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1. SARBAJIT MANNA(11302011030)
2. NAJMUL ALAM(11302011018)
3. SUDEB CHATTERJEE(11302011036)
4. MIRZA ASIF BEG(11302011020)
5. NAZZIR HOSSAIN(11302011022)


blast furnace is a special type of furnace. They are used to

make iron from ore. Blast furnaces are very large. They can be
up to 60 metres (200 ft) tall and 15 metres (49 ft) indiameter.
The blast furnace is the biggest chemical reactor. Blast
furnaces are also called high ovens.







a steel case

and bricks made of magnesia inside the case. Magnesia is

very resistant to heat. It d0oes not melt. The furnace is cooled
withwater running inside part of the case and bricks.
The process of making iron is simple. Iron ore is basically iron
oxide. Iron is made by removing the oxygen. This leaves crude
iron called pig iron. This process of removing oxygen is called
"reduction". Carbon is used in the reduction process. Carbon
can easily take the oxygen off the ore in very hot temperatures.
Ore, limestone and carbon in the form of coke are put into the



hot air called





in layers.







Special nozzles called "tuyeres" are used to put the air in the
furnace. The nozzles are at the bottom of the furnace. This
process is called "blasting". It is why it is called a "blast

furnace". The coke ignites (= lights into fire) and burns. This
creates carbon monoxide because there is not enough oxygen

make carbon





thenreduces the metal oxide to the metal and makes carbon

dioxide. This process is used to make iron. The limestone forms
a substancecalled slag with the rock of the iron ore.
The bottonmost part of the furnace is called the hearth. When it
has filled with liquid pig iron and slag, the slag is removed. This
is called skimming. Slag is lighter than iron and does not mix
with iron. It floats on top of the iron. A hole is made in the
hearth at the level of the slag with a special drill. The liquid slag
move out through the hole into a container called slag pot. The
iron is then taken from the hearth. This is called tapping. A hole
is made at the bottom and the liquid pig iron removed. It is







special railway wagon called torpedo car or made into molds.

When all the pig iron has been removed, fire-resistant clay is
used to close the two holes. The clay becomes solid very
quickly because of the high heat.
The pig iron contains some 4% of carbon and it would be too
hard and too brittle to use. The extra carbon must first be
burned away. The pig iron is refined into steel by decarburizing
(= burning the extra carbon off) it. A modern method for
decarburizing the pig iron and refining it into steel is basic
oxygen furnace. Historically there has been other methods as
well, such as Bessemer converter, open hearth furnace and
puddling furnace.

The gases rise up and are collected on the top of the furnace.
As the gas contains a lot of carbon monoxide, it is a valuable
fuel. The gas collected on the top of the blast furnace is
called blast furnace gas. It is then washed and dried and all
solid particles such as soot or ore dust are collected. The gas is
then burned in special ovens called Cowper stoves or hot blast
stoves into carbon dioxide. The heat from burning the blast
furnace gas is then used to pre-heat the blasting air, "wind",
which in turn is blasted into the blast furnace itself.
The slag is not waste. It can be used in various ways. It can be
made into bricks and used for construction, or it can be mixed
with concrete. Concrete which contains blast furnace slag is
stronger than ordinary concrete and is almost pure white,
where normal concrete is dirty grey.
A blast furnace can usually work for 10 to 20 years without
stopping. This is called "campaign
A blast

furnace is


of metallurgical furnace used

for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron, but

also others such as lead or copper.



fuel, ore,

and flux (limestone)


continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while a

hot blast of air(sometimes with oxygen enrichment) is blown
into the lower section of the furnace through a series of pipes
called tuyeres,



the chemical

reactions take


throughout the furnace as the material moves downward. The

end products are usually moltenmetal and slag phases tapped

from the bottom, and flue gases exiting from the top of the
furnace. The downward flow of the ore and flux in contact with
an upflow of hot, carbon monoxide-rich combustion gases is
a countercurrent exchange process.
In contrast, air furnaces (such as reverberatory furnaces) are
naturally aspirated, usually by the convection of hot gases in a
chimney flue. According to this broad definition, bloomeries for
iron, blowing houses for tin, and smelt mills for lead would be
classified as blast furnaces. However, the term has usually
been limited to those used for smelting iron ore to produce pig
iron, an intermediate material used in the production of
commercial iron and steel, and the shaft furnaces used in
combination with sinter plants in base metals smelting.[1]



Blast furnace, a vertical shaft furnace that produces liquid
metals by the reaction of a flow of air introduced under
pressure into the bottom of the furnace with a mixture of
metallic ore, coke, and flux fed into the top. Blast furnaces are
used to produce pig iron from iron ore for subsequent
processing into steel, and they are also employed in processing
lead, copper, and other metals. Rapid combustion is maintained
by the current of air under pressure.
The bosh is the hottest part of the furnace because of
its close proximity to the reaction between air and coke. Molten
iron accumulates in the hearth, which has a taphole to draw off

the molten iron and, higher up, a slag hole to remove the
mixture of impurities and flux. The hearth and bosh are thickwalled structures lined with carbon-type refractory blocks, while
thestack is lined with high-quality fireclay brick to protect the
furnace shell. To keep these refractory materials from burning
out, plates, staves, or sprays for circulating cool water are built
into them.
The stack is kept full with alternating layers of coke, ore, and
limestone admitted at the top during continuous operation.
Coke is ignited at the bottom and burned rapidly with the
forced air from the tuyeres. The iron oxides in the ore are
chemically reduced to molten iron by carbon and carbon
monoxide from the coke. The slag formed consists of the
limestone flux, ash from the coke, and substances formed by
the reaction of impurities in the ore with the flux; it floats in a
molten state on the top of the molten iron. Hot gases rise from
the combustion zone, heating fresh material in the stack and
then passing out through ducts near the top of the furnace.
The entire furnace is lined with suitable refractory and carbon
blocks in the hearth and in the periphery of the hearth bottom.
In addition to refractory lining, there are water coolers,
designed to enhance the life of the furnaces. There is a tap hole
of suitable dimension and length for the purpose of tapping the
hot metal. The raw material at the top will be charged either
through 'double bell system' or 'bell less system' for furnace
smelting. Since blast furnace is basically a counter current
apparatus the descending stream of raw materials extract heat
from the ascending stream of gas generated from the burning
of coke at the tuyere level. The ascending stream of gas
contains CO (carbon monoxide)nitrogen and hydrogen and in

the events of its coming in contact with the iron ore,reduction

(this reduction is called indirect reduction) of iron ore takes
place at the upper part of the stack. Coke in the form of 'c' also
takes part in the reduction. In the hearth there are slag notches
at about 1.1-1.6 meter away from the hearth bottom for
flushing out slag at regular intervalcooled by 'monkeys'. The
number of tap hole, slag notches, their positioning and
dimension will depend upon the capacity of the furnace. Many
modern furnaces are having 2-4 tap holes without slag notches.
The furnaces are equipped with tuyeres (water cooled copper
construction for admission of hot blast of air) through which
preheated air blast at a temperature of about 8500c -10000c is
introduced for burning of coke. Before preheating, the blast of
cold air supplied by power and blowing station is introduced
into hot blast stoves at about 3.2-3.5 kg/cm2 (gauge pressure)
wherein the air is pre-heated regenerative and sent to the
furnace through hot blast main and bustle pipe. The air blast
then passes from the bustle pipe through gooseneck and tuyere
stocks/blow-pipes into tuyeres. The pressure of the blast and its
flow rate is dependent upon the capacity of the furnaces. As
the stream of the material descends down through different
temperature zones and get two products:I. Metal in the bottom.
II. Slag, having less density floats at the top of metal, and
III. BF gas from top of the furnace. It generally comprises of 2122% CO; 19-19.5%
CO2, 54% of N2, H2 4.4%, O2 0.1%. Temp.of top gases are in
the range of 100-300oc
Liquid iron collected in the hearth is taken out by opening the
tap hole with power driven drill and oxygen lancing after
regular interval into a train of ladles kept below the runner of
the cast house. Slag that comes along with the metal is
skimmed off with the help of skimmer plate towards slag runner

and collected in slag thimbles or to slag granulation plant (SGP)

of cast house. Slag thimbles are then sent to the dump yard or
slag granulation plant. Metal ladles are either sent to SMS or
pig casting machine (PCM) and foundry depending upon the
composition of the metal being tapped and as per requirement
Top charging equipment:
The burden material which reaches to the top of the furnace by
skip car or by conveyer is to be distributed into the furnace. For
this double bell charging system, rotating charging unit
(RCU),MTA is provided or equipped with paul-wurth bell less top
(BLT) charging system, which replaces bells with charging bins,
upper material gate, upper sealing valve, lower material gate
and lower sealing valve. This system also has a gearbox to
operate a rotating chute. The latter distributes the material
inside the furnace peripherally in different rings. This facilitates
better burden distribution inside the furnace.

Charging sequence
To facilitate smooth working of furnaces, the coke and the non-coke
material is to be
distributed in a particular fashion in the whole circumference of the blast
furnace. For

those different charging sequences is followed. A typical charging

sequence is given
Sequence 1: COC / COOCC / CCOOC
Sequence 2: CCOO
Each charging cycle consists of 5 sequences of either 1 or 2 exclusively or
combination depending on the periphery conditions. Generally in bell-less
top furnaces
the 2nd sequence is followed i.e. CCOO. c=coke; o=non-coke i.e. ore,
sinter, Mn ore,
Lime Stone or Quartzite. The material is distributed in the bf in different
sectors as per
the Charging Cyclogram or Pattern desired by the furnace operator for
efficient operation of the furnace

Blast furnaces may have the following ancillary facilities: a

stock house where the furnace burden is prepared prior to
being elevated to the furnace top by skip cars or a belt
conveyor system; a top-charging system consisting of a vertical
set of double bells (cones) or rotating chutes to prevent the
release of furnace gas during charging; stoves that utilize the
furnace off-gases to preheat the air delivered to the tuyeres;
and a cast house, consisting of troughs that distribute liquid
iron and slag to appropriate ladles for transfer to steelmaking
furnaces and slag-reclamation areas.

In Europe, the blast furnace developed gradually over the

centuries from small furnaces operated by the Romans, in
which charcoal was used for reducing ore to a semisolid mass
of iron containing a relatively small amount of carbon and slag.
The iron mass was then hammered to remove the slag,
yielding wrought iron. Increases in the height of the furnace,


mechanical bellows for



amounts of air into it, allowed the higher temperatures needed

to produce a high-carbon iron known as cast, or pig, iron. This
mode of production was used in central Europe by the mid-14th
century and was introduced into England about 1500. Charcoal
was the only furnace fuel until the 17th century, when the
depletion of forests that provided the charcoal in England led to
experiments with coke, which is produced from coal. Coke had
been widely adopted for use in blast furnaces by the mid-18th
century, and the principle of heating air before it entered the
furnace was introduced in the early 19th century.

