"Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) uses Ansys fluids technology to study sheer stress on the refractory lining of ladle walls to improve the longevity of this equipment."
— Rajeev Kumar Singh, Senior Manager / Process Simulation & Modeling Lab, RDCIS SAIL
During secondary refining, steel production requires the use of ladles with refractory linings to hold the molten metal for casting, temperature control, deoxidation, addition of alloys and inclusion floatation. The metal is stirred by purging gases through porous blocks (plugs) in the bottom of the ladle to enhance the reaction rate and homogenize the melt. The flow generated by the rising gases creates a flow-induced shear stress on the refractory lining on the ladle walls. An uneven distribution of flow can cause higher refractory wear (consumption) in certain locations. This wear lowers the lining life of the vessel incurring replacement costs and loss of valuable production time.
Redesigning the porous plugs location as well as optimization of the injected gas flow rates can enhance the reaction rate and evenly distribute the flow-induced shear. Engineering simulation can predict the profile of the wall shear stress to improve the ladle and avoid wear.
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