Numerical analysis on erosion and optimization of a blast furnace main trough

Hao Yao, Huiting Chen, Yao Ge, Han Wei, Ying Li, Henrik Saxén, Xuebin Wang, Yaowei Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The main trough of a blast furnace (BF) is a main passage for hot metal and molten slag transportation from the taphole to the torpedo and the slag handling. Its appropriate working status and controlled erosion ensure a safe, stable, high-efficiency and low-cost continuous production of hot metal. In this work, the tapping process of a main trough of a BF in the east of China was nu-merically studied with the help of a CFD library written in C++, called OpenFOAM, based on the use of the Finite Volume Method (FVM). The results show that turbulence intensity downstream of the hot metal impact position becomes weaker and the turbulence area becomes larger in the main trough. During the tapping, thermal stress of wall refractory reaches the maximum value of 1.7 × 107 Pa at the 4 m position in the main trough. Furthermore, baffles in the main trough placed between 5.8 m and 6.2 m were found to control and reduce the impact of the turbulence on the refractory life. The metal flowrate upstream of the baffles can be decreased by 6%, and the flow velocity on the upper sidewall and bottom wall decrease by 9% and 7%, respectively, compared with the base model. By using baffles, the minimum fatigue life of the refractory in the main trough increases by 15 tappings compared with the base model, so the period between the maintenance stops can be prolonged by about 2 days.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4851
Issue number17
Early online date26 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Fatigue life
  • Main trough
  • OpenFOAM
  • Refractory
  • Thermal stress


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