Frosty

Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner. Photo heavy.

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That kastolite is some interesting stuff to mix. I just finished casting the first one and it turned out ok, I wanted to record the measurements for next time. To cast one of the quart mixing jars I needed about 36 oz of kastolite powder and about 12 oz of water. Both are by volume. I attached photos to this post, I hope they get reduced by the forum software or I’ll have to try to get that done in at the computer. 

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I like it. The 2 in the center look a little close together. Looking forward to seeing the results

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Kast-o-lite can be a PITA to mix, the aggregate is crushed so it keys and doesn't want to flow easily. I made up a vibrator to get it to flow between crayons. How'd you get yours to flow? Of course now we get to wait till you get the glue sticks cleaned out to see how it works. Thanks for the photo spread.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ok here’s take 2. This time I used the 1” run x 3/4” tee that is used for the frosty t burner, taping off one of the 1” sides and placing that on the bottom. The thought is that I’ll open that up to have a look at the interior after burn out and then plug it when used.  

 

This one also only has 19 glue sticks, which makes for a nicer bundle closer to the 1” size.

When casting its important to stuff some in between each glue stick with your finger before filling the sides or else it’s very difficult to get them to maintain any space. 

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4 hours ago, Frosty said:

Kast-o-lite can be a PITA to mix, the aggregate is crushed so it keys and doesn't want to flow easily. I made up a vibrator to get it to flow between crayons. How'd you get yours to flow? Of course now we get to wait till you get the glue sticks cleaned out to see how it works. Thanks for the photo spread.

Frosty The Lucky.

I’m using the side of the blade on an oscillating tool to get it to flow some, but the main part is fingers to stuff it in he right spots. 

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NARB update! I pulled the glue sticks from cast #2 - 4 of them remained partially in. On this one I glued it to a tee, and used quite a bit more glue so I’m not surprised it had some “stick”. I demolded it and chipped a little away so I could see the duct tape and then inside the tee.  

Then, since I was a bit impatient and excited, I stuck a MAP pro torch in it to burn out a bit of glue (not too bad of odor). 

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34 minutes ago, Jasent said:

I wanna see it fired up ;)

You made me curious. This is without burning it out, and without a forge, and on very low psi - like 1-2. And it’s a bit windy.  And I need to tune this burner as it’s the first I’ve built  

If I go higher I start smelling gas around the intake, so the NARB is restrictive right now. 

 

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Well burnout didn't go quite as planned - I only had another NARB to use to try to melt the adhesive out of there, so I put one in the middle of a makeshift forge, and fired one up and placed in one end, expecting cracks from the one in the middle.  Some small ones did develop, and the insides didn't get as hot as I hoped (damn insulating refractory!), so the glue didn't burn as well as I wanted.  After messing with that for awhile, I grabbed them both and put them on a baking sheet, with crumped foil "rings" to raise the flame face off of the baking sheet, and gave them 450° for about an hour, using a skewer to poke through all the holes to help it flow / drain after that hour.  If you have a hood fan running and wipe off excess glue it doesn't stink too bad. 

Ideally I think 350° for a few hours to melt out the adhesive (and help cure), followed by a coal or charcoal fire would be ideal.  I'll be using something like that on my next experiments. 

Next I went and placed them with flame faces touching at bottom, and 1/2" opening on top, and fired one up.  Flame chases all the way through to the inlet of the other burner, and this helped clear out any remaining glue.  After that I placed it back in my forge, and it runs well from 1 PSI to 20+, very stable even though it's pretty windy today.  Attached are some pictures - it's difficult to see the blue flames from the nozzlets on the pictures, but it shows in person. 

15psi without much time heating up, can see some of the blue jets:

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15psi after heating for awhile (there's flame, but you can't really tell!):

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1psi:

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Immediately after testing, face still over 850 degrees (top of my thermal range):

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Looks good, probably need more orifices with such a small plenum, maybe 21 or 22 in the next one, they're easy to block off if you make too many. 

