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Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

Blast furnace productivity depends upon an optimum gas through flow as well as smooth and rapid burden descent.

The character of the gas and stock movements is

intimately associated with the furnace lines.

The solid materials expand due to heating as they

descend and their volume contracts when they begin to

soften and ultimately melt at high temperatures in the lower furnace.

A further volume contraction occurs when the solid coke burns

before the tuyeres.

An enormous volume of the combustion gas has to bubble through the coke grid irrigated with a mass of liquid metal and slag.

An optimum furnace profile should cater to the physical and chemical requirements of counter flow of the descending solid, viscous pasty or liquid stock and the ascending gases at all

places from the hearth to the top


Only then, an optimum utilization of the chemical and thermal energies of the gases as well as a smooth, uniform and maximum iron production with minimum coke rate will be realized.

In an integrated steel works the capacity of the Blast Furnace depends upon The capacity of the works. The process of steelmaking adopted. The ratio of hot metal and steel scrap in the charge. Consumption of foundry iron in the works. Losses of iron in the ladle and the casting machine. The number of furnaces to be installed

It is the volume of Blast Furnace occupied by the charge

materials and the products , i.e. the volume of furnace from the stock line to the tap hole. Useful volume = the furnace capacity C.U.U.V. C.U.U.V = coefficient of utilization of useful volume.

The value of C.U.U.V. varies in a wide range from 0.481.50 m3/ton of pig iron

V =k D2H
V=Useful volume

H=Total height
D=Diameter at the bottom of the shaft K=A coefficient usually lies with in the range of 0.47 to 0.53. High value is for slim profile.

Total height = useful height +distance between stock line and the charging platform (it is governed by the construction of gas off-take and charging platform, this dimensions varies from 3 to 4m.) Useful height= height from the tapping hole to the stock line. The height of the blast furnace is mainly governed by the strength of the raw materials, particularly that of coke. cont

The strength of the coke charged to the furnace should be sufficient to withstand the load of raw materials without getting crushed. Coke provides permeability(in the dry as well as wet zones )and also mechanical support to the large charge column, permitting the gases to ascend through the voids. Total height (H)= 5.55V0.24 Useful height (H0) =0.88H

Diameter: The belly /bosh parallel is the cylinder that connects the tapers of the shaft and the bosh. Its diameter, dbll, and the ratio of this diameter to the useful or inner height of the furnace as well as to the diameter of the hearth play an important role in the operation of the furnace. The correct descent of the stock, ascent of the gas and efficient utilization of the chemical and thermal energies of the gas depend greatly upon these ratios.

The importance of an adequate belly diameter lies in the

fact that softening and melting of the gangue and formation of the slag occurs in this region. An increase in the diameter facilitates gas passage through the sticky mass and also slows down stock movement, thus increasing the residence time for indirect reduction. However, the belly diameter cannot be increased

arbitrarily as it is directly related to bosh angle, bosh

height, hearth and throat diameters and useful height.

The belly height depends upon the softenability of the

ferrous burden and also on the shaft angle desired. If the slag fusion occurs at higher temperatures and in a

narrow temperature range as in the case of pre-fluxed

burden, the hydraulic resistance decreases in the vertical cross-section and the belly height can be

correspondingly reduced.

dbelly =0.59 (V)0.38 HbelIy = 0.07H

The hearth is designed such that its volume between the iron notch and tuyeres is sufficient to hold the molten metal and the slag. The dia of hearth depends upon: The intensity of coke consumption. The quality of burden. The type of iron being produced.

D hearth =0.32 V0.45

A very approximate relationship between the coke burning rate and hearth diameter is given by the following equation: D = c Q 0.5 D = hearth diameter, m Q = coke throughput, tonnes/24h c = throughput coefficient which varies between 0.2-0.3 depending upon burden preparation.

For highly prepared burden, the value of c = 0.2 has been achieved in modern large furnaces . Therefore, for a furnace planned to produce 10,000 THM per day with a coke rate of 500 kg/THM, i.e., a coke throughput of 5,000 tonnes per day, the hearth diameter should be about 14.1 m. The value will be 21.2 m if the value of c=0.3.

With increasing diameter of the hearth, the gas penetration must be ensured by providing adequate bed permeability with the use of mechanically strong, rich, pre-fluxed burden of uniform size and low slag bulk as well as strong lumpy coke.
The Hearth height should be 10% of the total height of the furnace

The shaft height must be sufficient to allow the heating, preparation and reduction of ore before the burden reaches the bosh. In the upper regions of the shaft , volume changes due to increase in temperature and carbon deposition. These demand an outward batter for smooth flow of materials. In the lower region of the shaft , the material starts fusing and tends to stick to the furnace wall. So to counteract the wall drag an outward butter is necessary.

