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An Operational View on Foaming and Slopping Control in Top-blown BOS Vessels
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Skumning och utkokskontroll i LD-konverter - en betraktelse ur ett driftsperspektiv (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Slag formation plays a decisive role in all steelmaking processes. In top-blowing Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) i.e., in the LD process, an emulsion consisting of liquid slag, dispersed metal droplets, undissolved particles and solid precipitates will, together with process gases, form an expanding foam. Extensive research has defined the parameters that govern the foaming characteristics of BOS slag-metal emulsions. It is a well-known fact that certain process conditions in the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) will lead to excessive foam growth, forcing foam out through the vessel opening (mouth). This process event is commonly known as slopping. Slopping results in loss of valuable metal, equipment damage, lost production time, unsafe work environment and pollution. A literature survey covering the slopping phenomena has been carried out, as well as a deeper investigation into the causes behind slopping on the BOF type LD/LBE at SSAB Europe, Luleå, equipped with an automatic system for slopping registration using image analysis Good slag formation and foam-growth control in order to avoid slopping is primarily accomplished by taking preventive “static” measures. The most common pre-blowing operational conditions favouring foam growth and, hence, slopping were found to be linked to oxygen lance positioning, hot metal Si and Mn contents, scrap quality and large additions of iron oxide bearing materials. Improved slopping control may be achieved by developing oxygen lance control schemes with automatic adjustment of the distance between the lance tip and the metal bath (i.e., the lance gap) according to scrap quality and ore additions. If “static” measures cannot be effectuated, a set of in-blow slopping preventive measures is needed. For such “dynamic” measures to be effective, it is necessary to have a system for slopping prediction. Trials with vessel vibration measurements for indirect foam height estimation in industrial scale BOFs, type LD/LBE, have been carried out. FFT spectrum analysis was applied in order to find the frequency band with best correlation to an estimated foam height. The results show that there is a correlation between vessel vibration and foam height which can be used for dynamic foam level and slopping control, and this during the entire blow. The vessel vibration results have been tested against what is the perhaps most commonly implemented technique for dynamic foam height estimation and slopping control, the audiometric system. Parallel vibration and audio measurements have been carried out on 130-tonne as well as on 300-tonne BOFs. The results show that during stable process conditions there is good agreement between the two methods in regard to foam height estimation and that combining the two methods will provide a powerful slopping prediction and control system. A feasibility study has been carried out with the aim to describe the possibilities and limitations of multivariate data analysis, including batch analysis, for dynamic BOS process control, mainly in regard to slopping prevention. Two principal modelling approaches were tested.A central part of this PhD work is the performed emulsion characterisation and the subsequent investigation into the influence of emulsion mineralogy and morphology on slopping in the LD process. The results are based on the study of emulsion samples from trial heats conducted in a 6-tonne pilot plant LD vessel. The main emulsion slag phase mineral species identified were di-calcium silicate, monoxides (mainly FeO, MnO and MgO), calcium ferrites and late-appearing tri-calcium silicate. The study also show that the iron oxidation state has a large influence on the emulsion mineralogy and morphology, as a higher Fe3+ content facilitates the precipitation of calcium ferrites, raising the emulsion apparent viscosity and, hence, the foam index. The same effect is caused by higher MgO contents (i.e., at saturation), resulting in the precipitation of monoxide phase. However, large volume fractions of emulsion precipitates will not always lead to slopping in the LD process. A second “requirement” for excessive foam growth is a simultaneously high gas generation rate. Vice versa; an LD heat may very well slop at low volume fractions of 2ndphase particles in the emulsion if the gas generation rate is sufficiently high. It is an indisputable fact that excessive foaming is one of the main features of the LD process, due to the practice of top-lance oxygen blowing, creating a highly oxidised slag, and heavy batch additions of basic slag formers, causing an initial formation of large quantities of precipitates. Therefore, preventing slopping is primarily a matter of tight process control, most importantly, control of the oxygen lance gap in order to reach a state of sufficiently high liquid MeO phase to minimise the emulsion apparent viscosity, but low enough to avoid over-oxidising and a high gas generation rate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2015.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Research subject
Process Metallurgy
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-17360Local ID: 30a35c76-4706-4bf5-bf80-92f46285aa67ISBN: 978-91-7583-497-9ISBN: 978-91-7583-498-6 (PDF)OAI: diva2:990364
Godkänd; 2015; 20151020 (matbra); Nedanstående person kommer att disputera för avläggande av teknologie doktorsexamen. Namn: Mats Brämming Ämne: Processmetallurgi/Process Metallurgy Avhandling: An Operational View on Foaming and Slopping Control in Top-blown BOS Vessels Opponent: Professor Henrik Saxén, Thermal and Flow Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland Ordförande: Biträdande professor Caisa Samuelsson, Avd för mineralteknik och metallurgi, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå. Tid: Torsdag 14 januari, 2016 kl 10.00 Plats: E246, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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