MODERN SLIDE VALVE SYSTEMS FOR STEEL CASTING
V. A. Kononov
and A. A. Alpatov
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 8, pp. 15 – 18, August, 2006.
Original article submitted March 10, 2006.
The current situation in Russia regarding steel casting using slide valves in Russia is discussed and its main
drawbacks are identified. Promising slide valves with elastic elements have been developed by the Shiber JSC
(a domestic manufacturer). The advantages of the state-of-the-art valves include a “book-like” opening sys
tem, presence of spring elements, durability, and convenience in servicing. Slide valves should be compatible
with the drive mechanism (hydraulic stations are recommended for this purpose) and a set of state-of-the-art
The process of slide teeming in Russia is still at the level
of 1980s and the majority of large metallurgical companies
are not interested in its advance for the following reasons:
– main investments are made into upgrading the rolling
production; in reconstruction of steel-melting divisions in-
vestments are made in expensive machinery, which provides
increased production volume or improved quality of metal
(furnace-ladles plants, vacuum machines, etc.)
– large companies have their own shops for producing
old-type slide gates and their closing may cause social
– single-use refractories for slide units made in Russia
are cheaper than imported analogs (2 – 3 times). The con
sumers of refractories agree to buy obsolete refractory prod
ucts due to their low price.
However, some reasons encourage consumers to upgrade
this type of metal casting. To ensure the required quality of
metal, especial product for export, producers introduce con
temporary technologies, in particular, extra-furnace treat
ment methods. Some metallurgical companies producing
steel in open-hearth or small electric arc furnaces actively
implement aggregates for complex treatment of steel
(ACTS) and vacuum machines and thus significantly im
prove the quality of metal produced. An ACTS uses expen
sive main lining. Its efficient use requires prompt replace
ment of refractories making part of the slide unit. The re
placement of refractories used to take 2–3h,whereas now it
has to be carried out in 10 – 15 min.
One of the main factors in this line of research is an inte
grated approach to the development and production of slide
systems. The fact that Russia substantially lags behind the
advanced countries in this area is related to a lack of system
atic approach. Manufacturers of slide valves, producers of
refractories, as well as metallurgists consuming the former
products tried to impose their own frequently unjustified re-
quirements on the other participants of the process. The
problem of steel teeming from ladles with slide valves was
solved disregarding the latest world experience.
A current slide system has the following components: a
slide valve, a drive, and refractory elements of the teeming
SLIDE VALVE DESIGN
Each component of a slide system has is own function
and a particular cost. The cost of a contemporary slide gate
and a drive withstanding over 2000 heats is 20 – 25 rubles
per heat (0.002% of the steel production cost). These ex
penses are one-time expenses and require substantial funds.
The repayment period of a park of contemporary slide valves
according to the experience of the Shiber JSC is not more
than 6 months (Fig. 1).
The advantages of the state-of-the-art slide valve include
the “book-like” opening system, compression performed by
elastic elements, durability, and convenient servicing.
“Book-like” opening system. This device makes it possi
ble to promptly replace the refractories without removing the
slide valve from the ladle. The operation takes 10 – 15 min
and this contributes to extending the lining resistance, as its
temperature does not have time to decrease. Furthermore, re
placing refractories in the ladles lowers the operating cost
and saves on the labor of workers engaged in slide gate
Compression using elastic elements. Spring elements
contribute to a uniform distribution of the compression force
over the plate surface, ensure reliable operation, and de
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 47, No. 4, 2006
1083-4877/06/4704-0201 © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Shiber Joint-Stock Co., Moscow, Russia.