Stack height Hstack = 0.63 H- 3.2 m

Stack angle
The stack angle usually ranges from 850 to 870 (i) 850 for weak and powdery ores; (ii) 860 for mixture of strong and weak, lumpy or fine ores; (iii) 870 for strong, lumpy ore and coke.


variations in the angles are necessary for obtaining an adequate peripheral flow which is an essential pre-requisite for forcing of the blast furnace. Since the ore hump is located in the intermediate zone and it moves almost vertically downwards pushing the lighter coke towards the wall and the axis. A smaller shaft angle in the case of weak and powdery ore helps to loosen the periphery.

Stack angle can be calculated from the formula Stack angle ()= Cot-1(D-d1/2xStack Height) Where, D= Bosh parallel Diameter d1= Throat Diameter
Bosh angle can be calculated from the formula Bosh angle ()= Cot-1(D-d/2xBosh Height) Where, D= Bosh parallel Diameter d= Hearth Diameter

When the raw materials are charged into the blast furnace, little volume change takes place for a few meters of their descent and hence the walls of the throat are generally parallel Throat diameter can not be too small as it has to allow the enormous volume of the gas to pass through at a reasonably low velocity to maintain adequate solid gas contact and to decrease the dust emission, throat hanging and channeling. Cont..

Throat diameter can not be too wide as it may compact the charge. A certain velocity and lifting power of gas is necessary for losening the charge at top.
Throat Diameter d throat =0.59 V0.35 Where, V= useful volume

A considerable amount of slag and iron

descends to the hearth through the inter-tuyere

zones. If they do so without having been

adequately heated, the thermal state of the

hearth may be disturbed with attendant high sulphur in iron, sluggish slag movement, erratic metal analysis, frequent tuyere burning, etc.

The distance between the adjacent tuyeres

around the hearth circumference should be such

as to obtain, as far as possible, a merging of the

individual combustion zones of each tuyere into a continuous ring.

The number of tuyeres mainly depend upon the diameter of the hearth. The diameter of the tuyeres depend upon the blast volume. The following formulae can be used to determine the number of tuyeres Pavlov: n = 2d +1 Rice: n = 2.6d-0.3 Tikhomirov et al : n = 3d-8 Where n= Number of tuyeres, d=hearth diameter

(THM/Day) Parameter




Useful Volume (m3) Total Height (m) Useful Height (m) Bosh Parallel Dia (m) Bosh Parallel Height (m) Bosh Height (m) Hearth Dia (m) Hearth Area (m2) Hearth Height (m) Stack/Shaft Height (m) Throat Dia (m) Bosh Angle (0) Stack Angle (0) Nos. of Tuyeres

1700 33.08 29.11 9.96 2.32 4.37 9.1 65.04 3.308 17.64 6.87 84.32 85 20

2550 36.46 32.08 11.62 2.55 4.81 10.92 93.66 3.646 19.77 7.85 85.84 84.55 25

4250 41.22 36.27 14.11 2.89 5.44 13.74 148.27 4.122 22.77 9.29 88.05 83.96 34

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

Burden distribution is one of the key operating

parameters influencing blast furnace

performance, particularly the productivity and

the coke rate.

The proper distribution of burden materials improves bed permeability, wind acceptance, and efficiency of gas utilisation.

In a typical Indian blast furnace equipped with a bellless (Paul Wurth) distribution system, the decrease in coke rate that is due exclusively to burden distribution was found to be 1012 kg/thm.

Design of the blast furnace

and its charging device (effect of these factors is

Angle and size of the big bell.

Additional mechanical device(s) used for obtaining


better distribution.
Speed of lowering of large bell.

Inconsistency in physical properties of charge materials (deficiencies caused by this should be eliminated by improving quality of the burden.

Size range of the various

charge materials

Angle of repose of raw materials and other physical characteristics of the charge.

Density of charge


system and sequence of charging, programme of revolving the distributor (conditions determining major means of blast furnace process control from top).


of charge on the big bell Height of the big bell from the stock-line i.e. charge level in the furnace throat. Order and proportion of charging of various raw materials.

The density of three important raw materials viz. the ore, the coke and the limestone are quite different.

The heaviest is iron ore with around 5-6 glcc, the lightest is
coke with density of around 15 glcc and the limestone is intermediate with-a value of density around 30-35 glcc.

It means that the rolling tendency of coke particles is maximum and that of the ore is minimum. Since the density values cannot be altered, the sizes may be so chosen that their differential rolling tendencies are offset to some extent.

The problem of very dense ores is serious

from the point of view of their sluggish reduction rates rather than their tendency towards segregation. Such ores are therefore invariably crushed and sintered to obtain re porous agglomerates before charging these in the furnaces.


a multi-particle material is allowed to

gently fall on a horizontal plane it tends to form

a conical heap. The base angle of this cone is known as angle of repose of that material.

