A CFD model for estimating refractory erosion and skull buildup in the blast furnace hearth

Lei Shao, Shan Yu, Seppo Louhenkilpi, Zong Shu Zou, Henrik Saxén

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


It has been widely recognized that refractory wear and skull buildup play the biggest role in determining hearth durability and thus the campaign life of an ironmaking blast furnace. Studies have been mainly carried out either by addressing an inverse heat conduction problem without considering the effect of liquid flow within the hearth, or by utilizing a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model in which skull formation is neglected or highly simplified. The present investigation aims at making use of the advantages of both approaches, developing a comprehensive CFD model for estimating the in-hearth refractory erosion and skull buildup. The hearth profile shaped by the liquid pool, solidified skull and remaining refractory are obtained through a customized iterative algorithm on the basis of calculated fluid flow and temperature distribution. The general structure and calculating procedures are described in detail in the paper, where a set of examples is performed to show the applicability and versatility of the model. The results of the model agree well with observations at industrial blast furnaces and the model is demonstrated to predict two erosion types that are commonly encountered in practice. AISTech 2015 Proceedings

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAISTech 2015 - Proceedings of the Iron and Steel Technology Conference and ICSTI 2015
PublisherAssociation for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781935117476
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIron and Steel Technology Conference - Cleveland, United States
Duration: 4 May 20157 May 2015
Conference number: 7


ConferenceIron and Steel Technology Conference
Abbreviated titleAISTech
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • CFD model
  • Fluid flow
  • Hearth erosion
  • Heat transfer
  • Skull buildup


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