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Keep cool in blast furnaces: New protective vest for KME copper staves


Another innovative solution by KME Engineering has emerged from a resourceful cooperation with an experienced industry partner and leader in the development of engineering materials and components made of technical ceramics. These extremely hard materials offer maximum temperature and media resistance, utmost abrasion strength and are even ideal for bullet-proof applications. Reason enough for KME Engineering to develop a previously unrealizable protective solution for copper staves used in the demanding process of blast furnace cooling.

KME copper staves have long-served as tried and tested solutions for efficient cooling technology in modern blast furnaces for pig iron production. The profiled plate coolers equipped with deep drilled cooling channels ensure the controlled evacuation of process heat, not least thanks to the outstanding thermal conductivity of copper. The input material is still so solid at this stage of the process that there is a high risk of damage to the stave surfaces through abrasion. This is avoided by special raised profiles made of high-strength materials that are integrated in lateral grooves along the copper surface and which stand up to the immense mechanical strains under highest temperatures.

Cooling technologies for blast furnaces have to be continuously optimized in every way possible to improve efficiency and extend failure-free, non-stop operations throughout furnace campaigns lasting up to 20 years . The new technical ceramic materials promised completely new perspectives for the protection of KME copper staves against mechanical abrasion. The result of the joint development is an insert component consisting of a trapezoid-shaped hollow section made of technical fine-grain ceramic, enclosing an abrasion-resistant breeze block based on silicon carbide. This special component provides an unprecedented level of wear resistance against mechanical influences. Rows of the specially constructed profiles are inserted in grooves in the stave and then sealed with a mortar joint. This extremely hard profile solution especially developed for KME copper staves prolongs the lifetime of cooling systems for the benefit of plant manufacturers and blast furnace operators and provides optimum furnace safety and efficiency in modern steel production.

Contact: Tel. +49 541 321 3357

KME - Engineering Copper Solutions