Integrated steel mills use torpedo cars to transport molten metal from the blast furnace to the steelworks. Each car has a torpedo shaped ladle that can carry up to 250 tons of liquid metal. The ladle is lined with refractory brick to keep the contents liquid and protect the outer steel shell. The volatility and erosive nature of molten metal make monitoring the torpedo car's refractory lining a vital maintenance function. The consequence of a breakout is considerable, in terms of safety and cost. A single breakout can cost US$250 000 or more.
The Land Ladle Safety System, which uses a Landscan Infrared Linescanner, produces highly detailed thermal profiles of each side of the car from a short distance. This enables the Safety System to view very small surface details.
As each car passes a measurement station, ID tags on the car provide a car number and temperature data to the monitoring software. The direction of movement is also detected.
An image file is automatically saved for each side of every car with the same information. In addition, the complete view is divided in areas (50 for example). For each area the maximum and average temperatures are stored in an historical database. This provides long term trending of individual areas on each torpedo car. This database and stored images are accessible from computers on the company network. It is also possible to transfer data to the company process control system for further analysis and storage.
* Avoidance of a breakout and its consequences - time, material, labour.
* Automated process - saves cost and man time.
* Historical thermal image database of both sides of every car.
* Analysis of area data over a long time can reduce refractory relining cost, by permitting more runs between relines and the ability to do partial relines.
* Increased safety.
* Improved confidence in refractory condition and safety of cars.
* Planned refractory relining maintenance schedule.
Landscan temperature measurement system
The Landscan LSP series linescanner head is extremely compact and has a minimised depth and base footprint. A built-in laser targeting system aids alignment on to the target.
* Compact size with robust sapphire window.
* Wide angle 80° scan.
* Scan speed 10-100Hz (adjustable).
* 100:1 field of view (95% energy).
* Built-in laser to define scan plane and angle.
* Single cable connection.
The output from the linescanner head is converted into a data string of 100 readings per scan line with a maximum frequency of 100 lines/second and is transmitted to a Landscan Control processor. The Landscan Control processor provides all the calculations required, such as zone output and alarms for each scan line. The Landscan Control Batch (LSC-B) provides additional product orientated functionality. LSC-B can detect, in conjunction with the ID tag reader, the beginning and end of the torpedo car and stores the measured data internally. The LSC-B calculates area temperatures, based on this two dimensional array. For a torpedo car the array is typically divided into 50 fields (5x10).
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