Alumina and its Role in Iron and Steelmaking...

Alumina and its Role in Iron and Steelmaking Alumina is a chemical compound of aluminum (Al) and oxygen (O2) with the chemical formula aluminum oxide (Al2O3). It is the most commonly occurring of several aluminum oxides. It is significant in its use to produce aluminum metal. It is being used as an abrasive material because of its hardness. It is also being used as a refractory material owing to its high melting point. Aluminum oxide is an amphoteric substance. It can react with both acids and bases, acting as an acid with a base and a base with an acid, neutralizing the other and producing a salt.  It is insoluble in water. Aluminum oxide has a white solid appearance and is odorless. The molar mass of aluminum oxide is 101.96 grams per mole. Specific gravity of alumina is 3.986. It is insoluble in water. Melting point of aluminum oxide is 2072 deg C while the boiling point is 2977 deg C. Alumina affects the processes of producing iron and steel during the production of iron and steel. Besides alumina is a very important refractory material for the lining of furnaces and vessels in iron and steel plants. Role of alumina in ironmaking Alumina during ironmaking enters the process through impurities in the input materials mainly iron ore. Alumina affects the sintering of iron ore. The most harmful effect of alumina is to worsen the RDI (reduction degradation index) value of sinter. RDI value increases as the alumina content rises. It is seen that within a 10 % to 10.5 % CaO content range, an increase of 0.1 % in the alumina content raises the RDI by 2 points. The strength and quality of sinter deteriorate as the alumina content rises. Alumina promotes the formation of SFCA (silico ferrite of calcium and aluminum), which is beneficial for sinter strength, but the strength of the ore components is lower, since a...

Refractories for a Reheating Furnace...

Refractories for a Reheating Furnace Refractories are inorganic, nonmetallic, porous and heterogeneous materials composed of thermally stable mineral aggregates, a binder phase and additives. They are the materials which are resistant to heat and exposure to different degrees of mechanical stress and strain, thermal stress and strain, corrosion/erosion from solids, liquids and gases, gas diffusion, and mechanical abrasion at various temperatures. In simplified language, refractories are considered to be materials of construction which are able to withstand high temperatures. The general requirements from the refractories for are (i) ability to withstand high temperatures and trap heat within a limited area such as a reheating furnace, (ii) ability to withstand sudden changes of temperature, (iii) ability to withstand load at service conditions, (iv) ability to withstand chemical and abrasive action of the materials such as liquid metal, liquid slag, and hot gases etc. coming in contact with the refractories, (v) ability to resist contamination of the material such as scale etc. with which it comes into contact, (vi) ability to maintain sufficient dimensional stability at high temperatures and after/during repeated thermal cycling, (vii) ability to conserve heat, (viii) ability to withstand load and abrasive forces, and (ix) to have low coefficient of thermal expansion. Properties of the refractories can be classified to resist four types of service stresses namely (i) chemical, (ii) mechanical, (iii) thermal, and (iv) thermo-technical. A suitable selection of the refractories for the lining of the reheating furnace can only be made with an accurate knowledge of the refractory properties and the stresses on the refractories during service. The relationship between service stresses and important properties of the refractories are at Tab 1.  Tab 1 Relationship between type of stress and refractory property Sl.No. Type of stress Important refractory property 1 Chemical...

Refractories and Classification of Refractories...