This angle depends upon the particle size, its surface characteristics, moisture content, shape, size distribution, etc.


an iron ore of 10-30 mm size, with an

average mean size of 18 mm, the angle of

repose is around 33-35. For coke of 27-75 mm

size, with an average size of 45 mm, the same is around 35-38. Similarly the angle of repose for sinter is in the range of 31-34 and for pellets it is around 26-28.

The higher is the angle of repose the more it has the tendency to form ridges on charging in a blast furnace.

The more dried is the ore and the more it is free from fines the less pronounced is the angle of repose and thus less is the tendency towards segregation.

The clayey ores tend to form ridges because of their high angle of repose. The effective way to reduce the angle of repose of any iron ore is to eliminate the fines, dry the ore if wet and to wash off clay, if any, adhering the ore.


dumping, as the materials fall on the stock

surface, they take a parabolic path and mainly two different profiles of the accumulated mass emerge depending upon whether the particles hit the in-wall directly(V- shape) or the stock

surface (M-shape)

The M-profile itself is generally obtained if the material

strikes the stock surface. This happens when the bell/throat diameter ratio is small (larger bell-inwall distance) or the charging distance is small . It is clear that the peak of the M-contour approaches the inwall (hence the peripheral permeability decreases) as the charging distance increases and ultimately the M changes to V profile.

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

Right at the top of the furnace is the granular zone that contains the coke and the iron bearing materials charged, sometimes

along with small quantities of limestone and other fluxes. The

iron-bearing oxides charged get reduced to wustite and metallic iron towards the lower end of the granular zone.

As the burden descends further, and its temperature rises on

account of contact with the ascending hot gases, softening and melting of the iron-bearing solids takes place in the so-called

cohesive zone (mushy zone).

Further down the furnace, impure liquid iron and liquid slag are formed. The absorption of carbon lowers the melting point of iron

drastically. For example, an iron alloy containing 4 wt. % carbon

melts at only 1185C..

In the cohesive zone and below it, coke is the source of carbon for

carburisation of liquid iron. However, carbon directly does not

dissolve in liquid iron at this stage. The possible mechanism of carburisation of iron entails the formation of CO by gasification of carbon, followed by the absorption of carbon by the reaction:

2CO(g) = [C]in Fe+ CO2(g)

Coke is the only material of the blast furnace charge which descends to the tuyere level in the solid state. It burns with air in front of the tuyeres in a 1-2 m deep raceway around the hearth periphery.

Beyond the raceway there is a closely packed bed of coke, the central coke column or dead man's zone.

The continuous consumption of coke and the consequent creation of an empty space permit the downward flow of the charge materials.

The combustion zone is in the form of a pear shape, called 'raceway' in

which the hot gases rotate at high speeds carrying a small amount of
burning coke in suspension.

The raceway is a vital part of the blast furnace since it is the heat source in a gigantic reactor and at the same time a source of reducing gas. The salient features of Combustion zone are summarized below:

The force of the blast forms a cavity the roof of which is formed of loosely packed or suspended coke lumps and the wall more closely packed.

The CO2 concentration tends to increase gradually from the centre and reaches a maximum value just before the raceway boundary where most of the combustion of coke occurs according to: C+O2 (air) =CO2+94450 cal

The temperature of the gas rises as the coke

consumption proceeds and reaches a maximum just before the raceway boundary. Thereafter, it falls sharply as the endothermal reduction of CO2 by C proceeds; CO2 +C =2CO-41000 cal

The concentration of CO2 fall; rapidly from the raceway

boundary and the gasification is completed within 200400 mm from the starting point of the reaction.

The primary slag of relatively low melting point which forms in the lower
part of the stack or in the belly consists of FeO-containing silicate and aluminates with varying amounts of lime which has become incorporated depending upon the degree of calcination undergone .

As the slag descends, ferrous oxide is rapidly reduced by carbon as well as by CO. As the lime is continually absorbed, the original FeO-Si02-AI203 system rapidly changes to the CaO-Si02-AI203system with some minor impurities accompanying the burden. The dissolution of lime and the approach to the CaO-Si02-Al203 system is more pronounced, .

As the liquid primary slag runs down the bosh and loses its fluxing constituent FeO, the liquidus temperature also increases. If,

therefore, the slag has to remain liquid it must move down to hotter
parts of the furnace as rapidly as its melting point is raised. As the reduction of FeO is almost complete above the tuyeres the resulting

bosh slag, composed mainly of CaO-Si02-AI203

The hearth slag is formed on dissolution of the lime which was not incorporated in the bosh and on absorption of the coke ash released during combustion. The formation is more or less complete in the combustion zone.

This slag runs along with the molten iron into the hearth and accumulates there and forms a pool with the molten metal underneath. During the passage of iron droplets through the slag layer, the slag reacts with the metal and a transference of mainly Si, Mn and S occurs from or to the metal, tending to attain equilibrium between themselves as far as possible.

