Modern steelworks involve the three production stages: steelmaking, refining, and continuous casting. In steelmaking–continuous casting, a ladle corresponds to the furnace (smelting molten steel converter) used in container production.
Ladles are generally cylindrical, with an open top, and a small offcentre casting nozzle in the base. They consist of an external steel shell (50-100 rnrn thick), and several layers of internal refractory lining (up to 400 mm). A refractory-lined steel lid can be used to cover the top of the ladle.
Under normal operating conditions, a vertical temperature gradient forms in the ladle. This thermal stratification is undesirable. It generally causes variations in casting temperature (degrading caster performance).
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