Hot Blast Air Inlet Main Design Modifications for Improved Campaign Life
First-principles engineering analysis and advanced modeling were used to develop a low cost solution to modify a blast furnace hot blast main that experienced frequent refractory failures. Piping flexibility analysis helped identify the root cause of refractory damage and determine the locations of new expansion joints. Finite element analysis was used to develop a custom-designed elbow-to-elbow tie-rod system, which ensures thermal expansion loads are not placed on connecting piping. Heat transfer coefficients through the elbows were estimated using computational fluid dynamics analysis. The cast refractory design was changed to a more reliable brick refractory design. This engineering design approach allowed for optimization and verification, ensuring that the new design addressed the root cause of the previous refractory failures.