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Furnace used for smelting, refining, or melting in which the fuel is not in direct contact with the contents but heats it by a flame blown over it from another chamber. Such furnaces are used in copper, tin, and nickel production, in the production of certain concretes and cements, and in aluminum recycling. In steelmaking, this process (now largely obsolete) is called the open-hearth process. The heat passes over the hearth and then radiates back (reverberates) onto the contents. The roof is arched, with the highest point over the firebox. It slopes downward toward a bridge of flues that deflects the flame so that it reverberates.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on reverberatory furnace, visit Britannica.com.