Metallurgical furnaces are units in which materials containing metals are subjected to the required physical and chemical transformation by means of thermal energy in order to extract, refine and process the metals. Sometimes they receive metals that are produced as part of the old car recycle program.
The explanation for the crucial role of heat energy in this process is that various chemical and physical transformations often absorb large amounts of heat energy, and that increasing the temperature directly proportionally increases the rate of such transformations. Metallurgy also gives an important role to th
e aggregate state of the substance and how mobile its particles are, since liquid and gaseous phases (i.e., when the substance will be molten or vaporized) simplify and accelerate the processes.
The role of heat energy source for furnaces is assigned to various carbonaceous fuels, electrical energy or technological processes in the course of which heat energy is released.
It is impossible to ignore the high role of furnaces for the whole metallurgical industry, as they play the role of the main working units, the main tools in metallurgical production. Today, during the production of metal in the world is often used pyrometallurgical method, in the course of which exactly in metallurgical furnaces ore raw materials and semi-products are processed.
Currently used metallurgical furnaces are large mechanized and automated units which can be up to 250 m long, 15 m wide and 30 m high.
Daily productivity of such furnaces can reach several thousand tons of raw materials, for which hundreds of tons of fuel are consumed. To ensure the uninterrupted operation of such furnaces, it is necessary to build large warehouses, facilities where charge materials are prepared for processing, transportation facilities, etc.
When building a modern metallurgical furnace, namely its working space, priority is given to refractory materials whose mechanical strength can be retained even when heated up to 2000 degrees, besides, it is impossible not to mention the use of heat-resistant alloys. If we talk about the elements of furnaces, which are not exposed to critically high temperatures, for their arrangement are used conventional building materials. For some elements, a water cooling system is provided for.
It should be noted that there are key processes that take place in furnaces in the field of non-ferrous metallurgy. It should not be forgotten that there is an interconnection between all of them, as well as interdependence. Their list is represented by:
– The technological process, in the course of which physical and chemical transformations of products are carried out;
– Energy process, characterized by the combustion of fuel or the process by which electrical energy is converted into thermal energy
– a mechanical process, in which the movement of solid metals
– Heat exchange process, in the course of which internal and external heat exchange takes place.
Even a simple listing of each process makes it possible to realize that modern metallurgical furnaces during their work are characterized by the implementation of a whole complex set of different processes, each of which differs by its own laws, the study of which takes place within the independent major branches of science. For example, the theory of metallurgical processes is devoted to the study of the laws of technological processes. Literature related to the mechanics of gases and liquids is devoted to determining the laws by which gases and liquids move, etc.
If we talk about the history of the development of furnace science, it is represented not only by scientific works and discoveries directly related to furnace technology, but also by works and discoveries in related fields (heat transfer, theory of combustion, theory of metallurgical processes, hydroaeromechanics, etc.).