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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 2225-6253


BANDA, W.K.; STEENKAMP, J.D.  and  MATINDE, E.. An investigation into the wear mechanisms of carbon- and silicon carbide-based refractory materials by silicomanganese alloy. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2020, vol.120, n.5, pp.333-344. ISSN 2411-9717.

Two carbon-based refractories were studied to elucidate the main wear mechanisms when in contact with SiMn alloy. The aim was to determine which refractory would be most suitable for application in the hearth area of a SiMn producing furnace. Thermodynamic calculations were conducted in FactSage™ 7.2 at temperatures of 1550°C, 1600°C, and 1650°C, with alloys containing 15, 17, and 18 mass % Si, in contact with type K or type SiC refractories. The calculations revealed that the SiMn alloy was not saturated in either C or SiC. In line with FactSage™ calculations, type SiC refractory (15 mass % Si) experienced the most wear when the temperature was varied. SEM analysis revealed that SiMn infiltrated both refractories, with type SiC experiencing more infiltration due to its porous nature. Type K refractory underwent the most wear when the temperature was 1600°C and the Si content varied from 15 to 18 mass %. Carbon solubility in the alloy decreased with increasing Si content, and the alloy was saturated with SiC at 17 mass % Si. SEM analysis revealed SiC precipitation products on the type K refractory surfaces. Similar to observations on temperature tests, higher infiltration was observed in type SiC refractory than in type K refractory. Type K refractory was assessed as the most suitable refractory to use in the hearth area of a SiMn producing furnace. In industry, carbon-based refractories generally last 1.2 times longer than SiC-based refractories in the tap-hole.

Keywords : carbon solubility; SiC solubility; FactSage™; rotating finger test; ramming paste.

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