Modern blast furnaces range in size from 20 to 35 m (70 to 120

feet), have hearth diameters of 6 to 14 m (20 to 45 feet), and
can produce from 1,000 to almost 10,000 tons of pig iron daily.
Zones in Blast Furnace
Reduction of Oxides
Decomposition of Hydrates
Water - Gas Shift Reaction
Carbon Deposition
Decomposition of Carbonates
Direct/Indirect Reduction
Gas utilization
Calcinations of Limestone
Reduction of Various elements
Reduction of unreduced Iron
Reduction of Silicon
Reduction of Mn, P, Zn etc.
Formation / melting of slag,
final reduction of FeO and melting of Fe
Burning and combustion of Coke
Complete reduction of Iron Oxide

Coke and Hydrocarbons are oxidized
Large evolution of heat
Saturation of Carbon with Iron
Final Reduction of P, Mn, Si and Sulphur
Reaction impurities reach their final concentrations
Falling/drop of Metal and Slag bring heat down into the Hearth
The liquid products hot metal and slag settle in the hearth.
These two products are removed periodically from the blast
furnace. The process is called tapping the blast furnace Furnace
performance is linked with the smooth operation of the furnace
which gets disturbed very often due to various kinds of
fluctuations taking place in operating parameters.
The common difficulties which are encountered in day to day
operation are :
Choking of Hearth.
Chilling of Hearth.
Burning of Tuyeres.
Coke rush through tap-hole.
Hot Blast Section:

Stoves are refractory heat exchangers, through which hot

products of combustion of BFG (blast furnace gas) and blast air
flow alternately for specified periods. The refractory mass,
called checker works, retains the heat from the hot flue gases
thereby cooling the flue gases in one cycle, called gas cycle;
while it gives the retained heat to the cold blast in the next
cycle, called blast cycle, thereby transforming the cold blast to
hot blast. The function of Hot blast stove is to preheat the air
before admission into the furnace
through tuyere. Air is preheated to temperatures between
1,000 and 1,250c in the hot blast stoves. Air preheated to
temperatures between 1,000 and 1,250c is produced in the
hot blast stoves and is delivered to the furnace via a hot blast
main, bustle pipe and finally through the tuyeres. The hot blast
reacts with coke and injectants, forming the so-called raceway
in front of the tuyeres. There are 3 or 4 stoves for each furnace.
Each stove consists of a combustion chamber and refractory
checker brickwork.

Principle of operation

The purpose of a blast furnace is to chemically reduce and

physically convert iron oxides into liquid iron called "hot metal".
The blast furnace is a huge, steel stack lined with refractory
brick, where iron ore, coke and limestone are dumped into the
top, and preheated air is blown into the bottom. The raw
materials require 6 to 8 hours to descend to the bottom of the
furnace where they become the final product of liquid slag and
liquid iron. These liquid products are drained from the furnace
at regular intervals. The hot air that was blown into the bottom
of the furnace ascends to the top in 6 to 8 seconds after going
through numerous chemical reactions. Once a blast furnace is
started it will continuously run for four to ten years with only
short stops to perform planned maintenance.

The Process

Iron oxides can come to the blast furnace plant in the form of
raw ore, pellets or sinter. The raw ore is removed from the earth
and sized into pieces that range from 0.5 to 1.5 inches. This ore
is either Hematite (Fe2O3) or Magnetite (Fe3O4) and the iron
content ranges from 50% to 70%. This iron rich ore can be
charged directly into a blast furnace without any further
processing. Iron ore that contains a lower iron content must be
processed or beneficiated to increase its iron content. Pellets
are produced from this lower iron content ore. This ore is
crushed and ground into a powder so the waste material called
gangue can be removed. The remaining iron-rich powder is
rolled into balls and fired in a furnace to produce strong,
marble-sized pellets that contain 60% to 65% iron. Sinter is

produced from fine raw ore, small coke, sand-sized limestone

and numerous other steel plant waste materials that contain
some iron. These fine materials are proportioned to obtain a
desired product chemistry then mixed together. This raw
material mix is then placed on a sintering strand, which is
similar to a steel conveyor belt, where it is ignited by gas fired
furnace and fused by the heat from the coke fines into larger
size pieces that are from 0.5 to 2.0 inches. The iron ore, pellets
and sinter then become the liquid iron produced in the blast
furnace with any of their remaining impurities going to the
liquid slag.
Hot Blast Stove and its Valve Arrangement
Cast House
The function of cast house is to tap the liquid metal and slag
via the tap hole from hearth on scheduled time and separate
the metal and slag in trough which is made up of refractory
mass by skimmer block and direct metal to metal ladles and
slag to the slag ladles or CHSGP.
Process and parts of cast house:
In the BF of single tap hole, there is a provision to flush the slag
through the slag notch (called monkey) situated at a height of
1400 mm - 1600 mm from the axis of the tap hole. The monkey
is equipped with pneumatic or manual cinder stopper.
Increasing the number of toppings can reduce flushing
operation. Cast house consist of tap hole, trough, iron and slag
runners and their spouts and various equipments. The hot
metal is tapped out at an interval of 1-2 hrs depending upon
furnace condition. The tapping time will be around 90 120

minutes. Generally 8 -9 41
tapings will be done in a day. The usual way of opening the tap
hole is to drill the tap hole until the skull is reached. Some
times oxygen lancing is carried out to melt the skull. Generally
the tap hole is located in such a way that after tapping
minimum amount of metal should remain in the hearth. So it is
almost at the bottom most part of the hearth. After opening the
tapping hot metal will comes out first. After some time the
liquid level
in the hearth decreases and the slag that will be floating on the
metal comes out of the tap hole.
The skimmer plate separates the slag from the metal and
diverts the slag into the
slag ladles/SGP through slag runners. The hot metal continues
to flow down the bend
runner from which it is diverted into individual metal ladles. The
control of this operation
is accomplished by cutters located in the runners or with the
help of rocking runner and
pusher car. At the end of the tapping the tap hole is closed with
the mud gun, which is
electrically or hydraulically operated
The hot metal is collected in a refractory lined vessel called hot
metal ladle and for
safety reasons it is filled up to 85-90%. Using these ladles hot
metal is transported from
blast furnace to mixers in SMS,PCM and foundry.
Similarly slag is collected in slag ladles and is dumped in the
dump post or sends to slag
granulation plants (SGPs) in which slag is granulated, and

this granulated slag is sold to

cement manufacturers.
The equipments available at the cast house are:
1. Drill machine Hydro-pneumatic or electric drilling machines
are used for
opening the tapping
2. Mud gun Hydraulic or electric drilling machines are used for
closing the
tapping with anhydrous or water bonded tap hole mass
3. cast house crane for material handling during cast house
4. rocking runner to divert the metal into a different metal
ladle (tilting runner)
5. pusher car used for local placement of the metal ladle
Auxiliary sections:
The auxiliary section of blast furnace consists of following
1. Ladle repair shop 2. Pig casting machineThe coke is produced
from a mixture of coals. The coal is crushed and ground into a
powder and then charged into an oven. As the oven is heated
the coal is cooked so most of the volatile matter such as oil and
tar are removed. The cooked coal, called coke, is removed from
the oven after 18 to 24 hours of reaction time. The coke is
cooled and screened into pieces ranging from one inch to four
inches. The coke contains 90 to 93% carbon, some ash and
sulfur but compared to raw coal is very strong. The strong
pieces of coke with a high energy value provide permeability,
heat and gases which are required to reduce and melt the iron
ore, pellets and sinter.

The final raw material in the ironmaking process in limestone.

The limestone is removed from the earth by blasting with
explosives. It is then crushed and screened to a size that
ranges from 0.5 inch to 1.5 inch to become blast furnace flux .
This flux can be pure high calcium limestone, dolomitic
limestone containing magnesia or a blend of the two types of
Since the limestone is melted to become the slag which
removes sulfur and other impurities, the blast furnace operator
may blend the different stones to produce the desired slag
chemistry and create optimum slag properties such as a low
melting point and a high fluidity.
All of the raw materials are stored in an ore field and
transferred to the stockhouse before charging. Once these
materials are charged into the furnace top, they go through
numerous chemical and physical reactions while descending to
the bottom of the furnace.
The iron ore, pellets and sinter are reduced which simply means
the oxygen in the iron oxides is removed by a series of
chemical reactions. These reactions occur as follows:
1) 3 Fe2O3 + CO = CO2 + 2

Begins at 850 F

2) Fe3O4 + CO = CO2 + 3 FeO

Begins at 1100

3) FeO + CO = CO2 + Fe

Begins at 1300

FeO + C = CO + Fe

At the same time the iron oxides are going through these
purifying reactions, they are also beginning to soften then melt
and finally trickle as liquid iron through the coke to the bottom
of the furnace.
The coke descends to the bottom of the furnace to the level
where the preheated air or hot blast enters the blast furnace.
The coke is ignited by this hot blast and immediately reacts to
generate heat as follows:
C + O2 = CO2 + Heat
Since the reaction takes place in the presence of excess carbon
at a high temperature the carbon dioxide is reduced to carbon
monoxide as follows:
CO2+ C = 2CO
The product of this reaction, carbon monoxide, is necessary to
reduce the iron ore as seen in the previous iron oxide reactions.
The limestone descends in the blast furnace and remains a
solid while going through its first reaction as follows:
CaCO3 = CaO + CO2
This reaction requires energy and starts at about 1600F. The
CaO formed from this reaction is used to remove sulfur from the
iron which is necessary before the hot metal becomes steel.
This sulfur removing reaction is:

FeS + CaO + C = CaS + FeO + CO

The CaS becomes part of the slag. The slag is also formed from
any remaining Silica (SiO2), Alumina (Al2O3), Magnesia (MgO) or
Calcia (CaO) that entered with the iron ore, pellets, sinter or
coke. The liquid slag then trickles through the coke bed to the
bottom of the furnace where it floats on top of the liquid iron
since it is less dense.
Another product of the ironmaking process, in addition to
molten iron and slag, is hot dirty gases. These gases exit the
top of the blast furnace and proceed through gas cleaning
equipment where particulate matter is removed from the gas
and the gas is cooled. This gas has a considerable energy value
so it is burned as a fuel in the "hot blast stoves" which are used
to preheat the air entering the blast furnace to become "hot
blast". Any of the gas not burned in the stoves is sent to the
boiler house and is used to generate steam which turns a turbo
blower that generates the compressed air known as "cold blast"
that comes to the stoves.
In summary, the blast furnace is a counter-current realtor
where solids descend and gases ascend. In this reactor there
are numerous chemical and physical reactions that produce the
desired final product which is hot metal.

A typical hot metal chemistry follows:

Iron (Fe)

= 93.5 - 95.0%

Silicon (Si)

= 0.30 - 0.90%

Sulfur (S)

= 0.025 - 0.050%

Manganese (Mn)

= 0.55 - 0.75%

Phosphorus (P)

= 0.03 - 0.09%

Titanium (Ti)

= 0.02 - 0.06%

Carbon (C)

= 4.1 - 4.4%

The Blast Furnace Plant

Now that we have completed a description of the ironmaking

process, let s review the physical equipment comprising the
blast furnace plant.

There is an ore storage yard that can also be an ore dock where
boats and barges are unloaded. The raw materials stored in the
ore yard are raw ore, several types of pellets, sinter, limestone
or flux blend and possibly coke. These materials are transferred








equipped with grab buckets or by conveyor belts. Materials can

also be brought to the stockhouse/hiline in rail hoppers or
transferred from ore bridges to self-propelled rail cars called
"ore transfer cars". Each type of ore, pellet, sinter, coke and
limestone is dumped into separate "storage bins" (18). The
various raw materials are weighed according to a certain recipe
designed to yield the desired hot metal and slag chemistry. This
material weighing is done under the storage bins by a rail
mounted scale car or computer controlled weigh hoppers that
feed a conveyor belt. The weighed materials are then dumped
into a "skip" car (19) which rides on rails up the "inclined skip
bridge" to the "receiving hopper" (6) at the top of the furnace.
The cables lifting the skip cars are powered from large winches
located in the "hoist" house (20). Some modern blast furnace








stretching from the stockhouse to the furnace top.

