Overcoming logistics challenges to rebuild & expand blast furnace productivity
by Igor Nesterenko, Deputy Director Iron Segment and Giuseppe Guasto, Expert Consultant Iron Segment.
In Eastern Ukraine, a leading steel producer planned to modernise their blast furnace (BF) against all odds. Our team faced many challenges in obtaining critical machinery, so we decided to get creative. The work was accomplished with a Blastcrete shotcrete pump, borrowed from a local Calderys client, and REED mixers and pumps rented by an installation company. We also saved part of the original upper lining with silico-alumina bricks.
Let’s get into details. For this BF, we installed the refractory lining by manual shotcreting from the lower stack up to the armor plates and later the grouting behind the replaced staves. Together with the engineering company on this project, we installed two platforms inside the furnace. Led by the Calderys Ukraine team, the customer’s team and key suppliers provided support as needed. Initially the installation was in total 358t. split in:
- 32t. of CALDE® SPRAYCAST F 50 R
- 326t. of CALDE® SPRAYCAST SIC 7R
- 4,6t. of the grouting product CALDE® INJECT MF 50 G3.
Because of their flat surface, we also installed Y shape anchors onto the staves. For the lining construction, we used the standard Calderys “panelling” concept using a mobile framework, prepared with wooden panels, including 3mm insulating ceramic paper as compensation joints among the refractory sectors.
The refractory materials showed good flowability and sticking behaviors even with water content at the maximum level of prescription to avoid clogging effects during the transport of the wet mix.
The retrofit of the BF was completed on schedule, increasing its productivity and opening the way for further enhancements. In fact, daily iron production increased by an average of 10–15%.
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Editorial support from Martin Koepenick, Innova.