The problem of the furnace slag penetration into the ladle is inseparably connected with the process of steel furnaces tap holes closing and opening. We are talking about the so-called slag free tapping. Different closure designs are used just in connection with the so-called slag free tapping. All these devices practically try to minimize the penetration of furnace slag into the ladle during tapping. In practice, however, it is never a complete avoidance of the furnace slag penetration into the ladle. The design and layout of the tap holes vary according to the furnace type. For this reason, the conditions for opening and closing the tap holes (openings) are also changed, consequently the design of the device for the tap holes closing and opening differs. Various ways for closing and opening of metallurgical aggregates tapping holes are used in practice. There may be also some complications during the opening process. There are complications especially with the tap holes, into which a mixture of liquid slag and metal penetrates during the tapping and subsequently, this mixture solidifies. The paper presents selected designs of devices for closing and opening tap holes and examples of their use in practice.Keywords: steelmaking, tap hole, slag free tapping, tapping process, slag detection
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