At the top of the furnace the materials are held until a "charge"
usually consisting of some type of metallic (ore, pellets or
sinter), coke and flux (limestone) have accumulated. The
precise filling order is developed by the blast furnace operators
to carefully control gas flow and chemical reactions inside the
furnace. The materials are charged into the blast furnace
through two stages of conical "bells" (5) which seal in the gases









circumference of the furnace "throat". Some modern furnaces

do not have bells but instead have 2 or 3 airlock type hoppers
that discharge raw materials onto a rotating chute which can
change angles allowing more flexibility in precise material
placement inside the furnace.
Also at the top of the blast furnace are four "uptakes" (10)
where the hot, dirty gas exits the furnace dome. The gas flows
up to where two uptakes merge into an "offtake" (9). The two
offtakes then merge into the "downcomer" (7). At the extreme
top of the uptakes there are "bleeder valves" (8) which may
release gas and protect the top of the furnace from sudden gas
pressure surges. The gas descends in the downcomer to the
"dustcatcher", where coarse particles settle out, accumulate
and are dumped into a railroad car or truck for disposal. The
gas then flows through a "Venturi Scrubber" (4) which removes
the finer particles and finally into a "gas cooler" (2) where
water sprays reduce the temperature of the hot but clean gas.
Some modern furnaces are equipped with a combined scrubber
and cooling unit. The cleaned and cooled gas is now ready for
The clean gas pipeline is directed to the hot blast "stove" (12).
There are usually 3 or 4 cylindrical shaped stoves in a line
adjacent to the blast furnace. The gas is burned in the bottom
of a stove and the heat rises and transfers to refractory brick
inside the stove. The products of combustion flow through

passages in these bricks, out of the stove into a high "stack"

(11) which is shared by all of the stoves.
Large volumes of air, from 80,000 ft3/min to 230,000 ft3/min,
are generated from a turbo blower and flow through the "cold
blast main" (14) up to the stoves. This cold blast then enters
the stove that has been previously heated and the heat stored
in the refractory brick inside the stove is transferred to the
"cold blast" to form "hot blast". The hot blast temperature can
be from 1600F to 2300F depending on the stove design and
condition. This heated air then exits the stove into the "hot
blast main" (13) which runs up to the furnace. There is a "mixer
line" (15) connecting the cold blast main to the hot blast main
that is equipped with a valve used to control the blast
temperature and keep it constant. The hot blast main enters
into a doughnut shaped pipe that encircles the furnace, called
the "bustle pipe" (31). From the bustle pipe, the hot blast is
directed into the furnace through nozzles called "tuyeres" (30)
(pronounced "tweers"). These tuyeres are equally spaced
around the circumference of the furnace. There may be
fourteen tuyeres on a small blast furnace and forty tuyeres on a
large blast furnace. These tuyeres are made of copper and are
water cooled since the temperature directly in front of the them
may be 3600F to 4200F. Oil, tar, natural gas, powdered coal
and oxygen can also be injected into the furnace at tuyere level
to combine with the coke to release additional energy which is
necessary to increase productivity. The molten iron and slag
drip past the tuyeres on the way to the furnace hearth which
starts immediately below tuyere level.

Around the bottom half of the blast furnace the "casthouse" (1)
encloses the bustle pipe, tuyeres and the equipment for
"casting" the liquid iron and slag. The opening in the furnace
hearth for casting or draining the furnace is called the "iron
notch" (22). A large drill mounted on a pivoting base called the
"taphole drill" (23) swings up to the iron notch and drills a hole
through the refractory clay plug into the liquid iron. Another
opening on the furnace called the "cinder notch" (21) is used to
draw off slag or iron in emergency situations. Once the taphole
is drilled open, liquid iron and slag flow down a deep trench
called a "trough" (28). Set across and into the trough is a block
of refractory, called a "skimmer", which has a small opening
underneath it. The hot metal flows through this skimmer
opening, over the "iron dam" and down the "iron runners" (27).
Since the slag is less dense than iron, it floats on top of the
iron, down the trough, hits the skimmer and is diverted into the
"slag runners" (24). The liquid slag flows into "slag pots" (25) or
into slag pits (not shown) and the liquid iron flows into
refractory lined "ladles" (26) known as torpedo cars or sub cars
due to their shape. When the liquids in the furnace are drained
down to taphole level, some of the blast from the tuyeres
causes the taphole to spit. This signals the end of the cast, so
the "mudgun" (29) is swung into the iron notch. The mudgun
cylinder, which was previously filled with a refractory clay, is
actuated and the cylinder ram pushes clay into the iron notch
stopping the flow of liquids. When the cast is complete, the iron
ladles are taken to the steel shops for processing into steel and
the slag is taken to the slag dump where it is processed into

roadfill or railroad ballast. The casthouse is then cleaned and

readied for the next cast which may occur in 45 minutes to 2
hours. Modern, larger blast furnaces may have as many as four
tapholes and two casthouses. It is important to cast the furnace
at the same rate that raw materials are charged and iron/slag
produced so liquid levels can be maintained in the hearth and
below the tuyeres. Liquid levels above the tuyeres can burn the
copper casting and damage the furnace lining.

Blast furnace lining engineering

Blast furnace refractory:

In the blast furnace, iron ore is melted and reduced using coke
and limestone. The materials are charged from the furnace
top to form layers. Hot blast blown from the furnace bottom
burns the coke and reduces the iron ore to produce molten
iron at the bottom. Limestone combines with impurities in the
ore to produce slag on top of the molten iron at the bottom.






applicable for each part

The blast furnace generally consists of several major portions
like the shaft, belly, bosh, tuyere, taphole and bottom. With






through contact with many clients over many years, Krosaki










appropriate for each respective part.

Required characteristics for blast furnace bricks



resistance against material charging,

CO gas resistance,

Alkaline resistance,



Thermal spalling resistance,






molten iron and slag,


iron penetration, and others.

Refractory lining of blast furnace

A modern blast furnace (BF) is refractory lined to protect the
furnace shell from

the high


and abrasive

materials inside the furnace. The refractory lining is cooled to

further enhance the protection against the dispatch of excess
heat that can destroy the refractory lining. BF has a complex
refractory system to provide a long, safe life that is necessary
for the blast furnace availability and for permitting nearly
continuous furnace operation and casting.
Conditions within the blast furnace vary widely by region and
the refractories are subjected to a variety of wear mechanisms.
Details are given in Tab 1. The application condition of different
regions of a blast furnace is not the same due to the very
nature of its geometry and also due to the pyrometallurgical
process occurring at different stages. There are diverse physical
and chemical wear mechanisms in the different regions of the

blast furnace and they are complex in nature. For example

mechanical wear or abrasion occurs mainly in the upper stack
region and is caused by the decent of the charge materials and
by the dust laden gases. High thermal loads are a major factor
in the lower stack and the belly regions. In the hearth region,
horizontal and vertical flow of hot metal combined with thermal







cavitation. The refractory materials in these regions are to take

care of these wear mechanisms to avoid damage due to them.
Therefore, the BF stack (upper middle and lower), belly, bosh,
raceway and tuyere region, hearth, and taphole all require
different quality of refractories depending on the respective
application conditions.
Tab 1 Attack mechanisms in different regions of blast

Attack mechanism

Upper stack Abrasion


Resulting damage
Abrasive wear


Middle stack

Lower stack


Loss of bricks


temperatures fluctuations
Gas erosion
Oxidation and alkali attack
Erosion by





Severe spalling

Oxidation and alkali attack

Thermal fatigue





High temperature

Stress attack


Stress cracking and

Very high temperature


Temperatures fluctuations






Oxidation and alkali attack Deterioration
Abrasion, gas erosion and
high temperature





Slag and alkali attack


Shell damage



Slag attack and erosion
Damage from scabs






Oxidation (water)
Zinc, slag and alkali attack
High temperature
Erosion from hot liquids

Iron notch


Stress build up and
Break out risk

temperatures Spalling

(tap hole)

Erosion (slag and iron)
Tap hole wear
Zinc and alkali attack
Gas attack and oxidation Wear


Selection of appropriate refractory combination depending on
the wear mechanism is very important. An improper selection
of the refractories often leads to a refractory failure which,
subsequently, becomes a complex problem to solve. Types
of refractory lining required in a blast furnace region wise as
well as the trend in the refractory lining pattern is given in the
Fig 1.

Fig 1 Refractory lining in various region of a blast

Presently the campaign life of a BF is expected to be around 15
years or more. Further there is a trend towards large capacity








conditions. To achieve the goal of long lining life under stringent









combination of high grade refractories combined with highly

efficient cooling systems and tight control on furnace operation
to ensure high productivity without excessive wall working and
with minimization of massive slips in the BF which can cause
excessive premature damage to the refractory linings.
It is known that the bottom and a part of the hearth are
corroded mainly by pig iron, slag and alkalis. Refractory bricks
in these areas are subjected to high load and temperature. So it
requires a refractory lining which should have high strength,















equivalent) values. Some BFs use low iron, dense 42 % -62 %

alumina, mullite refractory bricks, conventional carbon blocks
etc. in the bottom and lower hearth while the present trend is
to replace it with super micro pore graphite blocks. BF hearth
life mainly depends on the following factors.

Operational factors such as (i) high productivity leading to

high heat loads, (ii) high fluid velocity that causing more
erosion and (iii) high coal injection means lower permeability.
None of these factors are under the control of BF operator









robust refractory lining.

Refractory lining




entire refractory lining is also subjected to thermal stress

which also plays a dominant role especially when the design
is inadequate. The refractory lining system or design must (i)

optimize thermal resistance, (ii) provide expansion relief, (iii)

prevent cracking, and (iv) eliminate built-in barriers.

Refractory properties These include (i) High thermal

conductivity, (ii) alkali resistance, (iii) low permeability, (iv)
low thermal expansion, and (v) low elasticity.

The recent development of micro porous carbon bricks and

improvement in the quality of semi graphite and graphite
blocks has led to higher infiltration resistance to iron and slags,
and thermal conductivity. The problem of brittle layer formation
around 800 deg C isotherm by alkali condensation and thermal
stresses have been addressed to by using smaller blocks,
optimum expansion allowances etc. The carbon refractories are
covered by fireclay or mullite bricks to protect it against
oxidation. The design of this ceramic cup is important, as the
isotherms are altered depending on the quality and thickness of
the cup material.
The stack bricks are particularly exposed to high abrasion and
erosion by charge material from top as well as high velocity
fume and dust particles going out due to high blast pressure in
a CO (carbon mono oxide) environment. Hence, the application
condition demands refractory materials which must have high
strength, low permeability, high abrasion resistance and



fireclay refractory brick








Al2O3 around 39 % 42 % can impart these characteristics

required for stack application.
The tuyere and bosh are attacked by temperature change,
abrasion and alkalis; and the belly and lower shaft by thermal

shock, abrasion and CO attack etc. In the critical areas of the

BF, i.e. tuyere, bosh, belly and lower stack, silicon carbide, SiCSi3N4 and corundum refractories have replaced carbon and 62
% Al2O3 or mullite bricks. This takes advantage of the high
thermal conductivity of SiC in combination with the stave
coolers. However due to the problem of water leakage around
taphole and tuyere area many blast furnaces are lined with high
alumina or alumina-chrome corundum refractories. The present
and the trend in the Bf refractories are given in Table.



furnace refractories




39 % 42 %% Al2O3
39 % 42 % Al2O3
62 % Al2O3, Mullite

Super duty fireclay

Corundum, SiC-Si3N4


62 % Al2O3, Mullite


Tap hole

42 %-62 % Al2O3, Mullite,



Carbon/Graphite block

with super micro pores

Fireclay tar bonded, High Fireclay tar bonded,
alumina / SiC tar bonded High alumina / SiC tar

Main trough



clay / Grog / Tar bonded






castables (ULCC), SiC /








Tilting spout ramming masses / Low

cement castables
Different types of BF refractories

High alumina / SiC /

Carbon / ULCC

Different types of refractories which are used in blast furnace

lining are described below.