So, what's your impression of using glue sticks? I didn't have nearly so much trouble getting crayons burnt out and heck with a healthy coat of Crisco for a release agent most pulled out cold. You still want to burn out the Lard-like veggy grease and what crayons don't come out I use half a dozen or so charcoal briquettes and just let it cook till it's cool, next day usually. I burn out in my old rivet forge with my brick "fire pot" customizers (fire bricks) arranged to keep the block on the fire.

I used the shop toaster oven to melt out the wax in the first block but it took a long time and I still had to do a charcoal burn out so I just skipped the oven step. Crisco works a treat to release the mold and crayons from the Kast-O-Lite. The stuff is made to STICK, if you don't get it off your mixing tools and putty knife before it sets you almost have to sand it off. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 12/09/2016 at 6:46 AM, Frosty said:

I haven't talked about this little project in any depth though I've mentioned it to a few folks. After reading posts by folk here who have made and use ribbon burners I started looking into them a bit more. I like the idea of more even heat and quieter. What had me baffled is all the talk about needing a high pressure blower and looked more. I downloaded the ribbon burner plans Wayne has posted on his site and ran into the high pressure thing again.

The only reason the device would actually NEED high pressure is if there weren't enough burner "nozzles" (nozzlettes?) A burner has to deliver the Fuel Air (FA) mix faster than the rate of propagation of the mix. To do so there only has to be enough pressure to overcome friction and restrictions in the system. too many nozzlettes though and the velocity falls below the flame front velocity and the system will back fire or burn back if you prefer.

Okay, that's what I was thinking when I started tinkering with a Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner. (NARB? :o) John's design was straight forward enough, a length of square tubing one side opened up, ends capped and a threaded intake port. (About the internal diffuser later) Then a mold to support an array of crayons to provide nozzlettes in the cast refractory. That is easy enough to understand so I gave it some thought, tweaked things a bit and started experimenting.

A NA burner doesn't produce that much pressure, volume you betcha but not a lot of pressure so I needed to find out how many holes the ribbon block needed to let a T breath. Want to guess how many ribbon blocks I had to cast before getting it right? I should make that a contest, maybe Glenn would've donated a prize. Naw, I'm about to give it away so why bother. I started with my calculator, mic and did some figuring. To keep a NA burner breathing properly you need to increase the passage volume as the distance increases, the increase in cross sectional area decreases pressure in the stream to compensate for friction while increasing induction. Well, the basic plan has a piece of 2" sq. tubing 7" long and a thread protector welded to the center of the top side. Okay, there's a big increase in volume so no back pressure problem. I started with 10 nozzlettes about 2x the cross sectional area of the 3/4" tube on the T inducer. The diffuser in the steel plenum was just a piece of sheet steel bent in a flat V and welded across the inside of the plenum chamber to deflect the FA stream towards the ends.

Put it together hooked up the gas and lit it off. No go, too much back pressure only got a sickly stream of fluttery yellow flames that looked like a demented candle. Doubling the flow path wasn't enough.

The next test block had 36 nozzlettes and lit it up. No back pressure issues but the FA velocity was too low and it backfired in about 3-4 seconds. Well, I had it bracketed I knew what was too little and too much.

The next test block had 24 nozzlettes and it performed pretty darned well but backfired in about 30 seconds. Close but no cigar.

Next one had 21 nozzlettes and it ran close to a minute so I put it in a brick pile forge and it backfired in under 10 seconds. I could smell that brass ring now! :lol:

Test fire 24 nozzlettes.jpg

Don't let the long yellow flames fool you this test block is burning nicely it's made of wood so . . . Yeah, I made all the ribbon test blocks from 2" x 4" cut to fit the plenum. The plenum end caps are 2 3/4" long and drilled so I could screw through to the test blocks. You didn't really think I was going to cast all the test blocks in refractory did you? :rolleyes: There were 6 test blocks tuning into the 19 nozzlettes in 3 rows 6" long. I don't have any pictures of the tests after I rotated the T tube 90* so the T would lay horizontal rather than stand vertical. This lets me put the burner air intake behind the forge as far from the door as possible so it can't breath exhaust, an ongoing problem with all the vertical burners I've run.

So, once I had my numbers and pattern I made the mold. It isn't nearly as nice as the one John made I used a 2" x 6" drilled for crayons and 2" x 2" for the sides. Sanded, painted in hard epoxy appliance paint. The release agent I used is spray Pledge.

