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High-Res Thermal Imaging for Slag Detection

April 1, 2019
A continuous thermal monitoring system accurately detects of slag carryover in steelmaking by tracking the transition from steel to slag during tapping

AMETEK Land’s Slag Detection System (SDS-E) is a continuous thermal monitoring system, which provides accurate and timely detection of slag carryover in steelmaking, including stainless and alloy steels. It uses a high-resolution thermal imaging camera to detect the transition between steel and slag: At the end of the tap, the levels of slag and steel rapidly reverse. Quick termination of the tap after an alarm has been triggered is necessary to prevent excessive levels of slag in the ladle.

The dedicated thermal-imaging camera is specifically designed to survive in the harsh operating conditions and uses a particular wavelength to reduce “blackouts” caused by smoke and fumes. Data presented to operators in real time enables them to make informed decisions about the tapping process.

Use of the SDS-E has been demonstrated to improve operator response time, and consistency at the end of each tap. This results in a typical reduction in slag depths of up to 25%, compared with traditional methods of stream monitoring.

The cost of additional downstream processing time and materials can be a significant burden on an operating plant. By controlling slag carry-over, costly downstream processing can be reduced or eliminated, improving plant throughput and operating margins.

As the tap commences, application-dedicated software records it, using a stream identification algorithm and produces a data log and graph for quality control. A stream tracking mechanism is included to ensure reliable operation in typical installation conditions. When slag appears and exceeds an operator-defined amount, an alarm automatically triggers. The system is designed to ensure accurate detection of steel/slag that is independent of charge weight and without operator intervention.
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