A PLANT FOR HIGH-SPEED MELTING OF BASALT ROCKS
S. N. Gushchin,
M. D. Kazyaev,
B. N. Arseev,
and D. M. Kazyaev
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 4, pp. 103 – 105, April, 2009.
Original article submitted August 20, 2008.
A plant for fast basalt melting has been built as an alternative to the existing type of melting plant. The design
incorporates the latest refractories and thermal insulation materials, together with the latest high-speed burn
ers and comprehensive automation of all the processes.
Keywords: basalt, fine fraction, fast melting, gas economy, flue gas heat utilization.
In the recent past, Russian industry has discussed the
performance of heating plant in terms of capital costs for raw
materials, other materials, equipment, and fuels, particularly
on the basis of the costs of all forms of fuel. The price com-
ponent for the fuel was very small because of the low cost.
This clearly did not favor energy-saving technologies and
equipment, so in most cases the thermal plant worked uneco-
nomically from the viewpoint of fuel consumption. At pres-
ent, there are sharp increases in the prices of all forms of fuel
and the like, which have tended to approach those for other
materials, and this requires the most careful attention to
economy in fuel and power on reconstructing old plant and
particularly on building new (melting plant, heaters, dryers,
and so on), the more so since fuel prices in Russia would in
the near future become the same as those in European coun
tries. That circumstance radically alters the evaluation of per
formance from energy-saving measures.
Energy saving is dependent on many factors, in particu
lar ones such as new technologies, the latest materials, and
combustion systems, together with comprehensive automa
tion of technological processes. Practices in building new
heat-consuming plant show that the most effective fuel econ
omy is attained by comprehensive combination of all the
At present, Russia tends to acquire from abroad equip
ment corresponding to high throughput and economy. That
tendency is due to the need to rapidly resolve the crisis in
some branches of our industry. However, in Russia there
have been some new energy sparing technologies. For exam
ple, there is the production of the latest thermal insulation
materials on the basis of basalt rocks for buildings and struc
tures as well as thermal plant.
Basalt is melted in thermal plant of various types such as
basins, flow systems, and arc and induction electric ovens.
Each of these types has advantages and shortcomings. Flow
melting systems are fired by natural gas, which is burned in
burners of traditional design .
Molten basalt is more corrosive than slags and glass liq-
uids because of the presence of polyvalent iron-bearing com-
ponents. Sometimes, when there is considerable superheat-
ing of the liquid, one employs cool constructions with lining
layers, which substantially reduces the quality of the
refractories and the working life. The softening temperatures
of basalts are 1050 – 1070°C, melting points 1150 – 1250°C.
Basalts become reasonably fluid at 1300 – 1400°C, which
provides for good division of a liquid jet of basalt into indi-
vidual fibers. To reduce the basalt melting point in various
technologies, use is made of special additives such as dolo
mite or metallurgical slags.
If the basalt fiber production capacity is large enough,
use is made mainly of cupola systems for melting. Two types
are employed: coke and coke-gas ones. In coke-gas ones,
natural gas is used to economize in coke. Cupolas with liquid
capacity of 4 – 6 tonne/h are the most widely used, with the
consumption of coke 180 – 250 kg/tonne of liquid and gas
consumption of 150 – 300 m
There are basic disadvantages in cupolas such as the con
siderable consumption of expensive coke and frequent shut
downs to remove ferruginous liquid accumulating at the bot
tom. Uniform operation makes it necessary to meet a fairly
stringent requirement for constancy of the fractional compo
sitions of the basalt and coke, whose lumps should have a
size of 50 – 80 mm. This means that when basalt is crushed a
large amount of fines accumulates, which is not used in the
process and accumulates in large amounts in tips.
At the Ural Thermocomplex Corporation (Ekaterinburg),
we have devised an essentially new plant for fast melting of
the fine-fraction basalt , and have completed a working
project for a plant of throughput 2.3 tonne/h of liquid. The
principle is based on rapid melting of small lumps of basalt
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 50, No. 2, 2009
1083-4877/09/5002-0112 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Ural Thermocomplex Corporation, Ekaterinburg, Russia.