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Low-Alpha technology:
The innovative refractory solution
for steel devices subjected
to high thermomechanical loads
Optimized refractory concepts
for the steelmaking industry
In modern steel production, plant
reliability is playing an increasingly
important role. Innovative and
comprehensive refractory con-
cepts are decisive when it comes
to optimizing steel production
processes in terms of performance
and costs. In close cooperation
with our customers, we develop,
test, and supply perfect solutions.
Refractory linings must withstand
extreme temperature changes, e.g.
during cyclic tapping and casting
operations.
After addressing this challenge in
detail, Refratechnik has developed
an optimum solution: The new
Low-Alpha technology.
2©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
The challenge:
Thermomechanical loads of MgO-C refractory bricks
Thermomechanical loading
Fig. 1: Steel casting ladle with typical wear at the joints,
"cobblestone formation", and open joints.
Thermal expansion using the
example of a casting ladle
When being tapped into a casting
ladle, the molten crude steel still
has a temperature of 1650 up to
1720 °C. These temperature cycles
represent a considerable stress for
the joint structure (cobblestone
formation). Further infiltration bet-
ween wear lining and safety lining
can even result in deformation of
the ladle's steel top plates.
Our commitment: Clear reduction
of thermal expansion without
negative effects on the typical
properties of the MgO-C refractory
bricks.
Oxides Thermal
expansion at
1000 °C (%)
MgO 1.40
CaO 1.30
SiO2 1.00-1.40
MA spinel 0.85
Al2O3 0.80
ZrO2 0.80
Cr2O3 0.75
Mullite 0.45
Fig. 2: Deformation of the ladle's steel side plates
High thermomechanical loads are caused by
the high thermal expansion of the MgO-C bricks.
Typical thermal expansion of an MgO-C brick
with 10% remaining carbon.
1.1% at 1000 °C ➞ 10 mm expansion / 1 m brick,
1.9% at 1500 °C ➞ 19 mm expansion / 1 m brick.
This expansion can lead to high mechanical stresses
in the refractory lining, which can reach critical levels
in systems that are subjected to particularly high
temperature changes. Finally, the stresses can exceed
the brick's mechanical strength, leading to fractures,
spalling, joint wear, and generally reduced service life.
3©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
The solution:
Low-Alpha technology!
Low-alpha technology:
The decisive success factor
Based on the established
MACARBON® brick versions, it
was possible to prove that thermal
expansion could be reduced by
up to 30% by using Low-Alpha
technology. The implementation of
Low-Alpha technology in several
German steelworks (10 casting
ladles with more than 90 heats)
demonstrated the high perfor-
mance of this novel ­development:
• No open joints or steel
­infiltration between wear lining
and safety lining
• Reduced joint wear
(cobblestone formation)
• Thermal expansion reduced
by 30%
• Significantly improved
­performance of the refractory
lining
• Increased service life
• The necessary wall thicknesses
are maintained
• Improved assessment of
­remaining brick thickness
Refractory systems with
Low-Alpha technology are
­essential for:
• Extreme operating conditions
with large temperature changes,
e.g. modern steel casting ladles,
• Steel devices subjected to high
thermomechanical loading,
• Complex and demanding
­operating procedures.
Fig. 3: Reduction of thermal expansion by 30% (integral)
Fig. 4: Lower thermal stresses in the lining
Fig. 5: Field test in a German steelmaking plant:
MACARBON® lining with Low-Alpha technology
after 50 heats
2.0
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.2
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500
Thermalexpansiondl/l0in%
Temperature in °C
MACARBON® MACARBON® Low-Alpha
-30%
4©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
Let´s talk about your goals.
We will find the right way.
The Refratechnik Group is certified according to
ISO 9001 – Quality management systems, and
ISO 14001 – Environmental management systems.
Refratechnik Steel GmbH is a
member of the Refratechnik Group.
Based on a solid foundation of
more than 60 years ­experience,
Refratechnik Steel GmbH
focusses on solutions for the
iron  steel industries as well
as the ­non-ferrous and aluminium
industries, which consequently
involves ­environmental, energy,
and ­chemical aspects.
The production facilities of
Refratechnik Steel GmbH are
located in Bendorf and Dülmen,
Germany. Furthermore production
capacities of the group facilities
in Germany, Spain and China have
been assigned. Administration and
R+D are in Düsseldorf and Bendorf.
