Ironmaking

General Areas Served

Crude steel production begins with the reduction process, whereby iron ore reacts with carbon sources inside the blast furnace. It is imperative that refractory products used inside the blast furnace are resistant to these thermomechanical and thermochemical reactions.

 

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories designs, engineers and supplies a comprehensive range of high quality refractory products and solutions, specifically developed for blast furnaces.

An extensive range of refractories ideal for use downstream of the blast furnace is also available, including:

  • High quality tap hole mixes, customized to meet customer requirements
  • Concretes with excellent performance characteristics, ideal for troughs and runners
  • Alumina silicon carbide carbon bricks for torpedo ladles

 

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories is also focused on developing materials for the evolving needs of DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) processes. Refractory requirements increase in line with H2 usage.

 

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories’ extensive experience in related industries (for example, pure H2 atmosphere) makes it uniquely suited to providing optimal solutions to meet this challenge.

 

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories is currently working to become carbon neutral by 2050 – a goal shared across much of the ironmaking industry.

 

Solution By Application

Click on your application to find more:

Blast Furnaces for Ironmaking

Refractory Solutions for Increased Blast Furnace Service Life

Crude steel production begins with the reduction process, where the iron ore reacts with carbon sources inside the blast furnace. The blast furnace requires different types of refractory products with resistance to thermo-mechanical and thermo-chemical reactions.

Conventional coke blast furnaces are essential to large-scale iron and steelmaking processes. But these processes are highly demanding. The extreme conditions required to melt iron ore create substantial thermomechanical and chemical stress on hearth products. Most blast furnaces aim for service lives extending above 20 years, so the effect of these stressors over the long term can be severe. It is therefore essential to select the right refractory solutions throughout the furnace area, from the top of the furnace to the tuyere belt, where hot blasts of gas are blown into the furnace belly. Our expertise focuses from the bosh down to the blast furnace pad.

 

Long-standing blast furnace challenges associated with wear and tear have been compounded by new requirements such as carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and a preference for green hydrogen (H2) injection. Financial constraints also add layers of complexity to an already challenging decision-making process. Fortunately, there are readily-available solutions that can align critical performance requirements with sustainability and financial goals.

 

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories has over 50 years of experience in blast furnace refractory design. We are continually adapting our product portfolio to exceed the needs of our valued partners. With CO2 reduction and green steel objectives becoming more prevalent, it is our goal to make blast furnace operation easier and cleaner than ever.

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Easy operation
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Reduced CO2 emissions

Conventional coke and charcoal blast furnace require specific types of refractories to ensure smooth operation.

We provide a comprehensive range of products for conventional coke blast furnaces, many of which have been customized according to customers’ requirements and operating conditions. Since 1982, we have pioneered novel ceramic cup technology for blast furnace hearths and are now offering the third generation of our industry-leading Coranit® SlagR ceramic cup technology. The previous generation extended hearth wall life by as much as 10 years. Now, the Coranit SlagR ceramic cup enhances that a further 2-3 years, translating to significant added value for end users:

Lower energy consumption

  • Reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Quick pay-back within 2 years
  • Recycling of slag

Realizing true operational ease is secondary to the dramatic increase in the price per ton of CO2 emissions. 

Achieving CO2 & Coke Reduction

Raw materials are incredibly costly, and supply chain issues plus higher taxes in certain regions means more added cost in the future. The cost of production processes for iron and steel products can seem prohibitively
high. But at Saint-Gobain, we believe there is enormous financial value to be found within more sustainable practices. Reducing CO2 emissions and coke consumption using ceramic cup technology and additional high-performance refractory linings and hearth products is vital for this objective. Our solutions allow end-users to reduce coke consumption with no loss of throughput or yield. The immediate cost saving of reduced raw material consumption is buoyed by the reduction of CO2 emissions, leading to substantial cost savings therein, especially in Europe where the CO2 certificate trading is in place.

