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Processes - Ferrous (Iron / Steel): Material Handling

Ladles and tundishes are refractory lined vessels that carry or hold molten materials from one step of the steel making process to the next.

Ladles

  • Used to transfer liquid iron from a torpedo car (material that just arrived from the blast furnace) to a BOF vessel.
  • Used to transport molten steel from an EAF furnace to a ladle refining station and/or a continuous casting operation.

Tundish

  • Receives molten refined steel from a ladle and is used as a "reservoir" of liquid steel to feed the continuous caster.

Ladles and tundishes are high-maintenance items for steel makers. Refractory repair / re-lining is a constant operation. Air-Fuel or Oxy-Fuel burners are commonly used to dry refractories and preheat the vessels (to accept the molten metal without "freezing").

Effective ladle preheating provides for a reduced need to "superheat" the molten material in a BOF or EAF. Tundish heating systems also are used for drying and preheating. Plasma arc heating has been applied at numerous facilities worldwide and in at least one U.S. steel maker.