Baked carbon blocks Micro porous carbon block, semi

graphitic carbon block, and micro porous carbon silicon block







anthracite, synthetic graphite and silicon carbide as main raw

materials. They possess higher thermal conductivity, lower
permeability, good hot metal and alkali resistance. Semi
graphitic carbon blocks are used as the lower bottom lining.
Micro porous carbon blocks are used as the linings of the
upper bottom and lower hearth of blast furnaces with
intensified smelting. Micro porous carbon silicon blocks are
used in laying the hearth, tap hole and slag hole of the blast

Small sized baked carbon bricks Moulded micro porous

carbon bricks and carbon silicon carbide bricks are produced
through hot pressed forming, high temperature baking and
finished grinding with high temperature electrically calcined
anthracite, synthetic graphite and silicon carbide as main raw

materials and the oils deriving from coal or phenolic

formaldehyde resin as binder as well as ultra micro powder
additives. Moulded micro porous carbon silicon carbide bricks
can be used for the brickwork of tuyere, slag hole, tap hole,
the hearth and the slag forming zones of the blast furnace.

Ceramic cup brick These are plastic phase bonded

composite corundum brick. The brick is composed of high
quality mullite and high purity fused corundum as raw
materials with addition of specified binder by shaping at high
pressure and sintering at high temperature. With features of
high refractoriness under load (RUL), compact structure, low
porosity and high resistance to corrosion, the bricks are used
for the BF bottom, ceramic cup bottom lining and combined
brick of tuyere, tap hole and slag hole of the large blast

Corundum brick The corundum brick is made of brown

fused corundum and silicon carbide as starting materials,
combined with special additives,


mould press

process and sintering before fine machining. The brick is

characterized by good alkaline resistance and slag corrosion
resistance, which is suitable for lining the bottom, hearth
ceramic cup, tuyere, tap hole and slag hole.

SiC- Si3N4 brick There are many different types of SiC

brick with different bonding systems and varying SiC content.
In general, direct bonded SiC have high resistance to alkalis
and zinc. Also, they have high thermal conductivity, excellent
erosion resistance, very good thermal shock properties, and

are resistant to corrosion and CO attack. Generally, nitride

bonded SiC are used in applications, such as BF belly.

Micro porous alumina carbon brick These bricks are

made by adopting special grade bauxite clinker, corundum,
graphite and mid alumina as main raw materials, combined
with several kinds of super fine powder additives. It features








conductivity. It is used for lining of bosh, stack and cooling

wall of BF.

50 % alumina class bricks Typically refractories in this

class are upgraded super duty firebricks. They are generally
composed of a mixture of bauxite, flint clay/chamotte and
plastic clay. 50 % alumina bricks usually have low porosity,
expand upon reheating to 1600 deg C and have good
resistance to thermal cycling. A brick in this class containing
higher purity materials exhibit good load bearing qualities
and have excellent resistance to alkali attack.

60 % alumina class bricks Bricks in this class are

composed of a wide variety of materials. The most common
and highly regarded mid alumina bricks are composed of
minerals from the sillimanite group (usually combined with
small amounts of calcined alumina and plastic clays). Other
60 % alumina qualities in this class are composed of a
mixture of synthetic chamotte, bauxites, calcined alumina
and plastic clays. High levels of mullite formation allow bricks
in this class (especially sillimanite containing refractories) to
exhibit excellent creep resistance. Sillimanite bricks can be

often phosphate/chemically bonded and cured as a means of

improving thermal shock resistance.

70 % alumina class bricks This class of bricks is based on

primary raw materials bauxite or high alumina chamotte
which is added with fireclay. These bricks are fired to around
1400 deg C to prevent excessive expansion during firing
(caused by a reaction of siliceous ingredients with bauxite,
forming mullite). 70 % alumina bricks exhibit high expansion
values in service thus reducing joint sizing.

80 % alumina class bricks These are based on bauxite

with additions of calcined alumina and clay materials. They
are fired to around 1420 1480 deg C to maintain consistent
brick sizing. Fired products in this class have about a 20 %
porosity, good strength and resistance to thermal cycling.
These products are associated with phosphate/chemical
bonding (both cured and fired) as a means of imparting
greater resistance to abrasion and reducing porosity.

Fireclay bricks Fireclay bricks are composed from a blend

of usually two or more clays. The use of flint and kaolin clays
imparts refractoriness, calcined clays (chamottes) control the
drying and firing shrinkages and plastic clays facilitate
forming and bonding strength. Fireclay bricks are usually
grouped into (i) super duty bricks (PCE > 33) that have a
typical alumina content of 40 % to 45 % and have a good
refractoriness, resistance to thermal shock and volume
stability at higher temperatures, (ii) high duty firebricks (PCE
31 to 33) that are similar to super duty equivalents but are






clays/chamottes and plastic clays (typical Al2O3 40 % to

45%) and are commonly used as a replacement for medium
duty firebricks where thermal cycling is a potential problem,
(iii) medium duty firebricks (PCE 29 to 31) (typical Al2O3 38
% to 42%) are used in less severe applications and their
thermal shock resistance is lower than on super and high
duty firebricks, (iv) low-duty firebricks (PCE 15 to 29) (typical
Al2O3 35 % to 38%) are used as backing linings and other
applications where moderate temperatures are prevalent,
and (v) semi silica firebricks that have typical alumina
contents of 18 % to 25% with silica values ranging 72 % to 80
% and have excellent load bearing strength and volume
stability at relatively higher temperatures.

Tap hole mass The main characteristics needed from tap









properties combined with corrosion and erosion resistance.

Chemical Reactions During Blast Furnace Iron making

The major chemical reactions involved during ironmaking process can be
illustrated in the Fig. 1.

Fig. 1: Major chemical reactions involved during ironmaking process

At first, combustion of coke produces carbon monoxide, with CO2 as
intermediate products. The composition of the combustion gas in the presence of
excess carbon is controlled by the C-CO-CO2 equilibrium.
1. Gaseous reduction of iron oxides
The carbon monoxide is capable of reducing hematite (Fe2O3) to iron, with
magnetite (Fe3O4) and wstite (FexO) appearing as intermediate products at
temperatures above 570C.
In each case, the reaction is reversible and equilibrium is established when the
gas attains a composition that, at constant pressure, is dependent only on
temperature. Such an equilibrium relationships can be shown in Fig. 2,, together
with those for the low temperature reduction of magnetite to iron.
In the blast furnace stack, reduction is complicated by the presence of coke that
causes the CO concentration to be influenced by the Boudouard reaction.
Consider therefore, the changes experienced by an element of gas as it enters

the stack at an initial temperature of around 1000C and rises to the throat
reducing and heating the burden on its way. From Fig. 2, in which the Boudouard
line is superimposed on the oxide reduction equilibriums, it can be seen that a
gas consisting of 100% CO is capable of reducing the oxide to metallic iron. If the
temperature were to fall to 900C, equilibrium with FexO would be established at
70% CO + 30% CO2. The element of gas might then be supposed to come into
contact with coke and, if the temperature fell again, this time to 800C, CO would
be regenerated and its concentration is raised to 90%, so that it was again
possible to reduce FexO to metallic iron. Oscillation between the gas
compositions indicated by the two lines could continue until the temperature had
fallen to 700C, when the influence of the Boudouard would be such that no
reduction of FexO could take place, although at temperatures between 700 and
650C, reduction of Fe2O3 to FexO via Fe3O4, would still be possible. At
temperatures below 650C, hematite could be reduced to magnetite, but the
reaction rate might be expected to be slow.

Fig. 2: Equilibriums in the presence of solid carbon

The above description of reduction and gas generation from coke is meant to
illustrate the thermodynamic possibilities and should not be taken too literally,
although, as will be seen later, operators do usually charge the burden as
alternate layers of coke and ore in order to control burden permeability.
The gaseous reduction discussed above is sometimes known as `indirect
reduction', because the reducing agent, i.e. CO, is derived from the combustion
of carbon. Gaseous reduction is nevertheless the term that is preferred here,
since it encompasses reduction by hydrogen, although there is another, perhaps
more important reason, will be discussed below.
2. Reduction by solid carbon
Burden entering the bosh is pre-heated and partially reduced, but the remaining
oxygen must be removed by reduction with solid carbon, as shown in equation

FeO + C = Fe + CO
Carbon reduction is thus highly endothermic and requires the combustion of
coke to make good the heat it consumes: The use of carbon as a reductant is
actually a "direct reduction", called carbon reduction (the term "Direct
Reduction" is reserved as a collective description of processes that are
alternatives to the blast furnace).
3. Gaseous vs. carbon reduction
Superficially, the endothermic nature of carbon reduction would appear to render
it unattractive in comparison to gaseous reduction, which is exothermic. The
truth however is slightly more complex.
Firstly, the CO comes from coke, and the equilibrium limitations prevent
complete combustion to CO.
Secondly, gaseous reduction yields a large thermal surplus, and by way of
contrast, though carbon reduction is associated with a thermal deficit, it uses
only one third of the amount of carbon to produce each mole of iron.
Therein lies the attraction of a combination of the two reduction mechanisms,
since some of the heat generated by gaseous reduction (or more accurately by
the combustion of coke to CO) can be used to compensate for the heat
requirements of fuel-saving carbon reduction. Both types of reaction are
therefore encountered in the blast furnace, with some 60-65% of the oxygen
originally present in the burden being removed by gaseous means and the
remainder by carbon reduction [1].
4. High temperature reactions
Reduction in the bosh and hearth is not confined to iron oxides. For example
virtually all the P2O5 contained in the burden is reduced to phosphorus, which
dissolves in the metal and must be removed in the steelmaking process that
follows. The phosphorus content of an iron ore is thus of crucial importance
in determining its commercial value, since phosphoric iron takes longer to refine
to finished steel. The normal phosphorus content of iron for the BOF is around
0.1-0.2%. Other oxides such as silica (SiO2) and manganese oxide (MnO) are
only partly reduced, with the result that silicon and manganese partition
themselves between slag and metal. A number of factors influence this process,
including slag composition and temperature. As may be deduced from the free
energy relationships appended to equations:
SiO2 + 2C = Si + 2CO: D G = +713 900 - 367.95T
MnO + C = Mn + CO: D G = +290 300 - 173.22T
increasing temperature displaces equilibrium to the right in both cases, thereby
leading to higher silicon and manganese contents in the metal. The mechanism

of silica reduction is not as straightforward as suggested by 2.13, however, since

gaseous silicon monoxide (SiO) forms as an intermediate product. Nevertheless,
for BOF steelmaking, the silicon and manganese contents might each be
expected to be about 0.8%.
The remaining elements entering the metal phase are sulphur and carbon. The
latter dissolves readily and it is probable that the iron is saturated with carbon so
that, depending on the amount of the other solutes present, its concentration
will be of the order of 4%. There is no way of exercising control over the carbon
content, but on the other hand, sulphur control in the blast furnace is of especial
importance, because conditions there are more conducive to desulphurisation
than are those encountered in steelmaking. The crucial difference lies in the
oxygen potentials of the processes. Accepting that there are various ways of
expressing the partitioning of sulphur between slag and metal, following
equation should suffice to illustrate steelmaking behaviour:
S in Fe + O in slag = S in slag + O in Fe
In a blast furnace, however, the oxygen potential is very much lower, due to the
presence of solid carbon in the form of coke. In consequence, the oxygen content
of the iron is vanishingly small, thus pulling the reaction to the right in a classical
demonstration of the principle of Le ChatelieF. Blast furnace desulphurisation is
therefore described asn follows:
C in Fe + O in slag = CO gas
S in Fe + O in slag + C in Fe = S in slag + CO gas
5. Slag formation
Iron ore analyses are discussed in the next Chapter, but it will come as no
surprise to learn that minerals such as silica (SiO2) and alumina (A12O3) are
present in commercial ores. These are collectively referred to as the gangue and
they are the basis of the slag that collects in the hearth of the furnace. Ash
resulting from the combustion of coke also finds its way into the slag. The
formation of a fusible slag is encouraged by the inclusion of fluxes in the burden
and materials containing lime (CaO) and magnesia (MgO) are used to produce a
slag with the desired composition. The factors determining the optimum
composition are physical, chemical and commercial and the ultimate choice is
necessarily a compromise. Slag must be sufficiently fluid to run freely from the
furnace while at the same time it has to have a high capacity for absorbing
sulphur. The silicon and manganese levels in the metal and the recirculation of
alkalis arc also influenced by slag composition, so that its chemical functions are
varied. Finally, the buyer of the slag may impose compositional requirements
relating particularly to the MgO content, depending on whether the slag is to be
used for cement or concrete aggregate.
The major constituents of blast furnace slags are the four oxides CaO, MgO, SiO2
and A12 O, and the sum of their concentrations usually exceeds 95%.
Compositions typically lie in the following ranges with only minor amounts of

