2006 Volume 46 Issue 8 Pages 1171-1176
Water model experiments have been carried out in a 1/6th scaled down model of the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOF) converter in order to optimize the bottom tuyere configuration of a new vessel bottom. The mixing time in the model was determined by conductivity measurement technique for ten different types of bottom tuyere configurations. Amongst the various bottom tuyere configurations, the one consisting of 8 tuyeres in a symmetric non-equiangular position was found to be the best with respect to mixing in the vessel. The same bottom tuyere configuration of the new vessel bottom was compared with the previous bottom tuyere configuration (6 tuyeres), and about 40% improvement in the mixing in the bath was observed with the new bottom tuyere configuration. After determining the best bottom tuyere configuration from water model, it was implemented in the actual steelmaking vessel at the LD1 shop of Tata Steel. Average phosphorus partition ratio improved by 10 to 12 points, and the average %Fetotal in the slag dropped by about 1–2%, and a record vessel life of more than 2000 heats was achieved in the first campaign itself with the new bottom tuyere configuration. Thermodynamic evaluation of dephosphorization in the BOF for different bottom stirring systems adopted by Tata Steel over a period of several years has been carried out using plant data of several heats. Gradual improvement in the approach to equilibrium due to improvement in the bottom stirring systems has been observed.