Tundish Carrier

 

What is a tundish?

In a steel mill the molten steel is carried from the furnace to the oven in ladles. The ladle doesn't usually pour directly into the caster but instead pours into a tundish; a large rectangular container to allow ladles to be switched without interrupting flow to the continuous caster. It also allows the flow into the caster to be at a constant distance and approximately constant flow rate. This makes a large difference on the quality of the steel. 

 

HotTundishDumping.png

The Carrier

While at Kress I was tasked with creating the world's first mobile tundish carrier. At many steel mill sites after a while a tundish will need to be emptied while full, for a variety of reasons. This usually is performed indoors at the mill creating a large amount of dust affecting surrounding operations and presenting a safety hazard due to particulate matter getting into employees' eyes and mouths. 

The carrier was an adaption of an old slagpot carrier to lift the tundish and carrier outside to the slag dumping station. Due to the heat of the molten steel (>2700°F) the tundish had to be held completely behind the carrier so that the radiant heat wouldn't ignite the tires and to help protect from splash back. 

To incorporate the existing large dump cylinders on the machine I designed a very heavy duty linkage system to rotate the tundish the required 185°. After several design iterations I settled on a linkage setup that would provide the required range of motion without possible binding point. To help optimize the design I created a python script to simulate the forces on each of the links and used this to tweak the dimensions so that even at worst case the loads were evenly distributed throughout the linkage.