Enhanced safety thanks to basalt lining of bunkers

At its factory in Ghent, one of the largest steel producers in the world makes steel products for a wide variety of applications, e.g. in the automotive and building industries. The plant has two blast furnaces, which are continuously filled with coke, sinter and pellets. The result is production of 4.8 million tonnes of pig iron every year.

Kalenborn has been working with this company for several decades. This time the project led us to the storage building. This is where all the raw materials are stored in various concrete bunkers before they are transported to the blast furnaces. From the stock house, the raw materials are transported via vibrating chutes onto conveyor belts and via skip cars into the blast furnace. The high throughput of materials and the particularly hard nature of the sinter and pellets are the cause of considerable wear in the bunkers – especially in the conical section of them. Impact damage, by contrast, was slight. In normal operation, the hoppers were continually filled so that new material would simply drop onto old material. Nevertheless, the maximum lifespan of the bunkers was less than nine months on average. Repairs were repeatedly having to be made in order to safeguard operations.

Our customer sought to lengthen the lifespan of the system by means of a new wear protection lining. Safety in the workplace was another key factor, since any time one of the bunkers had to be decommissioned for repairs, it would lead to hazardous working conditions. The customer therefore decided to have the conical sections in the hoppers lined with panels made of the fused cast basalt ABRESIST. The panels were installed in a bed of KALFIX cement mortar. This meant that the lifespans for the conical sections of the bunkers were lengthened to ten years or more. This improves safety and the operation of the plant, plus reducing costs considerably.