other oxides:
38-44% CaO, 8-10% MgO, 34-38% SiO2, 10-12% Al2O3, 0.5-1.0% MnO, 1-2% S,
0.1-0.6% K2O and <0.2% FeO.
Melting temperatures vary between 1200 and 1400C.
In general, the chemical character of an oxide slag is determined by its
composition and the various constituents are classified as either acid or basic, e.
Acidic oxides: SiO2 P2O5, B2O3
Basic oxides: CaO, MgO, MnO, FeO, Na2O, K2O
Intermediate oxides: A12O3 Fe2O3
Slags high in lime are therefore basic and those of high silica content are acid.
The distinction between acids and bases is made on the grounds of their
behaviour in slag solution, since basic oxides ionise and contribute oxygen
anions to the melt, whilst acid oxides remove oxygen anions, e.g.:
CaO = Ca + O-SiO2 + 2O-- = SiO44 The degree of acidity or basicity is not easily defined since there is some
uncertainty about the way in which the intermediate oxides ionise, but it is
normal to express the composition of a slag as a simple ratio, thereby giving a
number that is called the basicity. Typical expressions are as follows:
CaO/ SiO2 ; (CaO + MgO)/ SiO2 ; (CaO + MgO)/( SiO2 + A12O3)
The values of basicity are frequently linked to the distribution of elements
between slag and metal in order to demonstrate the influence of the slag on hot
metal composition.
Blast Furnace Process Control
By improving process control of the blast furnace system operating conditions
can be optimized, hot metal quality can be improved, and energy consumption
and operatioal costs can be reduced. Modern expert process control systems
continuously monitor certain parameters in the blast furnace and by using
various process models (including burden control, burden distribution, mass and
energy balances, silicon prediction and kinetic process models) calculate and
diagnose process disturbances. They then suggest, or take, corrective actions
such as modification of the rate of reducing agents or changes to the burden
distribution (APP, 2010. p.51). Current third generation control systems allow
even further improvements than their predecessors (Worrell, et al., 2010. p.83).


Process control systems:
Siemens VAI software and process engineering specialists have produced
successful solutions for all aspects of furnace operation, often within the
framework of very tight construction or rebuilding programs, including:
- Furnace top control of skip or belt charged tops with complex charging
patterns and burden distribution - Stockhouse control of sequential
batched materials with in-flight weighing and material layering
- Gas cleaning control - Stove control for cyclic, parallel, lapped
parallel and staggered parallel 4-stove operation - Coal injection systems
- Casthouse operation and control - Slag granulation
- Plant safety and shutdown design Blast furnace A, voestalpine Stahl, Linz,
Austria Process models Precise control of the blast furnace, with
all associated process and production benefits, is possible using the advanced
process models (below), examples of which are outlined in more detail on the
following pages.
- Material & energy balance - Plausibility check - Hearth lining monitoring
- Hot stoves maintenance Research - Burden optimization - Blast simulation
- Mass and energy balance - Kinetic process simulation - Fuel injection
- Minimum fuel consumption - Neural system Process information management A
multithreaded, threetier, client-server, realtime application is the basis for the
SIMETALCIS VAiron hardware and software
configuration. The process information management system supplies an
extremely flexible and powerful database for continuous improvement of process
Knowledge. SIMETALCIS VAiron interprets process data,
performs model calculations and visualizes the results in windows or web
based graphical user interfaces. Additional data analysis, interpretation
and visualization tools can easily be connected to SIMETALCIS VAiron (COM,


- Burden distribution
- Burden control
- Hot stoves optimization
- Blast furnace supervision
- Shaft simulation
- Tapping management
- Silicon prediction
- Temperature prediction
- Cohesive zone
- Indirect reduction
- Raceway simulation
- Flame temperature
- Burden distribution
- Burden control
- Hot stoves optimization
- Blast furnace supervision
- Shaft simulation
- Tapping management
- Silicon prediction
- Temperature prediction
- Cohesive zone
- Indirect reduction
- Raceway simulation

- Flame temperature
- Burden distribution
- Burden control
- Hot stoves optimization
- Blast furnace supervision
- Shaft simulation
- Tapping management
- Silicon prediction
- Temperature prediction
- Cohesive zone
- Indirect reduction
- Raceway simulation
- Flame temperature
Kinetic process simulation
Full transparency of the entire blast
furnace process is made possible using
the unique kinetic process model.
At each point of a finely meshed
coordinate grid within the furnace, key
process parameters are calculated to
enable the following:
- Determination of the burden influence
on the overall process behavior
- Simulation of the blast furnace process
under varying conditions
- Analysis of internal
blast furnace conditions

- Raw material optimization

- Overall process optimization
Closed-loop burden charging
and distribution control
In addition to a cost-optimized burden
selection, this model achieves an ideal
burden distribution within the furnace
based on closed-loop control. With the
unique spiral-charging technique the
portion of fines (less than 4 mm grain
size) that can be charged directly into the
blast furnace can be increased
- Charge ore and coke fines
- Improved gas utilization
- Lower raw material costs
- Increased refractory lifetime
Hearth lining monitoring
Continuous monitoring of the hearth
refractory lining assures that furnace
breakouts do not occur. By using
thermocouples installed in the hearth,
the hearth lining monitoring cyclically
calculates the refractory thickness profile.
The presence of slag on the lining surface
is taken into account in the model
- Exact knowledge of lining state

- Extended blast furnace campaign


The correct design of the furnace proper is fundamental to reliable operation,
metallurgical performance, sustained high productivity and long campaign life.
For new turnkey installations of any capacity as well as for plant rebuilds, the
modern blast furnace designs produced by Paul Wurth are based on the concept
of a free-standing unit with a surrounding building structure, providing access to
the furnace and support for the furnace off-gas system. Making use of powerful
simulation tools for the optimization of the burden and gas flow, Paul Wurth
designs the furnace proper considering the potential raw material and operating
conditions for the furnace throughout its campaign. Serious consideration is
given in the design stage to ensure rapid and accurate constructability.
Integrating the properties of the shell, the cooling elements and refractory lining,
the global solution engineered by Paul Wurth ensures the well-balanced overall
operation of the plant.


For increase of efficiency, depth and reliability of the analysis,

establishment of interrelations of parameters and the revealing of
opportunities of perfection of blast - furnace technology, are
developed a technique and algorithm of the system analysis of the
current characteristics of the work of blast furnaces. Feature of the
technique is the opportunity of "mitigation" of influence of errors of
the technological account on smelting characteristics at the
expense of shaping the corrections in the initial data on a base of
analysis of the disparitys of iron, slag-forming and gasified
elements balances.

The design methods of the analysis are the formalized tool of a
understanding of processes in the quantitative form basing on the blanket
laws of the nature. The perfection of this tool is determined by a level of
knowledge of the blanket laws and correctness of their use for the
analysis of specificity of investigated processes. The base laws for the
closed systems are the laws of preservation of weight and energy, which
use at the design analysis of blast furnace smelting assumes a solution of

two base tasks: 1) study of interrelations of parameters and

characteristics of real blast - furnace smelting; 2) forecasts of expected
characteristics of blast - furnace smelting on preset parameters of work.
The realization of each of the specified tasks is based on a solution of
specific problems. In case of the forecast these problems are connected to
a correctness of initial assumptions and expedient degree of detailed
elaboration of the description of processes [1]. In case of the analysis of
real technology major value have completeness, accuracy, reliability of
the initial information and way of its treatment. The specified aspects of
the analysis of real technology are a subject of consideration of the
present work.


The effectiveness of real blast - furnace smelting analysis depends to a
great extent on reliability of the initial data, on which he bases. However
the last, as a rule, have errors, which sizes are unknown. This not only
complicates the analysis, but sometimes deforms its results. Use of design
complex parameters and balances including sizes gauged with errors of a
different nature and size is especially complicated.
For the first time these questions studied A.N. Ramm [2], who in
reference to gasified elements (C,O,N,H) has shown an opportunity of a
choice best on size of a minimum of an error of variants of the analysis.
Further A.B. Shoor [3], by making the equation of compatibility of the
initial data, has received expression for the corrections, which it is
necessary to bring to these data in, that the results of account were
consistent. Later author of present article in a course of analysis of the
characteristics of branch blast - furnaces working has shown [4], that the
revealing of disparitys of iron, slag-forming and gasified elements
balances is a major component of the analysis and has developed a
technique of definition of equivalent rejections of parameters at entering
the corrections into the initial data and appropriate computer system of
the analysis. The main role of duration and repeatability accepted for the
analysis of the individual periods of work of the furnace is shown and also
method of treatment of results on a ground that the principles of selection
and data processing are formulated [4,5].
The developed system of analysis includes, alongside with gauged
initial parameters of processes, also design smelting characteristics:
complex parameters of blast regime; iron, slag-forming and gasified
elements balances; a heat balance; reducing-thermal and gas dynamics

characteristics. The important component of the analysis is the estimation

of influence of errors of the initial data on the design characteristics of
processes. Without this component the analysis has not that definiteness,
which is necessary for reliable conclusions. So, by not estimating an error
of definition of any complex parameter in two compared periods of a
blast-furnace operation it is impossible to estimate importance of
difference of its values in these periods. For such estimation the balances
of iron, slag-forming and gasified elements are used. The disparitys of
this balances are the integrated characteristics of errors of the initial data.
The analysis by computer of ponderability of various errors of the account
in total value disparitys of balances allows to estimate the most probable
variants of errors and close to "true" value of design parameters. At
comparison of "true" values of parameters in the various periods the
"zone of an error ", allowing is taken into account and
to judge
importance of difference of "true" values. So, if at difference of "true"
values of a parameter in two periods or for two furnaces " the zones of
errors " do not coincide or impose against each other in a small measure,
it is possible to consider the specified difference essential. If the imposing
of "zones of an error " is large, difference is insignificant. In a number of
cases it is necessary to ascertain impossibility to make the certain
conclusions of the analysis. Such conclusion is not less valuable, than
determined, since allows to avoid erroneous judgements.
The further work in this direction has revealed opportunities of
perfection of a technique of use disparitys of balances for an estimation of
influence of errors of the initial data on "validity" of design smelting
characteristics. The considered below new methodical developments
differ from known. On a base of a resulted below analytical solution of a
task it is possible to replace used earlier iterative procedure of disparitys
separation by a more simple and evident way of an estimation of
influence of possible account errors on smelting characteristics and to
give a solution more suitable kind for the substantial analysis. Besides in
considered statement a task of overlapping of balances of iron and slagforming constituents of burden for the first time is decided.


