Secondary Steel Metallurgy Slag Design and MgO-C Refractory Implications : Theoretical and Practical Considerations
Abstract: MgO-C based refractory materials, often used in secondary steel making, are exposed to variouswear mechanisms in its application. The wear could be divided into oxidative, chemical andabrasive categories, all behaving differently and all being influenced by different factors. Dueto the importance of minimizing material loss and to the environmental challenges to run asustainable industry, it is of interest to gain more knowledge of the behavior of the refractorymaterial in use. The present thesis work specifically investigated slag designed of the CaOSiO2-Al2O3-MgO (CSAM) system as well as the chemical and oxidative wear mechanisms ofthree different MgO-C based refractory materials from Höganäs AB, Halmstadverken, whichcontained 5, 10 and 12 wt% carbon (labeled T05, T10 and T12). Different CSAM slags weredesigned to meet certain process criteria such as MgO and CaO saturations and wereinvestigated through thermodynamic calculations using the FactSage software and throughlaboratory scaled slag smelting experiments. The oxidation effect on the refractory material wasalso studied through pre-heating simulations in chamber furnaces, similar to the pre-heating ofa re-built ladle furnace.The thermodynamic calculations made in FactSage 7.0, using the FactPS and FToxid databases, resulted in a few different slag designs with different properties. A few different slagsfulfilled the CaO and MgO saturation limits proposed by Höganäs AB and could be consideredto test experimentally for further evaluation. The simulations also showed trends on how theliquid viscosity behaved with different slag compositions and how the solids content changedwith temperature.The oxidation experiments were performed on the different MgO-C refractory types, where thebricks with 10% carbon also contained Al2O3 antioxidants. The experiments showed that themass loss during the pre-heating is greater for refractory with higher carbon content, withexception to T10, where the mass losses were measured to 3.76 – 4.01%, 1.06 – 1.28% and6.28 – 6.33% for T05, T10 and T12 respectively. Further, the oxidation depth of each materialwas measured to 9-10 mm, 2-3 mm and 2-5 mm for the T05, T10 and T12. The experimentsalso showed that T12 refractory in particular was very susceptible to abrasive wear after beingoxidized.The slag smelting experiments were carried out through two different methods, by melting slagin MgO-C crucibles and by melting pressed slag briquettes on top of refractory bricks. Theformer tests mainly showed that the methodology was not suitable for this type of refractorymaterial due to the crucibles cracking during the experiments. The latter experiments showedsome general behaviour of the different components in the slag, where Ca, Al and Fe stayednear the surface, and Si and Mg penetrated deeper. The spinel formation at the refractory surfacewas then concluded to be the reason for Al not penetrating deeper. Further it was concludedthat no significant difference in refractory dissolution was seen between slags with- and withoutMgO, other than possibly a small increase in refractory dissolution for the latter.
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