directly affect droplet shaping and preparation negatively.
  6. Attention must be given to the temperature values of the glass liquid entering the distribution channel from the ascending channel of the fluid hole and its temperature variations, especially the strict control of the standard and stability of the entrance temperature of the feeding channel. This has a considerable impact on droplet shaping.
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