Disparitys of iron and slag-forming elements balances

The equation of compatibility of balance of iron and slag-forming

elements is forming as equality of quantities of slag designed on the
contents in burden constituents of iron - Fe and base slag-forming

components (CaO, SiO2, Al2O3) , Disparity of balances gives =

Fe or:

SiO 2 CaO A2 O 3 21,4[Si]

(SiO 2 ) (CaO) (Al 2 O 3 )
where is designated: the consumption of burden constituents R i ironcontaining, RM - metallized, K - coke, ,- limestone customary and
dolomitized, - consumption of coal injection, kg / t of pig-iron; the
contents of the appropriate components in burden materials - without
brackets (Z-coke ash, Z-- coal ash), in slag - in parentheses, in pig-iron in square brackets, % .
For definition of sizes of the corrections necessary for convergence of
balances, we shall take private derivative from on the base measured
parameters (contents of components): Fei, FeOi, FeM, CaOi, SiO2i, Al2O
(CaO), (SiO2), (Al2O3), (kg / %):

Fei =1,42850,01R ;

Fe i =-0,112670,01R ;

Fe =R 0,01;

Ca i = (CaO) (SiO 2 ) (A2 O 3 ) ;

Si 2 i = (CaO) (SiO 2 ) (A2 O 3 ) ;


A2 3 i

(CaO) (SiO 2 ) (A2 O 3 ) ;

Al 2 O 3Z 0,01

(CaO) (SiO 2 ) (A2 O 3 ) ;
7) Z =
(SiO 2 CaO A2 O 3 21,4[Si])

((SiO 2 ) (CaO) ( A2 O 3 )) 2
8) (Ca) =
(SiO 2 CaO A2 O 3 21,4[Si])

(Si 2 ) =
((SiO 2 ) (CaO) ( A2 O 3 )) 2

(A2 3 ) = (Si 2 ) = (Ca) .


The size of an error Fei (%), appropriate to a rejection makes:

0,014285 R i (%). At a toolhouse error of the contents Fe 0,3 %

Fei =
the specified size expressed in quantity of toolhouse errors, makes:

0,014285 R i 0,3 =233,3 R i .



Similarly for other sizes of errors at size of a toolhouse error 0,3 %


0,0011267 R i (%);
FeOi =

NFeOi =-2958,5 i ;

0,01 R i (%);

NFe =100 i ;



((CaO) (SiO 2 ) ( A2 O 3 ))
CaO =

NCaOi=3,333((CaO)+(SiO2)+(A2O3)) i ;

SiO2i=((CaO)+(SiO2)+(A2O3)) i ;


NSiO2i=3,333((CaO)+(SiO2)+(A2O3)) i ;



((CaO) (SiO 2 ) ( 2 O 3 ))


NZ=3,333((CaO)+(SiO2)+(A2O3)) ;



((CaO) (SiO 2 ) ( A2 O 3 )) 2
100 (CaO SiO 2 A2 O 3 21,4 [Si]) (%);
((CaO) (SiO 2 ) ( A2 O 3 )) 2
30(CaO SiO 2 A2 O 3 21,4 [Si]) =
N(aO)==N(SiO2)= N(A2O3).


For an illustration: at the blanket consumption of burden Ri=1700 kg/t

and average contents of iron 55 %, CaO-12 %; SiO 2 10 %; Al2O3 1%, coke
500 kg/t and Z = 10 %, Al2O3Z - 20% and at (CaO) = 42 %, (SiO2)=35%,
(Al2O3)=7% the disparity of slag quantity =10 kg/t is in accord with
the following sizes possible toolhouse (0,3 % abs.) errors:
NFe=1,37; NFeO=-17,4; NFe=0,59; NA2O3i=NCaOi=NSiO2i=1,65;
N(aO)=N(SiO2)= N(A2O3)=-5,88; NZ=5,6.
Probability of presence of errors close to toolhouse is much above, than
errors, which sizes exceed toolhouse. Therefore separation of the total
size of disparity between measured sizes it is expedient to fabricate in
inverse ratio to quantity of toolhouse errors (N), appropriate by this total
disparity for each measured parameter. It gives the following two
equations for separation the total disparity in fractions () for each





Solution rather (aO):

N(SiO 2 ) +(aO) N(A2 O 3 ) +(aO) NCaO i +
NSiO 2 i +(aO) NA2 O 3i +(aO) NFe i +
NFe i +(aO) NFe +(aO) N Z =1;



3 N(CaO) (


NCaO i ;
NFe i ;
Fe =(aO)

NFe ;

NFe i ;
FeO =(aO)

NZ .

Parameter correction for disparity separation:



















Z=Z+Z Z ;


After updating the account under the formulas of parameters and

balances with definition the disparity of iron-balance Fe is carried out,
then all residual disparity Fe concerns on the consumption of
components by multiplication

Fe Fe )=R .
Then the account of updating of makeup of components Fe i, FeOi,
(aO) repeats at first with the subsequent account on those to the
formulas and reception of final results.

Disparitys of gasified elements balances

After direct account of the base parameters and characteristics of the
blast- furnace smelting the check of convergence of balance of gasified
elements --N- is performing on a base known of makeup of a top gas
(2,, 2, N2, , 3/3), quantity of burden oxygen and coal , coke
rates K, oil M and coal (kg/t), natural gas , coking gas (3/t) and
their makeups, blast moisture (g/3) and contents in him of oxygen
(%) is fabricated. For this purpose the consumption of gasified carbon on
balance of the specified elements is defined:



= 0,7(+) - 0,025 - 0,5(0,93+0,93)

=2+0,5(-2)- N2;

0,01 0,00062
1 0,01

Then is defined the unbalance of gasified elements referred to carbon:

100 .

=-, kg/t, or in %


Degree of conformity of makeup of a blow (consumption V ) makeup of

a top gas (consumption V) on balance of oxygen and nitrogen 0-N further
is checked:
+0,93N+0,93N+0,8( N+N+N); whence:


1 0,01 N N 0,8 ( N N

N )


3 gas
3 blast .
On the other hand, the runout of a dry top gas on unit of a blow makes:



1,867 ( d C L )




2, 3/3;

Where 2=0,004[(-Si2)+(+1,4MgO-Si2)]; d+C

the consumption of carbon on direct reduction of iron and of difficult
reduction elements.
After transformation:


]: : (1-H2), 3/3;

The difference V=





1,867 ( d C L )


) is the unbalance of gas in 3/3 of a blow,

and ratio

V / V

=v - that in % to quantity of gas.


The total size of an error referred to carbon:

=- (kg); the metrological error makes 0,005K (kg).
The total size of an error in metrological units:
n=/0,005 (relative).
CO2, , 2, N2, %; N2=100-CO2--2; , N, , N, , , N
/; , N, , N - 3/3..
For definition of sizes of the corrections necessary for convergence of
balances, we shall take private derivative from on the base
measured parameters:

0,375( )

0,375( 2 ) , kg;

; =

0,005 (rel.);

0,5357 (1 )

2 =
0,5357 (1 ) , %;

; 2 =

n 2


0,01 2 (rel);

0,5357 (0,5 )
0,5357 (0,5 ) , %;

; =



(0,5 )

2 =
(0,5 ) , %; n 2 = 0,01 2 (rel.);

; 2 =

N 2 (2 )(0,8 N 0,8 N )0,5357 ( N N )

(100 ) 2
5) =
(100 ) 2
= N 2 (2 )(0,8 N 0,8 N N N )0,536 ,%

n= 0,01 (rel.);
0,5357 ( 2 )(0,5 N )

6) =

0,5357 ( 2 )(0,5 N ) , (3);

n= 0,015 ,(rel.); [when 0]. If 0, then n=0;
0,5357 ( 2 )(0,5 N )

7) =

0,5357 ( 2 )(0,5 N ) , (3);

n= 0,015 ,(rel.); [when 0]. If 0, then n=0;
0,5357 ( 2 ) 5,6

8) =

0,5357 ( 2 ) 5,6 , (3);

n= 0,015 ,(rel.);
0,5357 ( 2 )(5,6 0,8 N 0,7 )

9) =

0,5357 ( 2 )(5,6 0,8 N 0,7 ) , (kg);

n= 0,015 ,(rel.).


Probability of presence of errors close to toolhouse is much above, than

errors, which sizes exceed toolhouse. Therefore separation of the total
size of disparity between measured sizes it is expedient to fabricate in
inverse ratio to quantity of toolhouse errors (N), appropriate by this total
disparity for each measured parameter. It gives the following two
equations for separation the total disparity in fractions () for each
I equations. The sum of a fraction = 100 %; +

++ = 1. (27)

II equations. Equality of products of a fraction on quantity(amount) of

toolhouse errors of each parameter: n= 2

Solution rather :

n 2

+ ++


n 2

+ ++

1 n (

n c 2




Solution concerning other fractions:

n 2

; =

Updating of parameters:

n 2

=.= n (all



()=+ ;



()=+ ;





()=+ ;


()=+ ;


()=+ ;




Algorithm of disparity separation

1. The initial data for accounts are formed by two ways:
- By entering is direct in the tables on the display of initial parameters
from an extraneous source.
- Extraction from a database.
2. Definition of characteristics on the base design expressions and
preservation to forming the final tables. Design expressions are notorious
and not cites here.
3. Updating of burden and smelting products components.
3.1. The updating of each parameter on all size of the disparity on
expressions is carried out:
Fei=Fei+Fei; FeOi=FeOi-FeOi; Fe=Fe+Fe; Z=Z+
CaOi=CaOi-aOi; SiO2i=SiO2i-aOi; A2O3i=A2O3i-aOi;




For each variant of updating the account on the base design expressions
with definition of the disparity of iron-balance Fe, is carried out, then all

residual disparity Fe concerns on the consumptions of components by


Fe Fe )=R .


Then the account of updating of a burden constituent or slag repeats

with the subsequent account on the base design expressions and
reception of results. The specified variants of accounts are carried out
partially or completely on inquiry of the user for the informal analysis of
results and choice of the most plausible variants of updatings. By results if
necessary of the analysis the not formalized corrections to the initial data
are deposited, and the account on the base design expressions is carried
3.2. The updating of all parameters for total disparity separation is
carried out. In case of absence of the not formalized updating (see is
higher) this size is the reference value , in case of performance of the
not formalized updating this size is the residual value after the
specified updating. The updating for total disparity separation is carried
out under the formulas (13) - (22).
4. Updating of gasified elements.
4.1. The updating of each parameter on all size of the disparity on
expressions is carried out:
()=-; ()=+

; (2)=2+

; ()=+;

; ()=+; ()=+; ()=+;

()=+; ()=+.


For each variant of updating on inquiry of the user the account on the
base design expressions (partially or completely) is carried out with the
purpose of the not formalized analysis of results and choice of the most
plausible variants of entering of the corrections in the initial data. On a
base of the analysis and entering of the corrections the account on the
base design expressions is carried out.
4.2. The updating for total disparity separation under the formulas
(29) - (38) is carried out. At absence of the not formalized updating total
disparity the reference value is, at presence - residual value after
updating. The size of discrepancy of makeup of a blow to makeup of a top
gas (v
in % to quantity of gas) is on expression (25) calculated. Its

value after updating should decrease.

The value of sizes of the attitude of degrees of use of reducing gases
(/) and fractions of the residual member of a heat balance from a
total heat release rate (Q/Q) should not leave from breaking points:
1,1 (/) 0,9;

0,20 (Q/Q) 0,05.

