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A proper understanding of the hearth behaviour is a necessary condition to improve blast furnace performance, to control the wear of the refractories in the hearth and to increase the campaign life up to more than 15 years. The approach involves 3 major items: a comprehensive description of the liquid flow in the blast furnace hearth; the development of a model to assess the hearth drainage phenomena; the description of the tapping hole and casting conditions.
An original technique has been developed to monitor the flow pattern of liquid metal and slag in the hearth of industrial blast furnaces, using radioactive tracers. Radioactive tracers trials give a direct information about the average permeability pattern of the dead man. To get a proper understanding of the relationships between the actual permeability state of the hearth an the response curves of the tracers, a small scale hydraulic model of the hearth has been used.
A model, based on a mass balance, has been developed to assess the drainage behaviour of the hearth. It allows to describe the average level of liquids (metal and slag) in the hearth and to derive a parameter directly related to the average permeability of the hearth.
Significant results have been achieved in terms of improvement in the regularity of casting, reduction of the tapping frequency, improvement in personnel working conditions and reduction of operating costs. The FLUENT model has been used to establish the interrelationships between the permeability pattern of the hearth and the heat transfer conditions in the refractory lining of the hearth.

Additional information

Authors: STEILER J ET AL, IRSID, St-Germain-en-Laye (FR);DUFOUR A ET AL, Sollac, Florange (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 14970 FR (1996) 72pp., FS, ECU 10
Availability: Available from the (2)
ISBN: ISBN-92-827-5247-X
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