Below 600C :
Pre-heating and pre-reduction

600 -950C: Indirect reduction of iron oxides by CO and H2

9500C to softening temperature:

Direct reduction; gasification of carbon (solution loss

reactions) by CO2 and H2 becomes prominent.

The formation o{ cohesive layers or partially reduced and partially molten iron oxide takes place. The coke slits provide passage for gaseous flow.

Dripping or Dropping Zone

Semi fluidized region in which liquids drip and fragments of cohesive layers drop. Zone through which liquids trickle down to the hearth. It is the final stage of iron oxide reduction

Blast, injectants and coke are converted to hot reducing gas. This gas reduces the ore as it moves counter currently towards the top of

the furnace.


It is a container for liquids and coke where slag/metal! coke/gas

reactions take place. Metal droplets pass through the slag/coke

layer. Liquid metal/coke layer in which chemical reactions take

place only to a small extent.

fluidization of small particles when the local gas

velocity is excessive;

diminution of void age due to swelling and softening-melting;

flooding of slag in the bosh zone when the slag volume and gas velocity are excessive.

The charge in the blast furnace descends under gravity against the frictional forces of solids and buoyancy of gas. With increasing gas

velocity, the pressure drop increases approximately quadratically

until the upward thrust of the gas and downward thrust of the solids are held in balance.

When this critical velocity is exceeded (the point of incipient fluidization), the packing in the bed becomes loose, the finer particles begin to teeter and the pressure drop ceases to increase, i.e., the resistance to gas flow drops (due to increase in void age at places where the fines become suspended).

The mechanism of the softening-melting phenomena is schematically illustrated in previous Figure. It is evident that with the onset of softening, the voidage in the bed decreases and the bed becomes more compact (origin of the terminology cohesive). As a consequence, further indirect reduction of iron oxide by gases becomes increasingly difficult. Upon melting, dripping of molten FeO-containing slag through the coke layers increases the flow resistance through the coke slits and the active (i.e. dripping) coke zone because of loss of permeability.

The cohesive zone has the lowest permeability.

Hence, for proper gas flow:

should be as high as possible thickness of the cohesive zone should be


as small as possible. This thickness depends on

the difference between Ts and T m (Tm - Ts), and

therefore, the difference should be as low as possible.

For resistance to gas flow, more important than the particle diameter is the relative size of the materials in the bed. In a mixed bed of widely varying particle size, the small particles land in the interstices of the large ones and decrease the void age . Starting with large uniform spheres, the void age decreases as the small ones are introduced and the bed becomes more and more compact as the proportion of the latter increases. The bed is most dense, i.e., the voidage is minimum when 60-70 percent of the total volume of the particles consists of the large ones for about all the cases.

Gas flow through Granular zone:

The m increases on either side of the minimum, i.e., with increasing or decreasing volume fraction of the small particles (approaching more uniformity of the size distribution). The voidage decreases greatly as the ratio ds/ d1 decreases. This shows that for a good and uniform permeability and low resistance to gas flow in a mixed bed, the size fractions should be as narrow as possible. One can easily visualize the adverse effects of multi-granular bed of particles of varying diameter on the voidage.

A narrow size distribution has the following advantages: charge permeability increases and the gas distribution is more uniform with better utilization of the chemical and thermal energies of the gases;

more even material distribution at the stock level and less

material segregation in the shaft during descent; gas flow is not impeded if the size ratio is within limits but at the same time gives rise to a tortuous flow of gases with continuous changing of flow directions, providing a larger

gas/solid contact time.

The fraction of iron bearing material below the limiting size is

therefore termed as 'fines' by the blast furnace technologists and

is invariably eliminated by screening at every possible stage. From the point of view of reduction the maximum top size of an iron bearing material should be as low as possible, since the rate of reduction decreases, perhaps exponentially, with

increasing size.
The size range of materials charged in the blast furnace represents a compromise to give both good stack permeability

and adequate bulk reducibility.

Gas flow in wet zone:

Wet zones consist of the coke beds in the bosh and belly regions, i.e. inactive coke zone, active coke zone, and the coke slits in the cohesive zone. Here molten iron and molten slag flow downwards through the bed of coke. This reduces the free cross section available for gas flow, thus offering greater resistance, thereby increasing the pressure drop. An extreme situation arises when, at high gas velocity, the gas prevents the downward flow of liquid. This is known as loading. With further increase in gas velocity, the liquid gets carried upwards mechanically, causing flooding.

Scientists have tried to estimate pressure drop in blast furnace. However, they are approximate. Moreover, they are only for the granular zone and coke zones.

The situation in the cohesive zone is very complex, and reliable theoretical estimates are extremely difficult to come by.