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories Ceramic Cup

The 3rd generation Ceramic Cup wall in Coranit SlagR shows better resistance to iron, slag and Alkali corrosion with very good corrosion resistance to slag and liquid iron at high temperature (1,400°C - 1,600°C).
The ceramic cup pad made from high alumina MS4 Mullite or MS4R are highly resistant to iron and designed in combination with the Ceramic Cup providing a significant benefit to blast furnace operators in terms of lifetime extension and operational efficiency.

FAQ

How can Ceramic Cup help to save CO2 emissions and lower coke/energy consumption?

Saint-Gobain’s third generation Ceramic Cup quality Coranit SlagR has improved resistance to iron, slag alkali corrosion and wears very gradually over the lifetime of the hearth.
With its insulating effect compared to a pure carbon hearth the Ceramic Cup reduces the coke consumption and the CO2 emission at the same time.
With the CO2 certificate trading already existing in Europe and for other regions/countries to come (e.g. China*) the money saving effect will become a more and more important factor.

The key result is a constant increase of the price per ton of CO2 emissions - in one year the price per ton has more than doubled.1

Total CO2 Savings 65KT                                       Total Coke Savings 20KT

Saint-Gobain’s 3rd generation Ceramic Cup quality Coranit SlagR has improved resistance to iron, slag alkali corrosion and wears very gradually over the lifetime of the hearth.

Graph: Case study calculated on an existing blast furnace with ceramic cup (hearth diameter 11m) 

1www.ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/ets_en

How can the Ceramic Cup in Coranit SlagR extend the hearth wall lifetime?

The Coranit® Ceramic Cups wear very gradually over the lifetime of the hearth and is the first life of the hearth. After it is worn second hearth life with carbon wall lining continues.
The second generation Ceramic Cup quality Coranit AL with its 34 references over the last 20 years was proven to last >10 years.
Saint-Gobain’s third generation Ceramic Cup quality Coranit
® SlagR has improved resistance to iron, slag alkali corrosion and is expected to last an additional two - three years compared to its predecessor Coranit® AL.

How was the Coranit Ceramic Cup developed?

Two sites in Germany - Thyssen's Hamborn and Ruhrort sites - first installed the Ceramic Cup technology in 1984. The first generation of Ceramic Cup was based on chrome-alumina in the form of large precast Monochromcor® blocks, while the second generation was corundum in the form of large precast Mono Coral® blocks. These blocks helped to reduce hearth stresses while addressing issues with chrome VI. The third generation of Ceramic Cup products was developed from pressed SiAlON bonded corundum Coranit bricks and first installed in 1993. This further reduced stresses while offering improved iron erosion resistance. First installed in 2020, Coranit SlagR offers excellent resistance to molten iron and slag and unprecedented hearth lining protection.

What are the benefits of working with Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories?

Saint-Gobain Performance Ceramics & Refractories offers a robust combination of continuous development and provision of the highest quality customized refractory product solutions, full design and engineering services, supervision and ongoing support – a complete, reliable and cost-effective service through a furnace's entire service life.

Documents

Brochures & Flyers
Ironmaking Ceramic Cup Savings

Coranit AL extends hearth wall life by approximately 10 years, our latest development is expected to increase hearth wall life by a further 2 to 3 years.

PDF | 232.9 KB
Iron---Steel-Ceramic-Cup-Savings-flyer-2021-web-220060
Brochures & Flyers
Ironmaking Blast Furnace

Crude steel production begins with the reduction process, whereby iron ore reacts with carbon sources inside the blast furnace. It is imperative that

PDF | 924.69 KB
Iron---Steel-Blast-Furnace-brochure-2022-web-2274441
Brochures & Flyers
Ironmaking Coranit Ceramic Cup

Ironmaking production begins with the reduction process, where the iron ore reacts with the carbon sources (coke) inside the blast furnace.

PDF | 845.39 KB
Iron-making-Coranit-Ceramic-cup-brochure-202375
Articles
Novel Castable Technology for a Safe and Extended Lifetime of Blast Furnace Main Troughs

Crude steel production begins with the reduction process, where the iron ore reacts with carbon sources inside the blast furnace. The blast furnace

PDF | 306.12 KB
Iron-Making-2019-Novel-Castable-Technology-Troughs---Runner-Technical-Article-202325