Refractory Bricks

Refractories used in ARC furnaces

Mar 20,2024

Refractories used in ARC furnaces are critical for maintaining the integrity of the furnace lining and ensuring efficient operation. ARC furnaces are primarily used for melting metals and alloys, such as steel and iron scrap, and they operate at extremely high temperatures and under harsh conditions. Here are several reasons why specific refractories are chosen for ARC furnace linings:

1. High temperature resistance: ARC furnaces operate at temperatures ranging from 1500°C to 2000°C (2700°F to 3600°F) or even higher during melting processes. Refractories must be able to withstand these extreme temperatures without softening, melting, or deteriorating.

2. Thermal shock resistance: ARC furnaces undergo rapid temperature changes during operation, particularly during the charging and melting phases. Refractories must have high thermal shock resistance to withstand these fluctuations without cracking or spalling.

3. Chemical resistance: The materials being melted in ARC furnaces can produce corrosive gases and slag, which can attack the refractory lining. Refractories should be chemically inert or resistant to these corrosive elements to maintain their structural integrity over time.

4. Mechanical strength: Refractories used in ARC furnaces must have sufficient mechanical strength to withstand the weight of the charge, as well as any mechanical stresses caused by charging, tapping, or other operations.

5. Wear resistance: The lining of an ARC furnace is subject to wear from the movement of materials and the erosive action of molten metal and slag. Refractories with high abrasion resistance can prolong the service life of the furnace lining and reduce maintenance requirements.

6. Thermal insulation: While ARC furnaces require refractories with high-temperature resistance, it's also beneficial to have some degree of thermal insulation to minimize heat loss and improve energy efficiency.

Common refractories used in ARC furnaces include:

- Magnesia-based refractories: Magnesia bricks and magnesia-carbon bricks are commonly used in the sidewalls and roof of ARC furnaces due to their high-temperature resistance and excellent corrosion resistance to basic slag.

- Alumina-based refractories: Alumina bricks and alumina-spinel bricks are used in areas where higher mechanical strength and thermal shock resistance are required, such as the furnace hearth and lower sidewalls.

- Carbon-based refractories: Carbon bricks and carbon-containing materials are used in areas subjected to intense heat and reducing conditions, such as the electrode column and slag line.

Overall, the choice of refractories for ARC furnaces depends on factors such as the specific operating conditions, the materials being processed, and the desired performance characteristics of the furnace lining. It's essential to select refractories carefully and to monitor their condition regularly to ensure safe and efficient furnace operation.

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