Therefore, for practical applications in blast furnaces, an empirical parameter, called Flow Resistance Coefficient (FRC) has become popular. The FRC for a bed is given as


the gas flow rate is for unit cross section

of the bed, i.e. either mass flow velocity or

volumetric flow velocity .

FRC=1/ bed permeability

The FRC for a furnace can be empirically determined

from measurements of pressure drop and gas flow rate.

Since it is possible to measure pressures at various heights within a furnace, the values of FRC for individual zones can also be determined.

These measurements have indicated that FRCs for the granular, cohesive, coke + tuyere zones are approximately 20%, 50% and 30% of the overall furnace FRC.

This means that the cohesive zone is responsible for the maximum flow resistance

and pressure drop, to a very large extent.

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

o o o

Decreasing the extent of SiO formation by:

Lowering ash in coke, and the coke rate Lowering RAFT Lowering the activity of Si02 in coke ash by lime injection through the tuyeres.

o o

Decreasing Si absorption by liquid iron in the bosh by enhancing the absorption of Si02 by the bosh slag. This can be achieved by: Increasing the bosh slag basicity. Lowering the bosh slag viscosity..

o o

Removal of Si from metal by slag-metal reaction at the hearth by: Lowering the hearth temperature Producing a slag of optimum basicity and fluidity.

Desulphurisation of metal droplets through slagmetal reaction in the furnace hearth :

(CaO) + [S] + [C ]= (CaS) + CO (g)

Desulphurisation through the coupled reaction: (CaO) +[S] +[ Mn] = (CaS) + (MnO) (CaO) + [S] + [ Si] = (CaS) + 1/2 (SiOz)

Sulphur pick-up through the vapourphase reaction: CaS( in coke ash) + SiO (g) = SiS(g) + CaO FeS( in coke ash) + SiO (g) = SiS(g) + CO(g) +[Fe] In the bosh and belly regions, SiS decomposes as SiS(g) = [Si] + [S]

Reducing slag i.e. FeO content should be low High basicity High temperature, since desulphurisation is an endothermic reaction

Kinetic factor
Contact surface of metal and slag ( by agitation) Fluidity of slag( by adding MgO , MnO)

Time of desulphurisation

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

P=Q/K Where,

P= Productivity, THM per day

Q= Coke burned, tonnes per day

K= Coke consumed, tonnes per day

0.8-0.9t 0.5-0.6t 1.7-1.8t

3200m3 + 80kg dust

Fuel Reducing agent supply Permeable bed (spacer)

2500 m3


The efficiency of operation of a blast furnace may be

measured in terms of coke rate which should of course be as low as possible. The achievement of a satisfactory coke rate depends on optimising the extent to which the carbon deposition reaction proceeds. If the top gas is high in C02 sensible heat is carried from the furnace as a result of the exothermic reaction. 2CO=CO2+C

If on the other hand the top gas is high in CO, chemical

heat leaves the furnace.



Industry Power Transport Steel other

Contribution % 51 16 10 23

The purpose of HTP is to introduce more oxygen to burn more carbon by blowing more air and at the same time maintaining the linear gas velocity (and pressure drop) identical to that in the conventional practice without any formation of channels, maldistribution of gas, increase in coke rate or flue dust emission

For the same volume flow rate, a greater mass of air (hence, oxygen) can be blown with HTP; higher output;

A major benefit that is so obvious is increased production rate because of increased time of contact of gas and solid as a result of reduced velocity of gases through the furnace. Increased pressure also increases the reduction rate of oxide;

Suppression of Boudouard reaction (C02 + C= 2CO) and hence savings in fuel; More uniform distribution of gas velocity and reduction

across furnace cross-section; smoother furnace

operation due to increased permeability;

less flue dust losses, less variation of coke input, better maintenance of the thermal state of the hearth, more

uniform iron analysis;

More uniform operation with lower and more consistent hot metal silicon content have been claimed to be the benefit of high top pressure;

Bhilai Steel Plant (operative), RSP yet to implement

SiO2 +C ={SiO} +{CO}

From above equation it can be seen that partial pressure of SiO can be brought down by increasing the partial pressure of CO; in other words the SiO2 reduction reaction can be discouraged by application

of top pressure which enables a higher blast pressure

and hence an increase in partial pressure of CO.

'raceway adiabatic flame temperature This is the highest temperature available inside the

furnace. There is temperature gradient in vertical

direction on either side of this zone. This temperature is critically related to the hearth temperature known as

operating temperature of the furnace. It is equally

related to the top gas temperature such that the hot raceway gasses have to impart their heat to the

descending burden to the extent expected and leave

the furnace as off-gases at the desired temperature.

The primary purpose of using injectants with the

blast is profitability which depends upon the relative price of coke and injectants and the amount of coke that can be saved per unit of the latter, i.e., upon the replacement ratio:

H20 + C = CO + H2 (1)
HO (1200C) = + 2700 kcal/kg C

Presence of moisture in the blast generates double the volume of reducing gas per mole of carbon burnt. As per Eq.1 for every carbon burnt one mole of CO and an

additional mole of hydrogen will be available as product

of burning of coke for reduction in bosh and stack.