I made the final mod to the plenum, welding 1" of expanded steel to the long side to act like rebar in the refractory and make for a positive bond to the refractory.

This pic is a final fitting of the T inducer before casting the block to check for clearances and other fiddly little things I was able to think might maybe could go wrong. Note the lack of a diffuser in the plenum, with or without one made zero difference in the flame size uniformity so I dropped it from the design.

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Then came the setting it to the old, two pieces of 3/4" angle iron tacked to the ends set it's depth in the mold, they'll come off when it goes in the forge. There's nothing of particular iterest to say about this part. Holes drilled, crayons set plenum height set, mold sprayed with Pledge and allowed to dry.

I discovered an interesting thing mixing the Kast-O-Lite 30. I used the mold to measure the Kast-O-Lite beforehand and added about 25% more so as to have enough and not waste too much. I mixed it in two batches, the first batch was about 1/4" depth and I added about 25% Zircopax. This section is the flame face so I armored it up a little. Test coupons performed satisfactorily so this is the mod I made to the refractory in the mold. I then mixed the rest and discovered adding water reduced the volume significantly and had to mix a third batch to make up the difference. About then I was kicking myself heartily for not weighing the refractory.

Here's a little tip I one of the guys at Bartells passed to me and I confirmed. When you mix this stuff add water VERY SLOWLY and kneed it like you were mashing peanut butter. It will seem VERY dry but when little pellets start to look wet you're about there. Mash it into a corner between the side and bottom of the container, then turn it out cut it up and mash it in again. It will begin to stick together and it's into the add water by the drop not drizzle. Suddenly it will start loosening up and will quickly become soft and pliable, work it more and it'll become liquid. It's weird stuff but be patient it'll become workable. Too much water and it'll flow like paint and it looses strength and it's thermal properties.

This pic is of the vibrator I made to settle the refractory into the mold and the expanded sheet thoroughly. It's just a piece of 5/16" rd. with about 4" bent 90* at the end. With the drill turning at a moderate speed it vibrated every bubble out quickly and also quickly produced free moisture at the top of the mix and through a joint under one end of the mold. Darned stuff was still too wet and I had to spoon it into the mold and mash it in with a butter knife. It's weird stuff.

Not a whole lot for pictures happened next, I put a magnetic engine heater on the plenum to keep the refractory in the 80f range and wrapped in it Kaowool to insulate it. Then I left it over night, and gave it a little quick scratch test to see how it was setting. Hard as a rock so I cracked the mold and gave a side under the mold a scratch. Ditto, HARD set. ow for the 100% humidity cure time a set of directions called for. It went into a coffee can with a little water and the magnetic engine heater stuck to the outside to keep it wet. I left it at 100% humid for a day and a half before trying to melt out the crayons. I don't k now what they're putting in crayons anymore but they don't melt easily at all

Vibrating refractory in mold.jpg

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Out of mold.jpg

 

After a couple days warm and wet I discovered I was out of propane! I was expecting a local fellow who wanted to give smithing a shot so I loaded up my 100lb. tank, got it filled ad had help dragging it into the shop and hooking up my new ribbon burner. I'd stacked up a brick pile forge with a chamber volume of about 365 cu/in and lit it up. :)

The first pic is just after lighting it, you can just barely see the top of the T behind the plenum. It's running a little rich but not terribly.

Refractory NA ribbon block in pile 01.jpg

This is running at 2 PSIG. None of my T burners run at 2 PSIG. :lol:

Refractory NA ribbon 2 PSIG.jpg

 

Refractory NA ribbon 10 PSIG.jpg

 

This is 10 PSIG.

Refractory NA ribbon 10 PSIG.jpg

 

This last pic is 20PSIG. The forge was running into yellow heat in about 5 minutes and she's quiet, roars but quietly.

Refractory NA ribbon 20 PSIG.jpg

And that ladies and gentlemen, is a Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner. Driven by an off the page Frosty T induction device.

I am not displeased. :wub:

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Incredible job and super detailed informational description. ...BRAVO.

