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Surface Combustion plays pivotal role in the United States’ effort to control international weapons of mass destruction

May 24, 2004: Maumee, Ohio…Surface Combustion plays pivotal role in the United States’ effort to control international weapons of mass destruction.

Surface has received authorization to proceed on the build phase of a highly engineered thermal system for the decontamination of metal munitions shells at a Russian plant. This system will destroy thousands of tons of deadly chemical munitions from an old Soviet era Arsenal.

According to an October, 2002 article in the USA TODAY, “The facility is designed to wipe out one of the world’s most worrisome stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction: nearly 2 million artillery shells and missile warheads filled with deadly nerve gasses.” The plant will be located in Shchuch’ye (Southern Urals), just north of Kazakhstan. According to USA TODAY, “they are among the most portable, ready-made weapons of mass destruction a terrorist could obtain. Even the smallest shells, which fit in a briefcase, can kill 100,000 or more if set-off in a crowded city.”

The project is one of the largest among a range of efforts by the United States to help reduce the international risk posed by Russia’s chemical arsenal. At a national security address, President Bush indicated that the project represents a “vital mission” which is now funded by Congress and moving forward.

Surface completed the “engineering phase” of the project in early 2003 for the multiple units to be installed at the facility. The equipment consists of a sealed multi-chamber oscillating roller hearth furnace, automated conveyor system, and rich fume type afterburner and residence chamber for complete thermal destruction of system off gasses. To achieve this, gasses must reach temperatures over 2000ºF and be held for at least a half-second as they pass through the chamber. The system is fully automated and housed in an unmanned building where the entire process of decommissioning the chemical weapons takes place. Trays, 6,700 lbs. loaded one row wide and fixtured with munitions bodies/warheads enter the furnace through an air lock chamber and the load is elevated to 1650ºF. The thermal process heats and volatilizes residual chemical agents on the metal munitions bodies and other bulk metal items.

In the engineering phase, which has been completed, a key requirement was that the project be executed in dual language. Surface was able to provide bilingual staff and support the requirement that all deliverables be provided in both Russian and English. Such capability coupled with Surface’s long history of work in waste disposal and significant engineering resources led to our selection for this critical project. Surface’s scope of work on the project includes all engineering, procurement, fabrication, assembly, testing, shipment and commissioning of the systems.

As a world leader in the heat treat furnace and associated equipment industry, Surface Combustion has nearly 90 years of experience in designing and manufacturing of furnace and companion equipment for its customers’ processing needs.

Surface Combustion: Daniel E. Goodman, Vice President, Presale Tel: (419) 891-7150;
email: dgoodman@surfacecombustion.com

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