Monitoring of Stave and Castable Refractory Wear in Blast Furnaces
A new and innovative ultrasonic system was developed by Hatch to non-intrusively measure stave thicknesses in operating blast furnaces. This Low Frequency Pulse Ultrasonic (LFPU) system is capable of measuring copper and cast iron stave thicknesses to within 2 millimeter accuracy and accretion/refractory thicknesses to within 5 millimeter accuracy. The most advantageous feature of the LFPU is its capability of making the measurements from blast furnace shell without interrupting the furnace operation.
The LFPU technique was developed through a lengthy process with the assistance of a local steel producer and university partners. To verify the ultrasonic measurements, eight locations on different staves at various locations were measured then drilled and extracted cores were used for comparison.
This paper briefly discusses the development of the LFPU and the final test results used to verify the accuracy of the LFPU technique against the physical and traditional stave thickness measurements.