Improved CFD Model to Predict Flow and Temperature Distributions in a Blast Furnace Hearth
The campaign life of a blast furnace is limited by the erosion of hearth refractories. Flow and temperature distributions of the liquid iron have a significant influence on the erosion mechanism. In this work, an improved three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model is developed to simulate the flow and heat transfer phenomena in the hearth of BlueScope¿s Port Kembla No. 5 Blast Furnace. Model improvements feature more justified input parameters in turbulence modeling, buoyancy modeling, wall boundary conditions, material properties, and modeling of the solidification of iron. The model is validated by comparing the calculated temperatures with the thermocouple data available, where agreements are established within ±3 pct. The flow distribution in the hearth is discussed for intact and eroded hearth profiles, for sitting and floating coke bed states. It is shown that natural convection affects the flow in several ways: for example, the formation of (a) stagnant zones preventing hearth bottom from eroding or (b) the downward jetting of molten liquid promoting side wall erosion, or (c) at times, a vortex-like peripheral flow, promoting the ¿elephant foot¿ type erosion. A significant influence of coke bed permeability on the macroscopic flow pattern and the refractory temperature is observed.