Well-designed thermoprocess equipment has a service life of more than 30 years. However, the refractory materials used need to be replaced more often, which has a negative impact on the carbon footprint and cost efficiency. Premature failure of the refractories can cause major damage. Precise definition of the requirements of the furnace materials based on furnace models and knowledge of their thermo-mechanical properties and failure behaviour make it possible to avoid damage and extend maintenance cycles.
For new types of furnace plants, the potential CO2 savings by design and process control shall be calculated for large-scale operation. This also includes the wear of the refractory materials due to thermomechanical loads. Lifetime models are decisive for a reliable prognosis of the failure probability. In this way, the contribution of the refractory materials to the overall CO2 footprint of the thermal processes is to be determined and optimisation potential identified.