Level Measurement & Control

Level measurement in blast furnaces

February 2010 Level Measurement & Control

The Vegapuls 68 radar sensor.

The harsh operating conditions in a blast furnace call for robust instrumentation that can withstand dust, material compositions and very high temperatures. Level measurement of raw materials such as coal, coke, iron ore and limestone, as well as measurement of the contents of the steel pans after the blast furnace has been tapped, is an integral part of the steel making process.

Monitoring the optimal height of the sinter bed

Limestone, coke and various additives, together with iron ore, are necessary for the production of raw iron. To achieve a better gas exchange in the blast furnace, the iron ore and additives are baked together during the sintering process.

This is where Vega’s non-contact radar sensor for solids, the Vegapuls 68 proves its suitability for measuring level without being affected by the high temperatures. Its applications extend from level measurement in the charging bunker of the sinter cooler to height measurement on the sinter cooler and the sinter belt conveyor.

To protect the sensor electronics from high temperature the antenna is air-cooled and mounted separately from the sensor.

Monitoring the charging of the blast furnace

Due to the extremely harsh operating conditions in a blast furnace, heavy mechanical plumb line systems were often used previously, now modern radar sensors like the Vegapuls 68 can solve this measurement problem more efficiently and accurately.

Using several sensors, the surface profile in the blast furnace can be systematically analysed. Mounting the sensor in a suitable slide valve allows it to be separated from the process anytime during operation.

Tapping the furnace

When the blast furnace is tapped the raw iron flows into pan or torpedo cars and is taken to the foundry or to a converter for further processing. With temperatures over 1400°C and extreme dust and steam generation, measuring the contents of the steel pans places high demands on the sensors, an ideal application for Vega’s non-contact radar level measurement devices.

The sensors have high measuring rates and precision and excellent focusing of the radar signals allows measurement to take place during filling, even through the relatively small openings in the torpedo car. A rinsing air connection ensures that the antenna system stays clean during the intense shower of sparks and dust that occurs during filling. Under cramped conditions angled antenna extensions allow the sensors to be optimally located with the electronics mounted in protected surroundings.

For more information contact John Groom, Vega Instruments SA, +27 (0)11 958 1901, john.groom@za.vega.com, www.vega.com


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