The more the moisture the more will be this additional hydrogen available.

Kinetically hydrogen reduction of iron oxide is faster than

that by CO because of its small size. Presence of moisture helps to burn coke at a faster rate with its

attendant favorable effects.

Some of the endothermic heat of moisture disintegration is compensated by way of exothermic reduction of iron

oxide by hydrogen.

higher gasifying power which intensifies coke

consumption In the raceway;

smoothens the temperature gradient and facilitates stock descent ;

enlarges the combustion zone and accelerates stock

descent; heats up the axial zone; maintains thermal

state of the hearth;

even with incomplete temperature compensation, the coke

rate may not rise because of higher reducing power and higher heat transfer coefficient of hydrogen;

decreases pressure loss due to lower density and viscosity of


The blast pressure may drop even by 0.1-0.2 atm. which means the furnace can be blown at a higher blast rate.

It has been estimated that for an increase of 20 g/Nm3 moisture in the blast the endothermicity can be compensated by a rise of 200C in the blast preheat.

By increasing moisture and compensating it by additional rise of preheat means that cheaper heat energy can be used to feed the furnace and thereby

decrease the coke consumption and economise the


Oxygen enrichment of the blast and moisture enrichment have quite opposite thermal effects. The two can be saddled together to obtain better inputs.

Hot blast temperature, extent of oxygen enrichment and

humidification of blast have to be adjusted as interrelated

parameters simultaneously to obtain optimum conditions of operation for maximum benefits such as minimum coke rate,

higher productivity and so on.

The reasons for the injection of coal have been economic as well as operational flexibility and include the following: After the steep rise in oil prices following the oil crisis, iron makers were compelled to abandon heavy oil injection and were looking for a less expensive auxiliary fuel. PCI accommodate shortages of coking capacity, by replacing coke by coal in the blast furnaces. After a thorough investment analysis, it has been found that a reliable coal injection system requires much lower capital cost and involves operating cost than the extension of coking capacity. .

Coal causes a lower reduction in flame temperature per unit injection than oil or natural gas. It, therefore, allows more scope for blast temperature adjustment/oxygen enrichment for increased rates of injection and consequently, less coke consumption. The PCI system design is capable of injecting coal on a continuous and stable basis and ensure accurate and uniform distribution

The coke savings from fluxed burden emanate from the following causes :

better reducibility and enhanced indirect reduction (6-7 kg.C saved from every 1 percent increase in indirect reduction);

use of higher blast temperatures because the thermal load is smaller and the slag is pre-made; the primary slag melts at higher temperatures and does so within a vertically narrow softening zone;

avoidance of carbon dioxide generated from limestone in the stack which adversely affects indirect reduction;

transference of heat of calcination from the furnace to the agglomerating plant.

This is a unique design in which large bell is replaced by a distributor chute with 2 hoppers A rotating chute is provided inside the furnace top cone Advantages: Greater charge distribution flexibility more operational safety and easy control over varying charging particles Less wearing parts: easy maintenance

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

Oxidation of carbon : Bottom blowing increases sharply the intensity of bath stirring and increases the area of gas-metal

boundaries (10-20 times the values typical of top blowing) .

Since the hydrocarbons supplied into the bath together with oxygen dissociate into H2, H2O and CO2 gas

bubbles in the bath have a lower partial pressure of

carbon monoxide (Pco )

All these factors facilitate substantially the formation

and evolution of carbon monoxide, which leads to a

higher rate of decarburization in bottom blowing

The degree of oxidation of metal and slag

Removal of phosphorous: Since the slag of the bottom-blown converter process have a low degree of oxidation almost during the whole operation, the conditions existing during these periods are unfavorable for phosphorus removal

A small amount of inert gas, about 3% of the volume of oxygen blown from top, introduced from bottom, agitates the bath so

effectively that slopping is almost eliminated.

However for obtaining near equilibrium state of the system inside the vessel a substantial amount of gas has to be

introduced from the bottom.

If 20-30% of the total oxygen, if blown from bottom, can cause adequate stirring for the system to achieve near equilibrium

conditions. The increase beyond 30% therefore contributes

negligible addition of benefits.

However at 30% oxygen blowing from bottom leads to formation of

very dry slag and possibility of its ejection during refining unless it is accompanied by lime also.

The more the oxygen fraction blown from bottom the less is the post

combustion of CO gas and consequently less is the scrap ons of processing.


of inert gas from bottom has a chilling effect on bath and

hence should be minimum. On the contrary the more is the gas blown the more is the stirring effect and resultant better metallurgical results.

A optimum choice therefore has to be made judiciously.

