Parry, George

Parry, George
SUBJECT AREA: Metallurgy
fl. 1800–1850 Wales
Welsh ironmaker and inventor of the bell and hopper for blastfurnaces.
Until the mid-nineteenth century, blast furnaces were open at the top to facilitate loading of the iron ore, fuel and flux (the charge). However, that arrangement allowed the hot gases produced in the furnace to escape, whereas they could have been used to heat boilers or the incoming air blast. Attempts had been made to capture the fugitive gases, but they had all failed until George Parry devised his bell and hopper equipment for dosing the throat or top of the furnace. He fixed an inverted cone or hopper inside the throat and arranged inside it a cast-iron bell that could be raised or lowered. When in the raised position, it was in contact with the underside of the hopper, thus sealing the furnace. The hot gases could then be led off through a large pipe to do useful work. The charge was dropped onto the bell, and when enough had accumulated there the bell was lowered, allowing the charge to fall into the furnace. The gas escaped only for the brief period that the bell was lowered. The advantages of this arrangement were soon realized by other ironmasters and it was quite rapidly, and then generally, adopted. The device was still in use in the 1990s, with modifications.
1858, "On the principal causes of derangements in blast furnaces", Proceedings of the South Wales Institute of Engineers 1:26–39 (describes his improvements to the blast furnace), 28 ff. (relates to the improvements in the charging arrangements).
Further Reading
W.K.V.Gale, 1969, Iron and Steel, London: Longmans, p. 52.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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