REFRACTORIES AT THE USER
FOR NEW-GENERATION SLIDE GATES
V. I. Zolotukhin,
N. P. Solomin,
A. G. Golovko,
and S. G. Polubesov
Translated from Ogneupory i Tekhnicheskaya Keramika, No. 11, pp. 30 – 35, November, 2001.
Current problems in metallurgy concerned with the im
provement of product quality, cost-and-technology improve
ments, saving of resources, and environmental protection
cannot be solved without the use of new science-intensive
technologies and new-generation engineering equipment.
It was possible, owing to the powerful research and in
dustrial potential of the city of Tula and the Tula District, in
the 1990s under a conversion program, to set up production
of prototypes of steel-casting gate systems equipped with
refractories of a new type.
Among the equipment designed one would mention the
continuous-casting systems, various types of casting gates,
systems for protecting the fluid-metal jet from secondary
oxidation, and units for automatic change of industrial-ladle
nozzles complete with refractory accessories.
In the domestic metallurgical industry, mostly rigid-type
gates with fixing devices have been used. Because of the lack
of manufacturers that specialize in the design and fabrication
of standard gates for the metallurgical industry, a whole
range of gates (19 different types at least), mostly of in-house
design, are now in use at metallurgical works in Russia.
The constructional diversity of casting gates and the lack
of standardization in this branch of industry have quite natu
rally led to the use of a vast variety of refractory components
of different types and sizes — plates, ladle nozzles, collector
nozzles, and protection tubes.
Rigid-type gates are simplest in design and therefore are
widely accepted in metallurgical practice. Here the movable
carriage-and-plate is held against the stationary plate at a
constant force that is set under controlled conditions using a
rigid joint as the gate is assembled for operation. During ser
vice, the holding force changes because of the heating and
wear, which may result in an operational breakdown. Used-
up refractories are replaced by new ones only after the gate
has been dismounted from the ladle and completely disas
sembled in a ladle-repair shop.
In gates of a new generation, the plates are elastically se
cured in position at a constant and controlled holding force,
which makes it possible to effect a group replacement (using
holders, or cassettes) of refractories in the steel shells with
out dismounting the gate from the ladle.
The spring gates available from foreign manufacturers
— Interstop (Switzerland), Flocon (Great Britain), Mitsubishi
(Japan), etc. — have not yet gained acceptance in Russia be-
cause of their high cost, the high cost of refractories, and
partly for lack of skilled technical manpower.
At the average purchase cost of foreign-made gates
(higher than $15,000), their operating and maintenance costs
under the actual service conditions are 2.73 times higher
vis-a-vis those of home-made equipment.
The early prototypes of a new generation developed in
1992 – 1993 at the Tul’skii Patronnyi Zavod (Tula Cartridge
Works) Joint-Stock Co., the theoretical research recently
conducted at the Tula State University, and the putting into
service of newly developed technologies at the Vulkan-TM
Research and Production Association (R&PA) (Tula, Russia)
— all this has laid the groundwork for developing and testing
competitive products, some of them unrivaled in the world
practice, and hence can constitute the basis for the introduc
tion of advanced technologies into the domestic steelmaking
In conformance with the design principles developed at
the Vulkan-TM R&PA and Tula State University, the slide
gate is considered as a self-adapting system intended for ope
ration under varying conditions such as the geometrical in
stability of refractory plates, buckling and deformation of re
fractory and metallic materials subjected to high temperature
and wear, and washout and scull formation in the refractory
The search for an optimal design involves a morphologic
analysis of the circuit designs of the continuous-casting sys
tems and a synthesis of optimum solutions satisfying a num
ber of conditions :
– provision of a uniform and constant force for securing
the plates in position with respect to the axis of the teeming
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 42, Nos. 11 – 12, 2001
1083-4877/01/1112-0405$25.00 © 2001 Plenum Publishing Corporation
Vulkan-TM Research and Production Association, Tula, Russia;
Tula State University, Tula, Russia.
Tul’skii Patronnyi Zavod (Tula Cartridge Works) Joint-Stock Co.,