The more the oxygen fraction blown from bottom the less is the post combustion of CO gas and

consequently less is the scrap consumption in the

charge under identical conditions of processing.

Blowing of inert gas from bottom has a chilling effect

on bath and hence should be minimum. On the

contrary the more is the gas blown the more is the stirring effect and resultant better metallurgical results.

A optimum choice therefore has to be made


Better mixing and homogeneity in the bath offer the following


Less slopping, since non-homogeneity causes formation of regions with high supersaturation and consequent violent reactions and ejections.

Better mixing and mass transfer in the metal bath with closer approach to equilibrium for [C]-[O]-CO reaction, and consequently, lower bath oxygen content at the same carbon content

Better slag-metal mixing and mass transfer and consequently, closer approach to slag- metal equilibrium, leading to: o lower FeO in slag and hence higher Fe yield o transfer of more phosphorus from the metal to the slag (i.e. better bath dephosphorisation) o transfer of more Mn from the slag to the metal, and thus better Mn recovery o lower nitrogen and hydrogen contents of the bath. More reliable temperature measurement and sampling of metal and slag, and thus better process control Faster dissolution of the scrap added into the metal bath

As compared to top blowing, the hybrid blowing

eliminates the temperature and concentration gradients and effects improved blowing control, less slopping and higher blowing rates. It also reduces over oxidation and improves the yield. It leads the process to near equilibrium with resultant effective dephosphorisation and desulphurisation and ability to make very low carbon steels.


is blown from the bottom, inert gas or oxygen? How much inert gas is blown from the bottom? At what stage of the blow the inert gas is blown, although the blow, at the end of the blow, after the blow ends and so on? What inert gas is blown, argon, nitrogen or their combination? How the inert gas is blown, permeable plug, tuyere, etc.? What oxidising media is blown from bottom, oxygen or air? If oxygen is blown from bottom as well then how much of the total oxygen is blown from bottom ?

The processes have been developed to obtain the combined advantages of

both LD and OBM to the extent possible. Therefore the metallurgical performance of a hybrid process has to be evaluated in relation to these two extremes, namely the LD and the OBM. The parameters on which this can be done are :

Iron content of the slag as a function of carbon content of bath Oxidation levels in slag and metal Manganese content of the bath at the turndown Desulphurisation efficiency in terms of partition coefficient Dephosphorisation efficiency in terms of partition coefficient

Hydrogen and nitrogen contents of the bath at turndown

Yield of liquid steel

The advantages of continuous casting (over ingot casting) are: It is directly possible to cast blooms, slabs and billets, thus eliminating blooming, slabbing mills completely, and billet mills to a large extent. Better quality of the cast product. Higher crude-to-finished steel yield (about 10 to 20% more than ingot casting). Higher extent of automation and process control.

Solidification must be completed before the withdrawal

rolls. The liquid core should be bowl-shaped as shown in the Figure and not pointed at the bottom (as indicated by the dotted lines), since the latter increases the tendency for undesirable centerline (i.e. axial) macro-segregation and porosity The solidified shell of metal should be strong enough at the exit region of the mould so that it does not crack or breakout under pressure of the liquid.

The surface area-to-volume ratio per unit length of continuously cast ingot is larger than that for ingot casting. As a consequence, the linear rate of solidification (dx/dt) is an order of magnitude higher than that in ingot casting.
The dendrite arm spacing in continuously cast products is smaller compared with that in ingot casting.

Macro-segregation is less, and is restricted to the centreline zone only.

Endogenous inclusions are smaller in size, since they

get less time to grow. For the same reason, the blow holes are, on an average, smaller in size.

Inclusions get less time to float-up. Therefore, any non-metallic particle coming into the melt at the later stages tends to remain entrapped in the cast product.

In addition to more rapid freezing, continuous casting differs from ingot casting in several ways. These are noted below.

Mathematically speaking, continuously cast ingot is

infinitely long. Hence, the heat flow is essentially in the

transverse direction, and there is no end-effect as is the case in ingot casting (e.g. bottom cone of negative

segregation, pipe at the top, etc.).

The depth of the liquid metal pool is several metres long. Hence, the ferrostatic pressure of the liquid is high during the latter stages of solidification, resulting in significant difficulties of blow-hole formation.

Since the ingot is withdrawn continuously from the mould, the frozen

layer of steel is subjected to stresses. This is aggravated by the

stresses arising out of thermal expansion/ contraction and phase transformations.

Such stresses are the highest at the surface. Moreover, when the
ingot comes out of the mould, the thickness of the frozen steel shell is not very appreciable. Furthermore, it is at around 1l00-1200C, and is therefore, weak. All these factors tend to cause cracks at the surface of the ingot leading to rejections.

Use of a tundish between the ladle and the mould results in extra temperature loss. Therefore, better refractory lining in the ladles, tundish, etc. are required in order to minimise corrosion and erosion by molten metal.

