The full course consists of three modules which should be taken in sequence in order to complete the full course.
Module 1 – Principles and considerations
This module covers what a refractory material is and the different types of refractories (acid, neutral and basic materials, bricks, hollow-ware, castable refractories, cements, rammed and sintered materials). Selection of different materials for different applications and how refractory cost varies through the process route are considered. The different influences on refractory wear (erosion, corrosion, thermal and mechanical shock…) and the role of carbon are introduced. The operational considerations to manage refractory performance such as drying, curing, preheat and thermal cycles as well as stable operating conditions are noted.
Module 2 – Refractories for steelmaking processes
Module 2 builds upon the principles discussed in Module 1 and considers the refractories used in primary steelmaking processes in the Basic Oxygen Steelmaking Furnace (BOF) and the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). The module introduces the different types of refractory used in different parts of the furnace and the reasons for these choices. The need to protect, replace or repair refractory in areas of high wear are noted and the effect of progressive wear and repair on furnace operational costs and in determining the optimal timing of reline.
Module 3 – Ladle, tundish and casting refractories
Module 3 discusses refractory types and requirements in the secondary steelmaking, refining and continuous casting process (ladle, tundish and continuous casting). The purpose of different refractories in different parts of the process and operation are introduced. The importance of control of thermal cycles (correct preheat and control operating cycle) as well as control of flow and temperature for metal and slag to ensure both good product quality and optimum refractory performance are noted. Examples are given of refractory failure and wear and how design and operation aim to avoid this.