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On 10/28/2017 at 2:03 PM, Frosty said:

Looks good, probably need more orifices with such a small plenum, maybe 21 or 22 in the next one, they're easy to block off if you make too many. 

So, what's your impression of using glue sticks? I didn't have nearly so much trouble getting crayons burnt out and heck with a healthy coat of Crisco for a release agent most pulled out cold. You still want to burn out the Lard-like veggy grease and what crayons don't come out I use half a dozen or so charcoal briquettes and just let it cook till it's cool, next day usually. I burn out in my old rivet forge with my brick "fire pot" customizers (fire bricks) arranged to keep the block on the fire.

I used the shop toaster oven to melt out the wax in the first block but it took a long time and I still had to do a charcoal burn out so I just skipped the oven step. Crisco works a treat to release the mold and crayons from the Kast-O-Lite. The stuff is made to STICK, if you don't get it off your mixing tools and putty knife before it sets you almost have to sand it off. 

Frosty The Lucky.

The one that was fired up in the pictures was 22.  My next cast will use a 1 1/4" tee, and a 1 1/4" to 3/4" reducer.  That will give me a lot more room to add in nozzlets, so I'll max it out and plug them up to find the magic number.

I think the glue stick is a good idea, as we can get it to flex, allowing for the nozzle to "bloom" out like a flower.  We will be able to build this in 10-15 minutes of work time too, so very low skill and low tool needs.

I would have been fine if I tried to melt out with a little bit of charcoal as you did; I just didn't have any, or an appropriate fire pot.  For mixing the Kastolite, I just use hands covered in disposable gloves and a larger mixing cup.  No tools to clean!

OH, I forgot to mention: these have zero roar.  They are extremely quite.

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Here’s 25. I had to pack in 23, then push 24 & 25 in with a nail set / punch. I like this configuration as they aren’t spilling over the edge, and I didn’t have to melt the sticks at all. These are new sticks too, all the other ones I had were old ones that I had inherited from my mother in law so they seemed stickier and may have been harder to pull out. No melting should mean that there’s nothing to burn out too. 

Another thought I had when making this - I could wrap some reenforcement around the outside of the tee and clamp with a hose clamp for added structure, although these things seem tough. I actually dropped one from about 4’, with the frosty t burner attached and it survived. 

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Thank you Aalma, I usually forget to take pics when I do stuff. Next time you quote a post please delete as much as you can and maintain continuity in your reply. Reposting pics uses a LOT of bandwidth and Iforge is followed by folk in 150 +/- countries all over Planet Earth, many on dial up connections. 

Joe: I'm thinking things will smooth out if you increase the size of the plenum. However what you made looks to be working fine now. Quiet is one of the benefits of multiple outlet burners almost as good as low velocity keeping the fire in the forge longer.

It's looking good so far, I'll be watching to see what you come up with next. 

I hit submit then noticed I should've refreshed the screen before sending. I don't get the reason for how this set up so I gues I get to wait to see it with the inducer attached.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Actually yes, finally had a chance to today. The mold is pretty big  and took a lot of kastolite. The new glue stick pulled out great for the most part. I tried to fire it but the forge floor was still cooking moisture out.

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The low flame is 1-2 psi, and the high flame is 25 psi or so. 

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I think I'm going to build one of these. May start on it today if I can find my glue sticks. I have an extra T burner to play with and about 4lbs of kastolite left over.  I'll try to document the whole thing as you have. Any reason you put the whole T inside the kastolite?  I'm wondering if just one side of the T would be fine?

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I actually did a 1 1/4” elbow, and an adapter to 3/4” in one side.  I prefer this, the tee makes it weaker. 

Edit: I put the whole elbow inside as it makes the casting easier, and is quite strong it seems. 

Edit 2: it was a 1 1/4" elbow used.  I cast it inside so that I didn't have to worry about it separating into 2 pieces.

Edited by JoeThePro

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2 minutes ago, JoeThePro said:

I actually did a 1” x 1 1/4” elbow, and an adapter to 3/4” in the 1” side.  I prefer this, the tee makes it weaker. 

What I mean is why put the whole elbow in the cast? Why not just enough to support it? 

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