Wear mechanisms of carbon-base refractory materials in SiMn tap-holes : Part II : In situ observation of chemical reactions

29 May 2015

The purpose of the study presented here is to determine to what extent chemical reactions between carbon-based refractory and slag or metal in the tap-hole of a SiMn furnace can contribute to wear of tap-hole refractory. The results of the study are reported in two parts. In Part I, thermodynamic calculations suggested that reaction between silicomanganese slag and carbon-based tap-hole refractory is possible, and experiments with nominally pure materials support this. However, practical refractory materials are by no means pure materials and contain secondary phases and porosity which can be expected to affect reaction with slag. In Part II, such reactions are examined experimentally, in cup and wettability tests, using commercially available carbon block and cold-ramming paste refractory materials and mainly industrial SiMn slag. Clear evidence was found of chemical reaction at approximately 1870 K (approximately 1600 C), forming SiC and, it appears, metal droplets. Both carbon block and ramming paste refractory reacted with slag, with preferential attack on and penetration into the binder phase rather than aggregate particles. The two types of carbon-based refractory materials showed similar extents of chemical reaction observed as wetting and penetration in the laboratory tests. The differences in refractory life observed practically in industrial furnaces should therefore be attributed to wear mechanisms other than pure chemical wear as studied in this work.