In Steel mills, world-wide use refractory lined ladles to store and transport molten steel from steel making furnaces to the casting facility. Steel mill ladles have limited lives. As their refractory linings degrade or develop cracks due to excessive temperature in the process, the outer part of a ladle can be exposed to excessive temperatures.
The risk of a ladle breakout will always be present in steelmaking with equipment damage and loss of production as the costly consequence. Production and operation routines could minimize this risk, but the fact remains; as long as liquid steel is transported using ladles – breakouts will occur from time to time. Besides the economic impact of a ladle breakout it is a very dangerous event and there is a potential risk of personnel injuries and loss of life.
The maintenance of refractory is a significant contribution to the cost of the production of steel. Monitoring the external temperature pattern of ladles allows the extent and distribution of wear to be assessed. This information can be used to determine re-lining strategy and maximize the utilization of ladles by avoiding excessive lining damage and break-outs.
AST provides accurate, reliable solutions for ladle refractory temperature monitoring to ensure plant safety and help set maintenance schedules in steel plants across the world. AST Ladle Refractory Monitoring System uses four AST LTE-384 thermal cameras mounted on four directions to monitor the Ladle effectively. The camera uses a lens with such FOV so that it can view the complete profile of the ladle. The system provides thermal images of the ladle by measuring the temperature at the ladle’s surface. An increase in external shell temperature and accelerating rate of change gives a clear indication of refractory wear, enabling effective reline schedules to be set.
Configurable ROI’s are defined for analysis. The thermal images and temperature data are stored for analysis and quality control.
LTE-384 is integrated with “Infraview” software. The Software allows to control the camera and record, view, manipulate and store the captured video/image as well as measured temperature data. This real time software allows simple and fast parameterization for documentation of the temperature data optimizing process control. The modular Windows software INFRAVIEW is customizable as per requirement.
AST Ladle refractory monitoring set up uses four LTE-384 cameras. Three are placed around the ladle for monitoring and fourth underneath the ladle. These four cameras are connected to 4 SBC’s. Data processing occurs in these SBC’s Areas of Interest (AOI’s) is established in critical areas. AOI’s are evaluated against set points. AOI’s can output Average Maximum, or minimum. Automatic capturing of ladles is done as they pass by. The output of these SBC’s is sent to a PC via a 8 port Gigabit router. Infraview software collects temperature data and provides thermal images.
- Improved Safety
- Allows timely replacement of refractory lining before failure
- Prevention of break-outs
- Extended lifetime of ladle refractories
- Evaluation of different refractories
- Detection of problematic areas
- Cast refractory uniformity