ON THE PROBLEM OF THERMOMECHANICAL STRESSES
IN THE LINING AND SHELL OF STEEL-POURING LADLES
D. V. Vasil’ev
and V. P. Grigor’ev
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 4, pp. 26 – 30, April, 2012.
Original article submitted January 31, 2012.
It is shown that buffer layers play an important role in the lining of steel-pouring ladles. Unfortunately, no
commonly agreed-upon method has yet been found to determine the dimensions of compensation layers. At
attempt is made here to develop a method of calculating the required thickness of the compensation layer,
evaluate the stresses in different layers of the lining, and determine the pressure that is transmitted to the metal
shell of the ladle during thermal expansion of the lining.
Keywords: lining, refractories, expansion, pressure, stress, shell, steel-pouring ladle, temperature field,
periclase-carbon refractory, buffer layer, compensation layer, ramming, filler, durability, fracture, thermal
The approach that is currently taken to the design of la-
dle linings is based less on serious mathematical calculation
than on an empirical method which entails selection of the
dimensions of layers of different materials — including the
size of the buffer layer. Given this approach, of course, rela-
tively little attention is paid to the thermomechanical condi-
tions that the refractories are subjected to during service.
It is known that the durability of the lining of steel-pour
ing ladles is affected by numerous factors, including the
composition and quality of the refractories, the design of the
lining and the quality of its formation, its temperature regime
during service, the compositions of the metal and slag, the
technology used for out-of-furnace treatment, the casting
method employed, and the length of the casting operation.
The problem of the durability of ladle linings has be
come more urgent in light of the tightening of standards on
the quality of the metal being cast and the increasing use of
out-of-furnace treatment followed by continuous casting.
These trends have led to the replacement of standard fireclay
materials by high-basicity refractories, especially periclase
In connection with the above, for a while now there has
been a need to develop new designs of linings and create new
service conditions for them. One of the main reasons that it
has taken a long time to develop effective new linings is that
the main materials used to make them need to have radically
different thermophysical properties. They need to have a
high thermal conductivity and, most importantly, a high coef-
ficient of linear expansion (CLE). The use of materials with
different CLEs in linings composed of multiple layers creates
thermal stresses in the lining and in the steel structures of the
ladle. Thus, it has become necessary to design the lining with
consideration of the changes in the volumes of the constitu-
ent materials and to find ways to compensate for those
changes. Among the methods used is the formation of special
buffer gaps between the working layer and the reinforcement
layer and strengthening of the thermal insulation. Despite
these measures, the life of such linings — even linings of the
same quality and chemical composition — fluctuates widely
from one factory to another. Thus, the thermomechanical op
erating regime of the refractories and their stress state are im
portant considerations, particularly in light of their apprecia
ble effect on the structures of the ladle’s metal shell.
Unfortunately, no standard method has yet been devel
oped for determining the dimensions of compensating or
buffer gaps, despite the fact that these dimensions are of de
cisive importance to the performance of the ladle’s lin
ing-structure system. In this article, we attempt to devise a
method that can be used to calculate the thickness required of
a compensation layer, evaluate the stress in different layers
of a lining, and determine the pressure that is transmitted to
the metal shell of steel-pouring ladles during the thermal ex
pansion of the lining.
The temperature regime is known to be the main factor
that determines the performance of a lining. Thus, first we
need to calculate the temperature field of a lining composed
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 53, No. 2, July, 2012
1083-4877/12/05302-0118 © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Moscow State Institute of Steel and Alloys, Moscow, Russia.