The distribution of burden layers in an ironmaking blast furnace strongly influences the conditions in the upper part of the process. The bed permeability largely depends on the distribution of ore and coke in the lumpy zone, which affects the radial gas flow distribution in the shaft. Along with the continuous advancement of technology, more information about the internal conditions of the blast furnace can be obtained through advanced measurement equipment, including 2D profiles and 3D surface maps of the top burden surface. However, the change of layer structure along with the burden descent cannot be directly measured. A mathematical model predicting the burden distribution and the internal layer structure during the descending process is established in this paper. The accuracy of the burden distribution model is verified by a comparison with experimental results. A sensitivity study was undertaken to clarify the role of some factors on the arising layer distribution, including the descent-rate distribution, the initial burden surface profile, and the charging direction through the charging matrix. The findings can be used as a theoretical basis to guide plant operations for optimizing the charging.
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