This article describes several types of support systems for the load-bearing structures of blast furnaces and
their auxiliary equipment. A detailed discussion is presented of systems of the Czechoslovakian type. The lower
part of such systems consists of a three-dimensional framework resting on four columns having a certain
modulus. Supporting beams are located at the level of the casting platform and are suspended from other
beams installed above the bustle pipe. One important advantage of this furnace design is that the combined
weight of the auxiliary equipment and the load-bearing structures is divided between the four-column system
and the furnace proper. This is convenient from a static viewpoint and significantly reduces the loads on the
structure. One advantage of the proposed type of load-bearing system is that the weight of the furnace and
the auxiliary equipment is evenly distributed over the entire area of the foundation slab. The proposed
system can be used on all types of furnaces. Another advantage of the Czech system is that it affords safe
access to the equipment located in the bottom part of the furnace. During the reconstruction of blast
furnaces, the upper part of the furnace can be suspended on the four-column system while the bottom of the
furnace is being replaced.
At present, any innovations that are made in blast-furnace technology usually require modernization and recon-
struction of the furnace’s equipment. Such changes in turn make it necessary to modify the load-bearing structures of the
furnace and the auxiliary equipment. Reconstruction projects of this nature require statistical analysis of large volumes of
data on the load-bearing structures and foundations from the standpoint of their reliability over the projected service life of the
In general, metal structures are characterized as three-dimensional systems that must meet certain requirements on
reliability. These requirements pertain to safety of operation, the load-carrying capacity of the corresponding mechanisms,
the rigidity of the structural members, and the performance of the constituent materials. Steel is the material traditionally
used in the design of large industrial installations that are subject to substantial loads – blast furnaces, in particular.
Support system for the load-bearing structures of blast furnaces (Fig. 1). There are several known types of
support systems for the load-bearing structures of blast furnaces and their auxiliary equipment [1–10].
Below, we examine features, advantages, and disadvantages of the systems currently in use in different countries.
Scottish type. Blast-furnace designs of the Scottish type are not self-supporting. The furnace rests on inclined
columns located around the furnace. The bustle pipe is located outside the columns, which prevents the tuyeres from being
evenly spaced about the furnace’s circumference. The platforms at the top of the furnace are connected to the furnace’s shell.
Vibrations are transmitted from the skip hoist to the equipment in the top of the furnace and the furnace structures. One short-
coming of furnaces of this type is that it is difficult to service the tuyeres in the lower part of the furnace.
The blast-furnace structure of the German type is self-supporting. The top of the furnace is superimposed on this
structure. The main load-bearing system around the furnace consists of four recticulated columns, and the bustle pipe is
Metallurgist, Vol. 50, Nos. 7–8, 2006
METAL STRUCTURES OF BLAST FURNACES
H. Al-Hussein and Ya. Hudak
Mi-Fi-Bu SKELETING and the Engineering University at Koshitse, Slovakia. Translated from Metallurg, No. 7,
pp. 54–56, July, 2006.
2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.