Smarajit Sarkar Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering NIT Rourkela

Primary steelmaking is aimed at fast melting and rapid refining. It is capable of refining at a macro level to arrive at broad steel specifications, but is not designed to meet the stringent demands on steel quality, and consistency of composition and temperature that is required for very sophisticated grades of steel. In order to achieve such requirements, liquid steel from primary steelmaking units has to be further refined in the ladle after tapping. This is known as Secondary Steelmaking.

improvement in quality improvement in production rate decrease in energy consumption use of relatively cheaper grade or alternative raw materials use of alternate sources of energy higher recovery of alloying elements.

Lower impurity contents . Better cleanliness. (i.e. lower inclusion contents) Stringent quality control. (i.e. less variation from heat-to-heat) Microalloying to impart superior properties. Better surface quality and homogeneity in the cast product.

The term clean steel should mean a steel free of inclusions. However, no steel can be free from all inclusions. Macro-inclusions are the primary harmful ones. Hence, a clean steel means a cleaner steel, i.e., one containing a much lower level of harmful macro-inclusions.)

In practice, it is customary to divide inclusions by size into macro inclusions and micro inclusions. Macro inclusions ought to be eliminated because of their harmful effects. However, the presence of micro inclusions can be tolerated, since they do not necessarily have a harmful effect on the properties of steel and can even be beneficial. They can, for example, restrict grain growth, increase yield strength and hardness, and act as nuclei for the precipitation of carbides, nitrides, etc.

The critical inclusion size is not fixed but depends on many factors, including service requirements. Broadly speaking, it is in the range of 5 to 500 m (5 X 10-3 to 0.5 mm). It decreases with an increase in yield stress. In high-strength steels, its size will be very small. Scientists advocated the use of fracture mechanics concepts for theoretical estimation of the critical size for a specific situation.

Precipitation due to reaction from molten steel or during freezing because of reaction between dissolved oxygen and the deoxidisers, with consequent formation of oxides (also reaction with dissolved sulphur as well). These are known as endogenous inclusions. Mechanical and chemical erosion of the refractory lining Entrapment of slag particles in steel Oxygen pick up from the atmosphere, especially during teeming, and consequent oxide formation.

Inclusions originating from contact with external sources as listed in items 2 to 4 above, are called exogenous inclusions.

With a lower wettability (higher value of Me



an inclusion can be retained in contact with the

metal by lower forces, and therefore, can break

off more easily and float up in the metal. On the contrary, inclusion which are wetted readily by the metal, cannot break off from it as easily.

Carryover slag from the furnace into the ladle should be minimised, since it contains high percentage of FeO + MnO and makes efficient deoxidation fairly difficult. Deoxidation products should be chemically stable. Otherwise, they would tend to decompose and transfer oxygen back into liquid steel. Si02 and Al203 are preferred to MnO. Moreover the products should preferably be liquid for faster growth by agglomeration and hence faster removal by floatation. Complex deoxidation gives this advantage.

Stirring of the melt in the ladle by argon flowing through bottom tuyeres is a must for mixing and homogenisation, faster growth, and floatation of the deoxidation products. However, very high gas flow rates are not desirable from the cleanliness point of view, since it has the following adverse effects: Too vigorous stirring of the metal can cause disintegration of earlier formed inclusion conglomerates.
Re-entrainment of slag particles into molten steel. Increased erosion of refractories and consequent generation of exogenous inclusions. More ejection of metal droplets into the atmosphere with consequent oxide formation.

o o

The varieties of secondary steelmaking processes that have proved to be of commercial value can broadly be categorised as under: Stirring treatments Synthetic slag refining with stirring Vacuum treatments Decarburisation techniques Injection metallurgy Plunging techniques Post-solidification treatments.


degassing processes (VD, VOD, VAD)

degassing processes



degassing processes (DH and RH).

Why RH-OB Process?

To meet increasing demand for cold-rolled steel sheets with improved mechanical properties, and to cope with the change from batch-type to continuous annealing, the production of ULC steel (C < 20 ppm) is increasing. A major problem in the conventional RH process is that the time required to achieve such low carbon is so long that carbon content at BOF tapping should be lowered. However, this is accompanied by excessive oxidation of molten steel and loss of iron oxide in the slag. It adversely affects surface the quality of sheet as well.

Hence, decarburization in RH degasser is to be speeded up. This is achieved by some oxygen blowing (OB) during degassing. The RH-OB process, which uses an oxygen blowing facility during degassing, was originally developed for decarburization of stainless steel by Nippon Steel Corp., Japan, in 1972.

Subsequently, it was employed for the manufacture of ULC steels.

The present thrust is to decrease carbon content from something like 300 ppm to 10 or 20 ppm within 10 min. Cont

Simplified by Hiltey and Kaveney