Monday, 21 October 2019

Ladle Refractory Monitoring System

Thermal Imager

The use of refractory lined vessels (ladles) to transport molten iron and steel is commonplace in steel plants world-wide. Steel mill ladles have limited lives. As their refractory linings wear or develop breaks due to shock, the outer part of a ladle can be exposed to excessive temperatures. Over time,the refractory condition degrades until it must be re-lined.The risk of a ladle breakout will always be present in steelmaking with equipment damage and lost 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 economical impact of a ladle breakout it is a very dangerous event and there is a potential risk of personnel injuries and lost of life.

The maintenance of these 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.

Solution to the above situation

AST Ladle Refractory Monitoring System provides an accurate and reliable measurement solution 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 cameras mounted on four directions to monitor the Ladle effectively. The camera uses lens with such FOV so that it can view 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 aswell 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.

Key Benefits

  • 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