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A chimney is a structure for venting hot flue gases or smoke from a boiler, stove, furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere.
The height and diameter of a chimney determine the draft.
For adequate draft, small industrial boilers and home heating systems depend entirely upon the enclosed column of hot gas.
In contrast, stacks, which are chimneys for large power plants and process facilities, usually depend upon force-draft fans and induced-draft fans to produce the draft necessary for operation, and the chimney is used only for removal of the flue gas.
A chimney or stack must be designed to with stand lateral loads from wind pressure or seismic forces (earthquakes), as well as vertical loads from its own weight.
Small chimneys used in residential construction are commonly made of brick or unreinforced masonry, while stacks are usually made of steel.
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