Design and manufactured new refractory relining for RHI Technologies

Engineering company, Petrel Engineering, of Cape Town has developed and manufactured sophisticated refractory relining machines, or terminators, for RHI Technologies, an international company which supplies refractory material for the steel-producing industry.

Units have been supplied to RHI’s globally situated clients in Germany, Spain, Qatar, and South Africa. A multimillion-rand contract was awarded to Petrel Engineering in January 2007 for two new terminators, which are for a client based in India. It has been forecast that over the next twelve months, between three and four more units will be ordered for other parts of the world, increasing the converter steel production by between 30% and 50%.

The client’s brief to Petrel was for the company to develop an automatic machine capable of operating at the ambient temperature of 1 200 °C of a steelmaking arc furnace. Further, it is required that the machine is able to take digital images of the lining of the furnace, process the data and adjust a sophisticated boom to spray refractory material onto the lining of the furnace. Pressure vessels filled with gunning material provide the supply of an abrasive lining substance that is mixed with water in a sophisticated spray nozzle.

A computerised automatic remote control will manipulate the arm and nozzle in such a way that every part of the oven is reached. Petrel is installing precision encoders to guide the nozzles to those parts of the oven that need relining as detected by the camera, and the company’s advanced hydraulic drive system ensures completely smooth movements of all components.

The design of the refractory relining machine is based on Petrel’s proven knuckle boom range of cranes.The challenge in these projects lay in providing an adequate cooling system, which has been overcome with a sophisticated design to deliver water and compressed air to cool the system.

All the initial testing of the terminators will take place at Petrel’s premises in Epping, Germany, where conditions will be simulated to be as close as possible to the real application.

Petrel Engineering, was founded in 1947 and is a manufacturer and supplier of deck equipment to the fishing and shipping industries, as well as being known for its custom-designed-and-built subsea, marine, mining, naval, and civils engineered products.