Business & Industry

Aug 1, 2015

Modernizing metallurgy

Blast furnaces are one of the oldest technologies we still use today. Without them our modern world wouldn't even exist and all the amenities we take for granted like skyscrappers, container ships, trains and even mobile phones.

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The blast furnace remains an important part of modern iron production. Modern furnaces are highly efficient, including Cowper stoves to pre-heat the blast air and employ recovery systems to extract the heat from the hot gases exiting the furnace. Competition in industry drives higher production rates. The largest blast furnaces have a volume around 5,580 m3 (197,000 cu ft) and can produce around 80,000 tonnes (79,000 long tons; 88,000 short tons) of iron per week.

This is a great increase from the typical 18th-century furnaces, which averaged about 360 tonnes (350 long tons; 400 short tons) per year. Variations of the blast furnace, such as the Swedish electric blast furnace, have been developed in countries which have no native coal resources.

The correct design of the furnace is fundamental to reliable operation, metallurgical performance, sustained high productivity and long campaign life.

For new turnkey installations of any capacity as well as for plant rebuilds, the modern blast furnace designs produced by Paul Wurth are based on the concept of a free-standing unit with a surrounding building structure, providing access to the furnace and support for the furnace off-gas system. Making use of powerful simulation tools for the optimization of the burden and gas flow, Paul Wurth designs the furnace proper considering the potential raw material and operating conditions for the furnace throughout its campaign. Serious consideration is given in the design stage to ensure rapid and accurate constructability. 

Integrating the properties of the shell, the cooling elements and refractory lining, the global solution engineered by Paul Wurth ensures the well-balanced overall operation of the plant. 

Paul Wurth has the reputation as the leader in Blast Furnace Engineering – for developing new plants as well as upgrading existing ones. 215 reference projects worldwide are witness of an unique and all-plant covering competence.

The modern Paul Wurth blast furnace combines proven solutions with new and latest developments to provide the best gain from the project – capital and operating costs, project implementation, operation ramp-up, reliability, availability, safety, plant hygiene, environmental compliance and long campaign life.

Contact: PAUL WURTH S.A. - 32, rue d'Alsace L-1122 Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG - Tel.: (+352) 4970-1 - Fax.: (+352) 4970-2209
E-mail: paulwurth@paulwurth.com

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