Zampell Patents Next Generation Tile for Energy From Waste

NEWBURYPORT, MA, USA – August 3, 2019 – Zampell filed a provisional patent on August 1, 2019 for the next generation in refractory tile design for Energy from Waste (EfW).  Most EfW designs center on combustion in a boiler, which leads to high rates of corrosion on the boiler itself.  The best way to protect the boiler while maintaining a very high temperature for environmentally safe combustion is with a refractory tile.

On this milestone, Brian Zampell remarked, “Zampell was one of the first pioneers of tile technology, completing installations of various tile evolutions for the past thirty years, beginning in the United States and growing into Europe and Canada with its tile technology.  This is a great achievement for Zampell since it shows our dedication to continuous reinvestment in being the global refractory innovator for Energy from Waste.”

Throughout the world, particularly in Europe and the Far East, EfW, coupled with recycling, is the primary method for the disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) in an environmentally compatible manner.  While the United States has increased its reliance on landfill, leading to a reduction in EfW facilities, the global opportunity for EfW continues to grow with new facilities being built every year.  In order to continue to be a global leader in this market, Zampell has dedicated continuous research and development into both the mechanical design of the tile, its attachments, and the chemistry of the tile itself.  Prior to this patent, Zampell, in partnership with its affiliate Vulcan Refractories Ltd., patented a new formula for the tile composition itself, which it calls “ZEROX” since it shows virtually zero oxidation of the silicon carbide in the tile.  This patent focuses on the mechanical attachment of the tile to the boiler wall.

When attaching a tile to a boiler wall, there have been four previous evolutions in tile design.  First, tiles were bolted directly through the tile with mortar sandwiched behind the tile against the boiler tubes.  Next, a hidden anchor bolt system was designed called “T-Clip” with mortar behind it.  The next evolution was similar to T-Clip, but with a denser castable behind the tile, colloquially called “back-cast” tiles.  The fourth generation of tiles was mainly applied in the upper furnace in EfW facilities and replaced the mortar and castable materials with high pressure air fed through a plenum, which was pioneered by Junger+Greater in Germany.  All of these systems have similar challenges that manifest over long operational lives.  One challenge was that the tiles tend to swell due to oxidation, which Zampell mitigated with its ZEROX technology.  The next challenge was due to expansion, which Zampell has always mitigated by integrating expansion joints and fiber into its designs, which were mainly developed by John Heffernan, Zampell’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Engineering.  The final challenge was to increase the life of the anchor bolt, which this patent solves by essentially eliminating the bolt itself and replacing it with a new attachment concept.

Lee Rollins, Zampell’s Senior Manager of Engineering, who worked on the patent design, commented, “This new attachment concept ticks many of the boxes to mitigate the previous methods of failure.  Our approach will keep the anchor cooler, mitigate reactions between different chemistries in the metals, allow for thermal expansion, and be an easier weld when attaching the anchor to the boiler.  Most importantly, it’s at a similar price point to previous generations of tiles.”

Now that the tile is under patent protection, Zampell intends to expand its testing with clients in real life scenarios and with enhanced mechanical laboratory testing.  These field trials and tests will illustrate the benefits and give Zampell an opportunity to promote its fifth generation tile to the world as the next solution for a tile lining in an EfW facility.

Zampell is a family business that is chiefly involved with the engineering and construction of refractories, insulation, and scaffolding within the industrial and commercial sectors, and facilities management in all sectors. It was established in 1966 by Tom Zampell and continues to grow due to its core value of quality craftsmanship. Zampell is headquartered in Massachusetts and has branch offices in Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Oregon, California, and Kentucky. Zampell also has a subsidiary, Zampell A/S, with locations in Jutland and Sjælland in Denmark, and subsidiaries Zampell Ltd. and Vulcan Refractories, Ltd. in England. It also operates a janitorial products company, Custodial Partners, in Massachusetts, ZAR-Tech, a refractories distribution company with locations in Massachusetts and New York, and Western Industrial Ceramics, a refractories distribution and fabrication company in Oregon and California.  Zampell also has a collaboration agreement with New England Mechanical Overlay in the USA to provide steel fabrication and pressure vessel repair services.  For more information on the Zampell family of companies, please visit their website at  For more information about NEMO, please visit