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Steel Foundry Temperature Measurement: Foundry, Melt Shop & Caster

Temperature Control for Steel Foundry, Melt Shop & Caster

Refractory vessels of various types are used in the melt shop or steel making area to hold molten iron or steel, known as hot metal. Before hot metal is introduced to these vessels, the vessel must be preheated. If hot metal is introduced to a cold vessel, then the metal can pop and explode over the sides of the vessel, creating a serious safety hazard.

Why Wavelength Matters

Using a unique narrow-band wavelength, Williamson offers unequaled performance for accurate and repeatable steel foundry temperature measurement. Careful wavelength selection allows Williamson steel infrared temperature sensors to view through, water, steam, smoke, flames, dust and other common interferences which may be found in the Steel Melt Shop and Continuous Caster zones.

Ladle Preheat

Application Overview

Effective refractory preheat temperature control is important for energy efficiency and safety. Thermocouple based process control, monitoring atmosphere or exhaust gas temperature has proven to be a crude, inaccurate and costly approach. Instead, infrared pyrometers allow direct control of the refractory temperature with immediately clear and obvious advantages.

Hood temperature at Steel Foundry
Williamson Wavelength Advantage

Using a unique narrowband wavelength, Williamson offers the only short-wavelength and the only fiber-optic pyrometers directly measure refractory temperature while clearly viewing through flames and combustion gases without interference.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Assurance of adequate preheating.
  • 17% reduction in fuel costs
  • 20% more heats between relinings
  • Faster, more predictable cycle times
  • Extended refractory life.
  • Elimination of thermocouple maintenance and replacement
Wavelength Technology
  • Short-Wavelength (SW) Technology for robust readings
  • Narrow-band wavelength to clearly view through flames and combustion gases without interference
  • Fiber optic configuration to tolerate high ambient temperatures

Hood Temperature

Application Overview

In the melt shop area, exhaust gasses and hot particulates are collected by an exhaust hood and are sent to a bag house for filtering. If too hot, these gasses and particulate may cause a fire in the bag house, so the exhaust gas temperature is monitored as a precaution. Some plants also elect to monitor the exhaust hood refractory temperature.

Williamson Wavelength Advantage

Careful narrow band wavelength selection allows us to either monitor the hood temperature or gas temperature. Wavelength set FC measures where these exhaust gases are most opaque and is therefore used to measure the temperature of the gas without the influence of the refractory wall temperature. Wavelength set 16 measures where these exhaust gases are most transparent and is therefore used to measure the temperature of the refractory wall.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Assures process safety and efficiency.
Wavelength Technology
  • Accurately measure exhaust hood and/or gas temperature.


Application Overview

At the continuous caster, molten steel is poured from ladles into a tundish where it flows through a mold, forming a thin slab. The cooled mold creates a thin, solid wall on the slab. Upon exiting from the mold, the slab is then sprayed with water to continue the solidification process. The temperature of the steel as it is cooling is a critical process parameter. When cooled slowly the outer walls will soften and bulge, resulting in longitudinal cracking and excessive wear on roller bearings. When cooled quickly lateral cracks will form as the metal is straightened at the end of the casting process, and bearings at this point in the process will be stressed.

Williamson pyrometer aimed at a Steel Caster
Williamson Wavelength Advantage

The caster environment is one of the most demanding in the steel mill. High ambient temperatures and heavy steam combine to create an abusive condition that few sensors can survive. Williamson’s unique armored fiber optic accessories, combined with the industries only dual-wavelength technology able to view through steam and water, provide unequaled, trouble-free performance for this demanding application.

Pyrometer Benefits
  • Reliable and continuous measure of steel temperature assures consistent properties and optimal caster speed.
  • Elimination of cracking and bulging.
  • Minimization of wear and tear on bearing surfaces.
  • Reduced potential for breakout.
Wavelength Technology
  • Specific wavelength selection allows for viewing through heavy steam and water spray without interference.
  • Dual-Wavelength technology is able to view through dirty windows and automatically compensate for scale and misalignment 20x better than Two-Color pyrometer.
  • ArmorGuard fiber optic system allows the sensor to survive even the most hostile caster environment.

Consult With One of Williamson’s Temperature Experts

We would love to discuss your temperature measurement application with you.

Talk to an Expert