ASSESSMENT OF REFRACTORY CONDITION IN A BLAST FURNACE HEARTH USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

Bryan Wright, Paul Zulli, Frank Bierbrauer, Vladimir Panjkovic
unpublished
The campaign life of a blast furnace is intimately linked to the longevity of the hearth refractories. Understanding how much refractory remains in the hearth is crucial to assessing when a blast furnace needs to be relined. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed, using the commercial package CFX 4.4, to aid in the assessment of the refractory condition of the hearth. The model incorporates prediction of the fluid flow of molten iron, conjugate heat transfer between the melt
more » ... d the refractories and conduction through the refractories. Since the development of this BlueScope Steel model in the late 1990s, continual refinements to the model have been made. The latest refinements include ability to model different shaped 'coke-free layers' and a more accurate description of the boundary conditions of the blast furnace hearth. Given these improvements to the model, a detailed analysis of the refractory condition was performed for BlueScope Steel's No. 5 Blast Furnace hearth using the CFD model. The predictions of the CFD model showed excellent agreement with measured plant data and also compared favourably to an independent hearth refractory model also used by BlueScope Steel. The model is now well accepted by production personnel as a tool to help understand the blast furnace hearth.
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