This project focuses on BF5 and specifically, the refractory-lined hearth. The project is titled “Numerical Investigation of Temperature Variations in Blast Furnace Hearth Sidewall and Taphole Refractories”. The project team consists of University of Wollongong’s Project Leader and Research Fellow, Dr Xuefeng Dong, Hub Director Dr Paul Zulli, and BlueScope’s Associate Researchers, Dr Habib Zughbi, Mark Biasutti and Dr Sheng Chew.
Some of the expected outcomes of this collaborative project are a novel conjugate fluid flow-heat transfer numerical model, together with models based on using data-intensive analytical methods and comprehensive BF measurements. The numerical model will use individual refractory blocks for the sidewalls and pad, constructed in a way that reflects the actual constituent blocks in size and material. The introduction of a slag layer above the molten metal and a taphole assembly/pedestal will provide more flexibility in setting up more realistic scenarios.
In general, it is very important to monitor the condition of all furnace areas and components over the campaign life, such as the installed refractories in the hearth. However, due to the extreme operating conditions within the furnace, direct physical in-situ measurements are often impossible or very difficult. In practice, indirect measurements are possible, e.g., on-line temperature measurements through an array of thermocouples installed in the hearth refractory lining. However, a holistic view of the hearth condition and operation can only be gained via the use of these types of data in conjunction with sophisticated mathematical modelling.
Overall, the team aims to provide the technological capability to better assess refractory condition and hence, inform on alternate operational and engineering actions required for BF5’s life extension.
University of Wollongong
Dr Paul Zulli was appointed Director of the ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing in March 2017. He is an internationally recognised leader in steel manufacturing R&D, combining over 30 years of technical and management experience across the steel and ferrous minerals industries. He has an established reputation for delivery of tactical and strategic project outcomes into operating businesses. An influential senior manager, he has actively sought to bridge the gaps between academic research products and innovative industrial solutions, with the goal to provide value-adding and sustainable outcomes. His specific areas of scientific interest include simulation methods and operational systems concerned with complex manufacturing processes, coupled with experimentation at various scales. He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.