ATHOR Refractory Linings
Advanced THermomechanical multiscale mOdelling of Refractory linings

Welcome to ATHOR – a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training network – Innovative Training Network (ETN ITN).

ATHOR is an innovative research project dedicated to Advanced THermomechanical multiscale mOdelling of Refractory linings.

Welcome to ATHOR – a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action European Training network – Innovative Training Network (ETN ITN).

Refractories are heat-resistant materials used as inner linings of high temperature furnaces, reactors and processing units. ATHOR Advanced THermomechanical multiscale mOdelling of Refractory linings is an innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary project that brings together 7 academic beneficiaries and 8 private partners. The ATHOR network is deeply committed to provide a combination of research and training activities which will support and enlarge the initiative of the Federation for International Refractory Research and Education (FIRE).


Industrial European context

Refractories are unique ceramic materials used in linings of vessels to contain and process fluids at high temperatures. They can sustain complex combinations of thermomechanical stresses and chemical/physical wear generated by fluids and chemical agents used during process. Being the only low cost materials able to sustain operation conditions at temperatures typically above 1000°C, refractories are identified as advanced ceramics.

The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 320,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe. In particular, the European refractories industry historically grew simultaneously with the industrial revolution, Iron & Steelmaking (I&S) representing 60% of the refractory materials’ market today [1].The EU is still one of the first regions in terms of development and production of high quality refractories and the second largest producer after China, with productions of 4.1 MT valued at € 3.9 billion and 29.5 MT valued at € 14.3 billion respectively. These materials are directly related to the competitiveness of European Steel companies and contribute to the development of major European economic sectors [2].

A constant engineering of refractories is needed to cope with new and more demanding requirements in the steel making process. The steel ladle forms the hearth of the steel making process, and is a major refractory using facility accounting for about ¼ of all refractory consumption [3]. Steel ladle practices can significantly differ between regions and between steel plant according to different metallurgical processes, working conditions and refractory concepts. Dependent on its purpose and position in the steel ladle, the requirements for the refractory materials are various ranging from high thermal stability, to high erosion resistance, high corrosion resistance, penetration resistance, thermomechanical stability, impact resistance, flexibility and creep resistance [4]. The concerted work in the ATHOR program will therefore be focused on the STEEL LADLE as model installation.

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