Energy savings in iron and steel vessels by refractory lining design

Reference Presenter Authors
14-046 Matheus Felipe Dos Santos Dos Santos, M.F.(Federal University of São Carlos); Campos, M.G.(Federal University of Sao Carlos); Pelissari, P.B.(Universidade Federal de São Carlos); Sako, E.Y.(Federal University of Sao Carlos); Angélico, R.A.(Universidade de São Paulo); Salvini, V.R.(Faculdade de Tecnologia); Pandolfelli, V.C.(Universidade Federal de São Carlos); The metallurgical processes are high energy-intensive operations as it requires an accurate adjustment of the composition and temperature of the molten metal during all refining steps. In this context, the steel ladle lining plays an important role on the steelmaking energy consumption, as the refractory thermal properties are strictly related to the ladle ability to keep the molten steel temperature constant. Aiming to improve the process energy efficiency, reducing both the costs and the environmental effects, many studies have been recently carried out, using numerical simulation tools, analytical models and experimental data, to predict the heat transfer mechanisms in the ladle operational cycle. Nevertheless, few of them highlight the refractory role on those mechanisms. Based on a transient numerical analysis using temperature dependent refractory properties, the present work proposes a holistic process view in order to help the refractory design of steel ladles, according to their saving energy capability. The numerical model was developed using a commercial software (Abaqus) to simulate the ladle cycle (pre-heating, holding and waiting steps). Herein, the application of insulating and low thermal conductivity materials have been investigated. The temperatures of molten metal and ladle shell were compared to evaluate the energy efficiency of the different lining configurations. The numerical simulation results indicated that the configurations containing an insulating layer significantly reduced the energy needed for reheating the molten bath and the position of this layer can significantly change the results, which can prospect modern refractory designs. In summary, saving energy in steelmaking is a key factor to improve the process efficiency and, when supported by a thermal and energy balance tool, new materials and optimized lining configurations could be explored, leading to a higher performance of the steel plants.