The cases of increase V after updating and runout (/) and

(Q/Q) from the specified breaking points are considered at the not
formalized analysis with acceptance of the appropriate solutions about
5. Shaping the target data. The target data are formed in the tabular
form, in three subsections: actual parameters; design parameters; the
corrected parameters. From a complete set of parameters shaping any
sample under the indication of the user is provided.
The system includes the following components:
Base of primary technological parameters of blast - furnace work
(daily allowance, monthly, annual, separate periods), characteristics of
units and ingoing materials;
Program of layout and homogenization of the primary information (on
furnaces, departments, periods);
Program of account of complex parameters and material - heat
balances with the analysis of balance disparitys and errors of the account;
Program of shaping of various kinds of representation of results of
treatment, their accumulation and transfer to other programs.
The order of representation of results of treatment of the information
provides the various forms of printing them. Primary from them are: the
average parameters for the period, design parameters, corrected
parameters (with the account of balance disparitys).
The results of treatment of the primary information are formed in
massifs, which can be used in other programs intended for the analysis of
interrelations of parameters (for example, correlation-regression,
cartographical etc.), observation long-term trends, estimation of power,
ecological and economic activities, and also optimization of directions of
development of blast furnace technology. The system is open and can be
easily complemented by other programs on available information base,

which also can extend.

At sufficient completeness of the initial information the continuous
analysis of linkages of the base smelting characteristics and design
characteristics is possible with the purpose of revealing the tendencies
and laws of their change on separate furnaces, groups of furnaces and in
branch with the subsequent shaping of the recommendations on
perfection of technical politics in the field of a blast-furnace practice.
Thus, the retrospective analysis of parameters of a blast-furnace practice
is a semantic base of forecasting and planning of prospects of its
Use of the developed system in practice of the analysis of blast-furnace
smelting is based on a combination of the formalized methods of
treatment and comparison of parameters with informal receptions of the
analysis which is taking into account insufficient completeness and
ambiguity of the initial information. Such combination is the integral
element of the system analysis. The specified analysis should be carried
out continuously by virtue of specific features of blast-furnace smelting
as large system containing unchecked elements. These elements cause
unguided drift of parameters, which is necessary for tracing for
acceptance of correct solutions on running blast-furnace melting. The
essence of a problem consists in the following.
Known from blast-furnace practice drift of smelting characteristics at
the same mode, and also maintenance of preset parameters at periodic
change of a mode and return to it do not contradict laws of functioning
the blast-furnace smelting as large system. They are explained to that by
virtue of irregularity of distribution of environment and its properties in
volume of the unit each mode contains components which are not
appropriate to its average parameters and deform with current of time
average parameters and smelting characteristics by accumulation of new
properties, condition, stimulating spontaneous shear of processes in other
area and requiring updating of a mode for achievement of preset
The high-frequency shakings of parameters, which period on the order
is less than time of transients, practically are not passed by the blast
furnace and do not influence target parameters. The shakings,
commensurable with the time of transients, should be traced for use at
operative running. The long-term changes, which duration considerably
exceeds time of transients, do not influence the current condition of
smelting, but result in slow shear of processes to a new mode, for which
shaping the tracking of drift of processes is necessary by special

treatment of parameters and attributes. In process of an abatement

spatial - temporary heterogeneity of parameters (at the expense of
stabilization of makeup both properties of burden and blow, uniformity of
their distribution at submission in the furnace, perfection of constructions
of units and equipment) there is an increase of duration of drift up to
sizes, in a number of cases commensurable to the between-repairs period
of work of the unit.
The observation of drift for shaping parameters of a new mode requires
use of the automated monitoring system and analysis of processes.

For increase of efficiency, depth and reliability of the analysis

establishment of interrelation of parameters, the revealings of
opportunities of perfection of technology are developed a technique and
algorithm of the system analysis of the current blast-furnace
characteristics. In a course of mining with use before created the
ideologies and technical solutions are received the following new results:
1. Analytical solution of a task of overlapping of balances and disparity
separation of metal - slag-forming and gasified elements allowing "to
soften" of distortion of design complex parameters, deposited by errors of
the technological account for the first time is found.
2. According to new solutions on the analysis of balance disparytys the
more rational algorithm including as formalized procedures, and openingup of the information for the informal analysis is developed. As against
the earlier used iterative method of disparytys separation, the developed
method simplifies procedure of machine realization of a task and has the
greater presentation at the informal analysis .
3. On a base of the specially executed analytical exploration the
scientific substantiation of necessity of equipment of blast furnaces by
monitoring systems and continuous computer analysis of blast - furnace
characteristics is given.

2.3 Blast Furnace Design

2.3.1 Size of the furnaces
Major drawback of making large size Blast Furnace in India was
the use of coke having poor strength as well as lower high
temperature properties (Coke Reactivity Index- CRI/Coke

Strength after Reduction-CSR). But use of high

grade metallurgical coal and its proper blending [15] is being
produced coke of high strength with optimum reducibility to
decrease the aforesaid problems. As a result of that now
working volume of the furnace as well as size are being
increased. After increasing the size of the Blast Furnace it has
proven that the productivity of the Blast Furnace has increased
with decreasing coke rate,
corresponding to the total energy consumption. In the year
1950 average working volume of the furnace was nearly
1000m3, which is being increased to 4000m3 in 2010 The
productivity has reached a level as
high as about 3.4 ton/m3/day; production capacity has reached
to 4Mtpa. Coke consumption has decreased to 450 kg/THM
corresponding to total energy consumption also decreased to
12.5 GJ/THM with the possibilities of
recovering 3-4 GJ/THM from the excess BF gas etc [20].
2.3.2 Structure
It is clearly accepted that the operation of a larger blast furnace
unit is more complex than smaller unit. The larger blast
furnaces have modern equipments attached for controlling
environment. In addition to the physical aspects
of the design (bigger, heavier etc), there are other points to be
considered. The furnace shell must withstand high operating
and refractory pressures, thermal stresses, burden loads and
have numerous cut-outs for internal cooling water
systems. The use of instrumental techniques, along with the
most sophisticated design practices; ensure that a fully
optimized 'thin' shell can be utilized to withstand cracking,
even in the latter parts of the furnace campaign.
Furthermore, the redesign of the furnace support structure has
led to a substantially lighter but equally effective design.

Furnace support structure design has adapted to the modern

concept of so-called free-standing tower design Traditional and
modern design of Blast Furnace This arrangement has been
proven on many blast furnace installations all over India. The
only accepted complication being the introduction of the extra
restraint associated with the design standards related to the
location of the site,
specifically for seismic conditions. The key point to note
regarding the design of the blast furnace as the size increases
is that plate thicknesses need to be carefully considered to
ensure that the structural integrity is maintained, including an
allowance for rebuild conditions. The tower design needs
to take into account of any additional stresses associated with
the support of the larger furnace. As noted above, it is
expected that a large blast furnace will operate at a higher
level of top pressure than a smaller one. The currently
accepted levels of maximum top pressure of around 3 bar is
successfully used in many blast furnaces in India which can be
accommodated through the application of appropriate design
standards to the shell arrangement.

2.4 Casthouse Operations

The cast house is an area where considerable effort was
applied to improve the working conditions for the operator
Modern cast-house design includes flat floors, where the runner
is fully covered and is fitted flush with the floor. This allows the
safer and easier use of mobile vehicles in the casthouse
area. The use of radio controlled equipment and other

devices have helped to reform cast house work, and these,

along with effective emission control systems, have improved
working conditions beyond recognition. As the blast furnace
hearth diameter increases there is a consequential need to
increase the size of the cast-house. Large blast furnaces should
be designed with four tap holes with consideration to the
provision of a fifth. With a four
top-hole configuration, the cast-house arrangement needs to
provide sufficient space for movement around the floor itself
[22]. There is no design issues associated with this requirement
as long as there is the necessary space provided in the site
plan. Increasing the size of the cast-house in terms
of floor plan does not represent a radical change in design
philosophy that will challenge the furnace designer. An efficient
and strictly controlled tapping is necessary for guaranteeing a
stable operation and high productivity of the
Blast Furnace [23, 24]. One taphole operation was very old
practice from where slag and metal were simultaneously come
out and separated by
skimmer plate. Due to low density of liquid slag almost 2/3
volume of hearth is being occupied by slag itself and 1/3 by
metal. When this layer is being increased certain extend
furnace irregularities like slow burden descent, fluctuating in

burden chemistry etc. problems are being raised. To

overcome the problem slag notch is being introduced in
furnace, from where after a regular interval of time; slag is
being drained to minimize the irregularities. Due to increasing
demand of steel production, hot metal
production is being also increased simultaneously. To drain
the huge hot metal through a single tap hole, many problems
raised such as greater erosion of tap-hole as well as sidewall
portion of the hearth near tap hole and lesser runner
maintenance time etc. To overcome the above problems
double or multi tap hole system introduced .It is successfully
adopted in many large furnaces in India like TATA Steel, Jindal
Steel etc. Use of alternate tape-hole
resulting enough time for cooling the top-hole so lesser erosion
of refractory observed and maintenance time of the cast house
runner increased. Use of alternate opposite side top-hole gives
better permeable hearth for flow of hot metal because of lesser
erosion of hearth side wall .To avoid delay
in maintenance work of cast house runner, some developments
occurred. Non drainable runner practice is being adopted where
a certain level of metal pool is
maintained continuously between two casting intervals from
tap hole to skimmer plate. Tilting runner, Removable precast
runner assembly is being used in place of conventional fixed
runner which is made outside and fixed with temporary
fastener for easy joining and removal for maintenance work
[25]. Use of overhead crane, mobile vehicles etc, for easier
maintenance work is now a common practice in many Indian
furnaces he traditional method of cooling the furnace shell with
cooling plates has now been largely superseded by the use of
staves These allow the furnace profile to be maintained
throughout the campaign and hold the overall weight of

refractory in the furnace shaft. Also, for the same internal

furnace dimensions, the shell diameter is smaller for stave
cooled furnaces. In the high heat flux areas around the bosh,
belly and lower stack, copper staves are used which provide
a greater level of shell protection in these critical areas due to
high thermal conductivity of copper [28]. Other less critical
areas are cooled by cast iron staves. Water systems are now
designed to operate in closed loops rather than open circuits.
This allows the chemistry of the cooling water is to
be properly maintained so the cooling water inside the closed
circuit remains clean and demineralized, ensuring that the heat
transfer should be maintained uniform all times. As the furnace
size increases the size of the water cooling
system also increases proportionally, with the number of staves
around the shell being proportional to diameter. The water
cooling system demands in terms of circulation. The flow rate is
a function of the number of staves and the
stave water demand per pipe in the stave. Water flow rates per
circuit of the order of 3000 to 5000 m3/h can be achieved on
modern blast furnaces [29].
From a technical point of view, it is being considered that for a
large blast furnace, the demand of monitoring performance and
operation; require the water system is to split into multiple
circuits for different zones of cooling. The
instrumentation applied to these circuits will permit adequate
heat flux monitoring of different zones of the furnaces. A blast
furnace cooling system is not simply a number of pumps and
pieces of pipe work. The key of the
furnace cooling is the actual element that facilitates the heat
exchange within the furnace i.e. the stave or plates. The
cooling element design is not sensitive to the size of the
furnace. The furnace designer acknowledges that the cooling
element size is limited and simply increases the number of

elements to adapt to the revised furnace sizing.