Refractories and Classification of Refractories Refractories are inorganic, nonmetallic, porous and heterogeneous materials composed of thermally stable mineral aggregates, a binder phase and additives. The principal raw materials used in the production of refractories are normally the oxides of silicon, aluminum, magnesium, calcium and zirconium. There are some non-oxide refractories like carbides, nitrides, borides, silicates and graphite. Refractories are chosen according to the conditions they face during their use. Some applications require special refractory materials. Zirconia is used when the material is required to withstand extremely high temperatures. Silicon carbide and carbon are two other refractory materials used in some very severe temperature conditions, but they cannot be used in contact with oxygen, since they oxidize and burn in atmospheres containing oxygen. Refractories are the materials which are resistant to heat and exposure to different degrees of mechanical stress and strain, thermal stress and strain, corrosion/erosion from solids, liquids and gases, gas diffusion, and mechanical abrasion at various temperatures. In simplified language, they are considered to be materials of construction which are able to withstand high temperatures. Refractories are usually inorganic non-metallic materials with refractoriness greater than 1500 deg C. They belong to coarse-grained ceramics having microstructure which is composed of large grains. The basis of body is coarse-grained grog joined by fine materials. Refractory products are a specific sort of ceramics that differs from any ‘normal’ ceramics mainly with their coarse-grained structure being formed by larger grog particles joined by finer intermediate materials (bonding). ASTM C71 defines refractories as ‘non-metallic materials having those chemical and physical properties that make them applicable for structures or as components of systems that are exposed to environments above 538 deg C’. Refractories are to be chemically and physically stable at high temperatures. Depending on the operating environment, they...

Importance of Hearth, Dead man and Tapping in Blast Furnace Operation Apr13

Importance of Hearth, Dead man and Tapping in Blast Furnace Operation...

Importance of Hearth, Dead man and Tapping in Blast Furnace Operation  A trend of deterioration in ore quality is seen these days with the increasing demand for iron ore. The deterioration in ore quality is accompanied with higher quantities of slag which in turn affects burden descent and liquid flow through the hearth. These conditions provide a catalyst for lining wear mechanism with bosh, stack and hearth linings coming under additional stress. Tapping in the blast furnace is adversely affected and trough and runners in the cast house get under strain due to higher slag volume. All these put increased pressure on blast furnace operations. The poor quality of iron ore affects the operation of the blast furnace in the following way. Slag volume – Poor quality of iron ores bring into the furnace higher quantities of impurities resulting into increase in the slag volumes. Heat load – The furnace thermal condition undergoes changes since a large quantity of heat is required to melt the additional slag as well as to keep it in proper fluid state for its drainage. This introduces higher heat loads inside the blast furnace. Coke rate and productivity – Increasing slag volumes needs a higher fuel input into the furnace, and where pulverized coal injection rates are already running at optimum, this results into a higher coke rate. Higher coke means introduction of higher amount of ash in the furnace resulting into further increase in the slag volume. This has got a deteriorating effect on the productivity of the furnace. Process stability – The deterioration in the ore quality affects the process stability adversely and has an unfavourable effect on the smooth running of the blast furnace. Due to the above factors, the production process in the blast furnace...

Improved Designs  and Campaign Life of a Blast Furnace May23

Improved Designs and Campaign Life of a Blast Furnace...

Improved Designs  and Campaign Life of a Blast Furnace The cost of rebuilding or relining a blast furnace (BF) is very high. Hence techniques to extend BF campaign lives are important and need to be pursued very actively. Large BFs usually have a slightly higher campaign output per unit volume. This difference is because larger BFs generally are of more modern design and are well automated.  Since the viability of an integrated steel plant depends on a continuous supply of hot metal (HM), which, in a plant with a small number of large BFs, puts great importance on long campaign life. The techniques for prolongation of BF campaign life falls under the following three categories. Operational practices – The control of the BF process has a major effect on the campaign life. BF is to be operated not only for meeting the production needs but also to maximize its life. Hence it is necessary to modify operating practices as the campaign progresses and in response to the problem areas for the maximization of campaign life. Remedial measures – Once wear or damage that affects the life of the BF becomes evident, engineering repair techniques are to be used or developed to maximize campaign life. Improved designs – As improved materials and equipment are developed, these are to be incorporated into future rebuilds to extend the life of critical areas of the BF, where it is cost effective to do so. Improved designs of the BF for improving the campaign life are discussed in this article. The correct design of the furnace proper is fundamental to reliable operation, metallurgical performance, sustained high productivity, long campaign life and an availability of more than 98 %. BF design has had many improvements in recent decades and campaigns...