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John Moncur

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c1887. Patent Fire Brick Hot-Blast Stoves.

John Moncur (1844-1910), secretary and manager of the Distington Hematite Iron Co. Took out a patent with Benjamin Ford for an Improved Regenerative Fire Brick Hot-Blast Stove for Blast Furnaces.


1887 "FORD & MONCUR'S PATENT IMPROVED REGENERATIVE FIRE BRICK HOT-BLAST STOVE for BLAST FURNACES. Patented in Great Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and the United States of America.

The greatest improvement in the economical production of Pig Iron, in recent times, was the employment of Hot-Blast, and Mr E. A. Cowper’s application of the Siemen’s Regenerator in his Fire Brick Hot-Blast Stove, has placed in the hands of the manufacturer an apparatus by which he may have almost any temperature required.

Of the Patent Fire Brick Hot-Blast Stoves, presently in use, which are now rapidly superseding Iron Pipe Stoves, Mr E. A. Cowper’s is considered to be in some respects the best, chiefly in that it surpasses the others in the extent of its heating surface.

In order to secure the greatest economy in working the modern blast furnace, it will be readily admitted that the extent and thorough effectiveness of the heating surfaces, are unquestionably the points of most importance to consider in the erection of Hot Blast Stoves.

Mr Cowper’s Regenerative Fire Brick Stoves has been variously modified and improved, yet in its practical working, at least two serious defects have been found to exist, defects which are common to all the Regenerative Fire Brick Stoves hitherto in use, viz.: irregularity in temperature of Blast and the difficulty of cleaning and consequent interference with the effectiveness of the heating surfaces. These defects have now been effectively removed by the Patented Improvements in Ford and Moncur's Regenerative Brick Hot-Blast Stove, and at the same time a much larger extent of thoroughly effective heating surface has been secured in the following manner:-

Maintaining Uniform Temperature of Blast - By dividing the Stove into several compartments, each compartment having an internal valve actuated from the outside, and placed in the lower part of the Stove, where the temperature is at a minimum. By means of these internal valves each compartment can be isolated from the others, and an equal and uniform temperature of blast (though somewhat lower than the maximum heat of the Stove) can be maintained from each Stove in the following way :-All the compartments of the Stove having been heated to a maximum temperature> the blast is caused to pass through, say one half of the Stove, the other compartments having been shut off by the internal valves. The compartments so shut off retain their high temperature, and soon as the temperature begins to fall in the compartments being blown through; then by opening the internal valves in connection with the hot compartments, as required, the blast that would otherwise continue to fall in temperature, will in this manner, be supplemented and reinforced and a practically uniform temperature, at the degree required may be maintained during the whole time that the Stove is on blast – an attainment of the utmost importance to the regular working of the Blast Furnace.

The irregularity of temperature from Regenerative Fire Brick Stoves has hitherto been compensated, to a certain extent, by multiplying the number of Stoves to a Furnace, entailing an enormous expense in plant.

CLEANING.-Various methods have been adopted to remove the non-conducting dust deposited on the heating: surfaces of Fire Brick Stoves, such as passing wire brushes and scrapers through the flues or passages, exploding charges of gunpowder; &c., but these, besides being troublesome and expensive, can only be used at intervals; thus allowing the deposit to settle and accumulate, which by pressure of the blast and high temperature adheres firmly to the heating surfaces, interfereing fatally with their effectiveness, and is most difficult to remove.

The system of cleaning adopted in this Patented Invention is now to allow the deposit to accumulate, but to blow it out into the chimney flue or otherwise by means of the force of the air contained in the whole Stove, at blast pressure, when discharging, at the changes from “blast” to “gas”. This contained air being compelled by means of the internal valves and compartments above described, to rush through the comparatively limited area of only one compartment, and each compartment being taken in like manner, in rotation, the heating surfaces in Combustion Chamber and Regenerator are thus kept permanently clean.

The construction of the Regenerator is arranged in such a way as to completely break up and diffuse the products of combustion and the heated currents, at the same time securing the largest extent of effective heating surface, and presents no level surface on which the deposit can rest; and the surfaces are so exposed and inclined to the action of the blast that they can be easily swept clean in the manner above explained.

In addition to the important advantages above enumerated which Ford & Moncur's Patent Stove possesses over all other existing Stoves, it may be mentioned that it can be applied to works in a variety of sizes, at a very moderate cost, taking into account the immense effective heating surface which it gives; and its adoption effects a large saving in comparison with the expense of all the best-known Stoves already in operation. And further, by the position and construction of its Combustion Chamber, full and complete command of the entire area of the Regenerator is secured, so that Stoves of even larger diameters than those commonly in use, can be worked successfully, and with further manifest economy."[1]

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1910 Obituary [2]

JOHN MONCUR died in October 1910, in his sixty-seventh year. He was for many years secretary and manager of the Distington Haematite Iron Co., Ltd.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1902.


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