2.6 Refractory Material
Extend the life of an important part of blast furnace is to
improve the wear resistance of blast furnace refractory bricks.
In the 20th century, the early 70s, Spray cooling system was
widely adopted for furnace shell cooling.
Installation costs were lower but when shell got corroded and
damaged, it creates problem. In this cooling method, the life of
firebrick system was expected to be around 6 years. 80s of the
20th century, the lining of the blast furnace due to replacement
or repair, of damage caused by the bosh
region. Therefore, many designers have worked on the
development of main geometry of bosh refractory and cooling
systems. The mature experience by using copper cooling at the
bosh region, closed loop cooling water
softener etc. which enhanced the furnace life more than 15
years [30].
The advantages of good thermal conductivity of copper staves
accelerate the formation of protective layer of slag skin. Use of
thin copper stave (80 ~ 120mm), enhances the furnace
capacity by decreasing the thickness layer of the refractory
materials. Lower furnace body parts, both ancient
and modern remedies have to be carried out with the repair, or
replacement of damaged components to increase the cooling
capacity, or lining grouting or gunning to extend the effective
life of blast furnace. Improve the lower furnace
body refractory material is to reduce the wear, thereby
reducing the work load of its key patch. The wear of hearth
refractory caused mainly for the iron
cycle. The impact of these iron cycle is very bad on the
refractory because it caused erosion by the flow of metal
through the tap-hole, resulting in molten iron circulating in the

furnace on the cylinder wall at a result the furnace

cylinder wall and bottom cushion combined with erosion of the
Ministry of mushroom there. Repeatedly found that, with more
than 60% of the tar-soaked high alumina bricks have a good
anti-wear effect. The results show that the lower furnace
refractory wear body mainly by the thermal
Fluctuations, heat load, thermal chemical aspects of wear and
mechanical wear caused by the combined effects.Blast furnace
bottom refractories, and specifically the hearth refractory, are
the most critical element in a successful long campaign life.
Use of carbon blocks at the bottom of the
Hearth is a common phenomenon for its hot metal and slag
corrosion resistance, high temperature strength, thus greatly
extending the service life of blast furnace linings. To get the
proper life of the carbon bricks hearth under cooling system is
necessary to protect from damage [32]. Carbon hearths,
with water under- cooling and with or without a ceramic cup,
remain the main solution for this area of the furnace. The
philosophy is to maintain the iron freeze line in a reasonable
position within the refractory. This is where a
solid layer of iron forms and therefore protects the refractory
from wear damage. As the hearth size increases then it is
simply considered that the number of hearth bricks will need to
be increased. There should be no limitation applied to the
hearth size by the refractory design. Carbon hearth linning is
a compound linning methodology, [33] which consists of
compound linning of graphite blocks, carbon blocks, and
ceramic bricks. By utilizing different refractory materials gives
the advantages of the best properties of each material. Most of
the Indian blast furnace (around 1000 m3 working
volume) carbon hearth design is as
This design offers various advantages such as:

1. Unique materials are utilized based on the needs of different

areas of furnaces.
2. The use of ceramic brickwork in the inner surface increases
the erosion resistance and effectively prevents thermal loss
therefore increase the temperature of the liquid iron.
3. The carbon block layer provides good thermal conductivity
and absorbs the thermal expansion properly
4. The graphite blocks are used in cooling the furnace bottom.
Overall the lining structure adopts graphite blocks, carbon
blocks and corundum bricks have a very strong, long,
productive campaign life. To get better top-hole length as
well as less erosion of hearth side wall, taphole clay quality also
improved. Use of anhydrous clay (pitch impingent clay) has
replaced hydrous clay. Use of Duel thermocouple at the hearth
sidewall and bottom to understand the remaining
thickness [34], and metal puddle formed at the bottom of
2.7 Water Cooling System
Tuyere is more sensible equipment in the blast furnace because
it is made with low melting point copper and works at intense
heat zone (>2773K).For protection of these a continuous water
cooling system is needed. The failure of
tuyeres resulting serious problem inside the furnace creates

disturbance i.e. irregularities in furnace operation,

inconsistency in metal composition, damage in refractory lining
(modern trends to use carbon bricks inside
the hearth side wall which became fragile when contacted with
water), in extreme cases hearth chilling may be occurred
[35] .This was the common problem faced in almost all
furnaces. To overcome these problems an
automatic tuyere monitoring system is being developed [36].
For cooling in Tuyere, hot blast stove valve, Stave cooler
arrangement adequate water circulation necessary for better
performance. But deposition of some insoluble salt such as
calcium carbonate on inner portion causes chocking of the
area less heat transfer causes serious problem, so suitable
treated water is required, such as demineralization and pH
control of the water [37].
2.8 Hot Blast Quality
Blast Furnace produced 1500-1700Nm3 of gas per ton of
liquid metal. Calorific value of this gas is as high as 3500-4000
kJ/Nm3. It means one third of total energy input of the blast
furnace is removed by off gas .In early age cold air was blown
into furnace resulting high reductant rate in the blast furnace.
About 8 tons of coal was required to produce coke
sufficient to produce one ton of iron. Neilson in1829 introduced
the concept of preheating the air blast [38]. Metallic Blast

Preheater (MBP) was widely used for that purpose till last
decades of past century in many Indian
furnaces. Main drawback of MBP was limitation of Hot Blast
Temperature(HBT) which was produced around 1073K and the
maintenance cost during changing of coils when got burnt was
very high. In 1857, Cowper patented fire
Checker bricks lined stove which is now widely and
successfully used in all the furnace .The installation cost is very
high, but it can give the HBT as high as 1673K. The modern
internal combustion chamber stove is a proven high
temperature unit, which has been developed from the older,
more traditional design (Figure 9a). The high temperature
internal combustion chamber stove provides an economic
alternative to the more complex external combustion
chamber designs. Stoves of this design are suitable for
operation with dome temperatures up to 1673K and will
produce a uniform blast temperature of 1523K. The successful
Krupp Koppers design (Figure 9b) technology
which allows a maximum operating dome temperature of
1823K and uniform blast temperatures up to 1623K. The
external combustion chamber concept is particularly suited to
ultra high temperature operation combined with
large blast volumes, high combustion efficiency unit with low
CO, SOx and NOx emissions. This burner has been in service in
external combustion chamber design stoves for over thirty
years and has now been developed for use in our
internal combustion chamber stoves [39] . Stove size is clearly
dependent upon the hot blast volume required for the blast
furnace. In order to maintain acceptable levels of flue gas
velocity, combustion density and the ratio of stove
height to diameter, stove size must increase as the furnace size
increases. It has been noted in the above comments that there
are two options available for stove design one is internal and

another external arrangement. There is a

practical limit to the size of an internal combustion chamber
stove that can comfortably enlarge. Maximum internal
combustion stove size of 10m diameter can be achieved.
Beyond this, the size of the dome becomes excessive and
maintaining dome integrity is, therefore, somewhat suspect. As
a result, the use of an external combustion chamber stove is
recommended for large blast furnaces. Consideration must also
be given to the number of stoves themselves. With the use of
modern stove valve systems, particularly those
utilizing hydraulic actuators, high levels of availability can be
achieved. Therefore, it is recommended that a three stove
system will be adequate even for large blast furnaces. Four
stove systems are also popular for large Blast Furnaces for
better thermal efficiency [40].
Improvement of blast quality means not only to increase the
Hot Blast Temperature but also the enrichment of blast with
oxygen, humidification, oil and gas injection through the
tuyeres has been an available technology for a number of
years. The coal injection is being currently preferred as a
means to reduce the amount of coke consumption by the
furnace and, therefore, raw material and processing costs.
Initially, coal injection rates of 50kg/THM were used,
however today, rates of up to 250kg/THM are considered
world's best operation. But in India it is being reached up to
150 kg/THM (avg) [41].
The subject of debate is not at this time with regard to the level
of coal injection but at what capacity of equipment that can be
installed. With increasing furnace size for higher iron production
and therefore for the same coal injection rate (kg/THM) was
used. In similar way for such high Hot Blast
Temperature, humidification of blast, oil and hydrocarbon
injection with oxygen enrichment, cumulative effect of these

reduce coke rate, increased productivity to a greater extend.

2.9 Gas Cleaning System
Blast furnace gas always contains solids, amounting to 40- 50
kg/THM when it exit from Blast Furnace at a temperature of
around 423-573K. Therefore cleaning of gas becomes
mandatory before its use. For operating Hot Blast Stove
(HBS) effectively and to enhance the life of the cowper stove,
gas cleaning system is to be improved. In early stage dust
catcher and wet scrubber use for cleaning purpose of off gas,
but some problem arise in the case of wet type gas
cleaning system where gas became cold and moist with
decreasing Gas pressure remarkably due to use of ventury. For
that reason it lost the sensible heat of gas and pressure which
creates problem in use in power plant and hot blast
stove [42]. To rectify these problem dry type gases cleaning
system is being now popular, where bag filter and electro static
precipitator introduce in the new GCP system [21]. It was
introduced by Lodge and Cottrell in 1919, but in Indian blast
furnace it is being used from last decades of past
2.10 Process Control
For increasing demand of better quality and least compositional
variation in hot metal production, computer aided process
control is necessary. Automatic feeding, weighing and charging
system in Raw Material Handling
Systems (RMHS) are necessary to feed the actual requirement
of input material to maintain the final product quality (Fig. 10).
In an automatic charging system activates in operation after
determination of stock level burden descent rate automatically.
Automatic temperature measuring system and hot metal
analysis, during the pouring of hot metal is being done to
understand the consistency of liquid metal [43]

Online tuyere monitoring system is being used to understand

the rate of reaction and chemistry of liquid metal. Online BFG
analyzer for analysis of top gas continuously for predicting the
status of internal Physio-chemical reaction happened inside the
Blast Furnace. Automatic Raceway Adiabatic Flame
Temperature (RAFT) calculation and adjustment by controlling
input variables such as Oxygen, Humidity, HBT etc. Automatic
changeover by showing HBT to get the maximum constant
temperature and automatic top pressure control by controlling
ventury gates (Fig.10) [44, 45]. All these are now using in
almost all the modern large Indian blast furnaces
through the Programmable Logical Control (PLC) system. More
development in automation gives more productivity and
accuracy in chemical composition. (
2.11 Environmental Challenges
The steel industry recognizes that it has a role to play in
sustainable development by raising the living standards of
people in all parts of the world while not damaging the
environment. Main issues are air pollution, sound pollution, soil
pollution, water pollution. Steel production contributes
largely to worlds green house gas emission since the process is
highly energy intensive and releases about 2.3-3.0 tons of
carbon dioxide,1.2-1.4 kg Sulphur dioxide,1.8-2 kg Nitrogen
dioxide per ton of crude steel [46]. Ferrous metal production
contributes 12% of total Green House Gas emission in India
[47]. Typical Blast furnace gas contains around 22 % CO, which
is very poisonous for human beings. It is being used for heating
of stove, power plant, sinter plant as well as heating of ladle.
Excess gas which is coming out from flare stack is continuously
ignited to burn. During casting, pouring in Pig Casting
Machine(PCM), Desulphurization treatment of liquid metal,
huge fumes, dust, graphite flake

and heat is generated which affects the human health of the

people working in this area. Now a days runner covering
system fitted with dust collector is being used to overcome the
problem and to keep cast house environment healthy
[48]. Dust catcher waste/ sludge, iron ore tailings contain
valuable particles such as iron oxide, carbon fines, which is
being used to agglomerate to produce pellets/briquettes
[49].These wastes are being also used to make bricks in
many plants.[50] Pig Casting Machine (PCM) waste slurry
(contain lime and graphite powder which is used for coating
purpose of mould) is being recycled to use again to avoid soil
and water pollution. It also saves money. Main sound
prone areas are Raw Material Handling System (RMHS) area
where feeding, screening of materials occurred and Blower
House where air is being sucked to feed into Blast Furnace
Stove. To minimize the sound pollution in RMHS,
ceramic screen in place of metallic screen and covering of
blower with silencer jackets are being used.

It is obvious that the technology and practice of iron making
have made remarkable strides in terms of productivity, cost,
quality and process efficiency in India since last few decades.
Development and growth of metallurgical
thermodynamics and kinetics, heat mass transfer, numerical
and computer control have contributed significantly towards
this achievement. Advance development in mineral
agglomeration to produce sinter, pellets is added the
advantage. As a result the productivity of Indian blast furnaces
has grown up upto (2.5-2.6) level, with consequent reduction in
the coke rate 260-270 kg/THM with PCI upto 250 kg/THM and
Specific energy consumption up to 5.1-5.2 GJ/THM and working
environment became safer and eco friendly to fulfill the norms
level of GOI.