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Merkle International, Inc.

9567 US Route 20 West, 61036 Galena, IL
Telephone +1 815 7772100
Fax +1 815 7772106

Our range of products

Product categories

  • 01  Glass production/Production Technology
  • 01.05  Forming for flat glass
  • 01.05.01  Float glass technique

Our products

Product category: Float glass technique

Merkle® Strut-Air

Advantages of Merkle’s Strut-Air System

Because there is a flat, sloped surface just above the glass, the melting process starts immediately, as the batch collects the radiant heat reflected from this surface. The design allows for various refractory materials to be used, depending on the type of glass being melted.

The main feature of the Strut-Air system is suspension of a simple refractory wall by a series of moveable, fabricated structural tubes. These tubes not only provide support but also carry cooling air directly to the tie-back and support castings.

The design is versatile. The walls have been constructed for doghouses as small as 1.2 meters and as large as 12.2 meters wide.
Installation is simple and accurate. Strut-Air requires as few as two parent refractory shapes, which simplifies installation and helps insure proper fit during assembly.

Cooling air in the Strut-Air system is pressurized, to prevent refractory “rat-holing” from the corrosive furnace atmosphere.
For smaller furnace/doghouse applications, the support steel can be fabricated as a single frame, which functions as both support and conduit for cooling air.

The design of the individual refractory shapes allows refractory expansion on this unitized steel frame.

Advantages of Strut-Air Over the Jack Arch/and/or Conventional Construction:
With the Strut-Air system, various angles can be incorporated into the sloping toe. This opens up the doghouse and improves radiant and reflective heat transfer. Thus, the batch glazes more quickly, which reduces the carryover of batch dust into the checkers.

Because the Strut-Air tubes are included in the scope of supply, initial material costs for the Strut-Air system may be slightly more than those for jack or sprung arch construction. Labor costs, however, are generally less because the installation of the Strut-Air system is simpler.

When a furnace is rebuilt, the Strut-Air tubes are reused. Thus, for furnace rebuilds, the replacement of refractory, castings, insulation, and sheet metal is less costly than replacing large blocks of fused AZS material.

Add up all of the benefits–cost savings, the higher melting efficiency of the batch in the doghouse, and the reduced clogging of the checkers–and the Strut-Air system is clearly superior to jack and sprung arch construction.

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Product category: Float glass technique

Merkle® Batch Charger

Advantages of the Merkle Batch Charger

Merkle’s Batch Chargers are customizable to each unique operation.

We build Chargers to best suit needs with simplicity and reliability.

Our Batch Chargers are durable, long-lasting due to its robust design.

We combine the very latest technology and materials available to create Chargers that can easily be adjusted to meet changing furnace and production requirements.

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Product category: Float glass technique

MT Modu-Lok®

Advantages of the Merkle’s Modu-Lok System

The Modu-Lok construction is simple using as little as two shapes to build the complete roof or tied back wall often with complex configuration.

Support brick can be placed 4-, 8-, 12-, or 16-inch centers making it extremely versatile.

Support brick is heavily trodden on all four sides to support the maximum number of filler brick.

Modu-Lok allows for maximum insulation. With hangers on 8-inch centers, the Modu-Lok roof allows for 75% coverage; with hangers on 12-inch centers, coverage is 84%; with hangers on 16-inch centers, coverage is 88%.

The Modu-Lok design locks metallic on both support brick and steel structures. Metallics are clear of insulation, which adds to service life. Metallics can be made as stampings or castings in materials to suit particular applications.

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About us

Company portrait

Founded in 1971

Merkle was founded in 1971 by F.P. (Pete) Merkle as Merkle and Associates. It was first located in Palatine, Illinois. In 1978, after 7 years in Palatine, the company operation was moved to Galena. From 1978 to 2013, the company occupied the same office on Perry Street, gradually increasing its space. In late 2013, the company changed to a new, larger office.

In 1979, the name was changed to Merkle Engineers, Inc. In 2007, the name was changed to Merkle International, Inc. to reflect the change in the company, from largely a domestic supplier to a company with a large portfolio of international customers.

Mr. Merkle’s first efforts were in the glass industry. For 18 years he had serviced this industry with his previous employer and was considered an expert, having developed many successful refractory designs. Founding his own company allowed him to concentrate his efforts in glass since his previous employer had been more oriented toward steel and other larger refractory-consuming industries.

Core Offerings
The company’s patented Strut-Air® feeder wall for the float glass industry quickly became the state-of-the-art design for the application, a design which today is still the most widely used suspended refractory wall system in the glass industry. Other successful systems include the Modu-Lok® system for roofs and walls, and the Roto-Patch® system, widely used in the copper industry for making hot repairs while the furnace is still operating.

In the mid-1980’s, Mr. Merkle had the vision to foresee changes in the dynamics of glass industry furnace design and operation, and the opportunity presented itself to supply the charger systems that feed into the furnace the raw material for making glass. The Merkle charging machine was developed with the operator in mind, offering many improvements in adjustment and operation features. The machine is now in wide use worldwide, and many different models are offered.

Continuous Growth
From a modest beginning in 1971, Merkle has grown to a company known internationally for supplying high quality, reliable refractory systems and related equipment for all types of industrial furnaces.

Merkle’s growth and success are based on our customers’ recognition of our quality and service rather than any specific growth percentage or monetary targets. We feel that by providing our customers with the best quality and service at a fair price, they will return to us with more business and opportunities. Merkle continues to follow this policy, as its success is shown by our long list of satisfied and repeat customers.

Employees of Merkle are encouraged to participate in the ownership of the company by purchasing stock and to share in the company’s profitability. They are offered training and other opportunities to enrich their personal and professional lives.

It has been Merkle’s policy to share its success with the community, donating annually to many local and national charities, and participating in fundraising events.