A blast furnace is the predominant iron-producing process in the U.S. It is widely believed that the blast furnace hearth refractory is the most dominant factor affecting the campaign life of a blast furnace. The hearth, where the liquid metal is collected, is made of carbon bricks. Cooling water is normally applied to the outside wall of the hearth. Wear of the carbon refractory occurs primarily because of erosion, which is related to the operating conditions of the hearth, such as the liquid flow in the hearth and the heat duty to the walls. Evaluation of fluid flow, heat transfer, and erosion patterns in the hearth are critical to the extension of the campaign life of a blast furnace, leading to the increase of productivity and saving of costs significantly. Advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling techniques make it possible for providing detailed information on furnace conditions and parametric effects on performance. In this research, the blast furnace No. 13 at U.S Steel has been simulated using a comprehensive CFD model. The model was validated using the temperatures measured by thermocouples in the wall refractories of the furnace. The effects of cooling water on the temperature distributions as well as erosion patterns were evaluated. The results provide useful information for the furnace operations.

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