MODELS FOR LOCAL WEAR OF THE LINING OF A CONVERTER
V. B. Okhotskii
Translated from Ogneupory i Tekhnicheskaya Keramika, No. 11, pp. 36 – 41, November, 2001.
Models for the wear of the lining produced by dissolution of the refractory oxide in slag and by the impact of
droplets of metal and slag on the surface of the lining are considered. The wear rate and location of the zone of
local wear as predicted by a model analysis conform with actual data.
In the converter process, over the course of its century-
long history starting from the Bessemer process and ending
with modern advanced technologies, studies of the mecha
nism of wear of the refractory lining have been conducted.
Results of these studies can be generalized.
In bottom air blasting, the wear is chiefly confined in the
bath section, so that at the close of the converter campaign,
the converter’s bottom section assumes a spherical shape .
In the side air blasting, the spherical wear in the tuyere zone
is further aggravated by the local wear above the tuyere level
on the opposite side .
In the early stage of development of the top oxygen-
blasting technology when single-channel tuyeres (n =1)
were used, designers were confronted with local wear of the
lining located either in the bath section or in the upper zone
of the converter . Wear in the upper section was especially
conspicuous in high-capacity converters operating at high
blasting rates per singe nozzle q of a single-channel tuyere.
This decreased to half the service life N
of large-size con
verters in comparison to low-capacity converters.
In operating with multichannel tuyeres, the local-wear
zone tended to decrease with the decrease in q . Our data
and those in  provide grounds to believe that one of the
events of the mechanism of local wear is dissolution of the
lining material in the slag. Still, local-wear features in the
furnace mouth under single-channel tuyere operating condi
tions suggest that a range of factors may be involved in the
A systematic survey of the available literature data can
be summarized in the form of a table containing performance
characteristics of the converter lining made from different re
fractory materials and assessed in terms of the wear rate d.
For the Bessemer process, the wear rate per heat varies
over a wide range and generally is rather moderate (see Ta
ble 1) owing to the fact that the blasting is mostly carried out
under the conditions of a low-reactivity slag saturated with
silica. In the side-blown converter process, the slag has a
high concentration of iron oxides and is more fluid in consis-
tency, which causes a significant increase in lining wear.
In the Thomas process (the basic Bessemer process), de-
spite the fact that it is carried out at a constant mixture com-
position and under steady-state blasting conditions, the wear
rate d is twice as high because of the necessary reblow to
liquify the slag which is produced in an amount five times
that in the Bessemer process.
In the top oxygen lancing technology using single-channel
of multichannel (n > 1) tuyeres, the range of variation in d is
less wide as compared to that in the air blasting.
In the phosphoric-iron top-blown process using pow
dered lime, the wear rate per heat increases by a factor of
2 – 3 because of the increased amount of slag formed.
The wear rate d in the bottom oxygen-blow process is
close to that in the bottom air-blow process owing to the less
reactive slag which is denser in consistency and lower in iron
In the argon-oxygen refining process, the wear rate d is
rather high because of the high bath temperature and the lon
ger blowing time as compared to other converter processes.
Thus, a model for the wear of converter lining should
cover a range of operating conditions of steelmaking con
According to the model of  for the blow-and-bath in
teraction, the nozzle jet generates an acceleration wave and a
gas bubble that tends to increase in size because of the oxida
tion of carbon and the heating of gas to the bath temperature.
The bubbles blown through several nozzles finally coalesce
into a single bubble comparable in size to the inside diameter
of the converter D
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 42, Nos. 11 – 12, 2001
1083-4877/01/1112-0411$25.00 © 2001 Plenum Publishing Corporation
National Academy of Metallurgy, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.