5©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
St1-043-05/2015
Refratechnik Steel GmbH
Schiessstrasse 58
40549 Düsseldorf
Germany
Phone +49 211 5858 0
Fax +49 211 5858 49
steel@refra.com
www.refra.com
St1-043-05/2015

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Low-Alpha Technology: The innovative refractory solution for steel devices subjected to high thermomechanical loads

  • 1. Low-Alpha technology: The innovative refractory solution for steel devices subjected to high thermomechanical loads
  • 2. Optimized refractory concepts for the steelmaking industry In modern steel production, plant reliability is playing an increasingly important role. Innovative and comprehensive refractory con- cepts are decisive when it comes to optimizing steel production processes in terms of performance and costs. In close cooperation with our customers, we develop, test, and supply perfect solutions. Refractory linings must withstand extreme temperature changes, e.g. during cyclic tapping and casting operations. After addressing this challenge in detail, Refratechnik has developed an optimum solution: The new Low-Alpha technology. 2©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
  • 3. The challenge: Thermomechanical loads of MgO-C refractory bricks Thermomechanical loading Fig. 1: Steel casting ladle with typical wear at the joints, "cobblestone formation", and open joints. Thermal expansion using the example of a casting ladle When being tapped into a casting ladle, the molten crude steel still has a temperature of 1650 up to 1720 °C. These temperature cycles represent a considerable stress for the joint structure (cobblestone formation). Further infiltration bet- ween wear lining and safety lining can even result in deformation of the ladle's steel top plates. Our commitment: Clear reduction of thermal expansion without negative effects on the typical properties of the MgO-C refractory bricks. Oxides Thermal expansion at 1000 °C (%) MgO 1.40 CaO 1.30 SiO2 1.00-1.40 MA spinel 0.85 Al2O3 0.80 ZrO2 0.80 Cr2O3 0.75 Mullite 0.45 Fig. 2: Deformation of the ladle's steel side plates High thermomechanical loads are caused by the high thermal expansion of the MgO-C bricks. Typical thermal expansion of an MgO-C brick with 10% remaining carbon. 1.1% at 1000 °C ➞ 10 mm expansion / 1 m brick, 1.9% at 1500 °C ➞ 19 mm expansion / 1 m brick. This expansion can lead to high mechanical stresses in the refractory lining, which can reach critical levels in systems that are subjected to particularly high temperature changes. Finally, the stresses can exceed the brick's mechanical strength, leading to fractures, spalling, joint wear, and generally reduced service life. 3©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
  • 4. The solution: Low-Alpha technology! Low-alpha technology: The decisive success factor Based on the established MACARBON® brick versions, it was possible to prove that thermal expansion could be reduced by up to 30% by using Low-Alpha technology. The implementation of Low-Alpha technology in several German steelworks (10 casting ladles with more than 90 heats) demonstrated the high perfor- mance of this novel ­development: • No open joints or steel ­infiltration between wear lining and safety lining • Reduced joint wear (cobblestone formation) • Thermal expansion reduced by 30% • Significantly improved ­performance of the refractory lining • Increased service life • The necessary wall thicknesses are maintained • Improved assessment of ­remaining brick thickness Refractory systems with Low-Alpha technology are ­essential for: • Extreme operating conditions with large temperature changes, e.g. modern steel casting ladles, • Steel devices subjected to high thermomechanical loading, • Complex and demanding ­operating procedures. Fig. 3: Reduction of thermal expansion by 30% (integral) Fig. 4: Lower thermal stresses in the lining Fig. 5: Field test in a German steelmaking plant: MACARBON® lining with Low-Alpha technology after 50 heats 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 Thermalexpansiondl/l0in% Temperature in °C MACARBON® MACARBON® Low-Alpha -30% 4©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
  • 5. Let´s talk about your goals. We will find the right way. The Refratechnik Group is certified according to ISO 9001 – Quality management systems, and ISO 14001 – Environmental management systems. Refratechnik Steel GmbH is a member of the Refratechnik Group. Based on a solid foundation of more than 60 years ­experience, Refratechnik Steel GmbH focusses on solutions for the iron steel industries as well as the ­non-ferrous and aluminium industries, which consequently involves ­environmental, energy, and ­chemical aspects. The production facilities of Refratechnik Steel GmbH are located in Bendorf and Dülmen, Germany. Furthermore production capacities of the group facilities in Germany, Spain and China have been assigned. Administration and R+D are in Düsseldorf and Bendorf. 5©Refratechnik Steel GmbH
  • 6. St1-043-05/2015 Refratechnik Steel GmbH Schiessstrasse 58 40549 Düsseldorf Germany Phone +49 211 5858 0 Fax +49 211 5858 49 steel@refra.com www.refra.com St1-043-05/2015