Among the most demanding work environments in any industry, steel mills employ equipment that has to endure severe heat, chemical reactions and abrasion. Eaton introduces a new product that stands up to these extreme conditions, helping reduce downtime and increase productivity.
During the melt cycle, carbon black is injected with compressed air through hoses into an electric arc furnace, creating a foamy slag layer, which helps regulate the chemistry and temperature of the molten steel, and shields it from the electric arc.
But the highly abrasive carbon black quickly wears through most rubber hoses, including traditional ‘gunite’ hoses that steel mills use in 1½-inch inside diameters and lengths from 3 to 25 feet to move carbon black in slurry or granular form at pressures of 100 psi or less. Carbon black eventually wears completely through the gum rubber hose, and even through conventional fittings, especially if the assembly includes any 90-degree bends.
Fugitt Rubber Supply, an Eaton Aeroquip Premiere Select distributor was asked by one of its customers to find a solution for increasing the service life of injection hoses to reduce scheduled maintenance requirements and enhance furnace uptime.
Fugitt Rubber employees applied their knowledge of the application and connection systems to develop a custom stainless steel fitting wherein the hose passes completely through the inner diameter of the fitting, and ends flush with a male camlock-style connection. This straight-through design and permanent attachment helped minimise flow restrictions and abrasion failures.
Subsequently, Fugitt called on Eaton to develop an industrial hose for carbon black injection applications. Eaton engineers in Newbern, Tennessee designed a hose that would perform optimally when paired with the Fugitt fitting.
The new carbon black injection hose assemblies delivered up to five times the service life of the gum rubber hose assemblies in extensive field trials. Being lighter, more flexible, less expensive and easier to handle with lower risk of critical damage during installation, the carbon black injection hoses offered significant advantages over gunite rubber hoses.
Since its introduction, Eaton has delivered approximately 60,000 feet of carbon black injection hose to Fugitt, which in turn sells hose assemblies to several steel mills. Based on parts alone, these new hose assemblies could save steel mills more than $10 million in the first year.
Key benefits of the new industrial hose assemblies:
- Longer service life than gum rubber hose and angled fittings
- Helps keep furnaces in operation longer between scheduled maintenance events
- Reduces the need for replacement with four to five times the service life of gum rubber assemblies
- Reduced chances of premature failure, which means lower risk of lost batches and cleanup costs
- 75% reduction in assembly changeovers also means greater uptime