a machine for the compression and supply of air. The construction of the first blast blower can be traced back to 1766, when I. I. Polzunov’s steam-powered machine was used to operate bellows on one of the furnaces in the Barnaul plant. Beginning in 1782, steam-powered piston blowers were in wide use in England. Gas-powered piston blowers (using blast-furnace gas) appeared in Belgium in 1889 at the Sirene plant, and after 1900, in Russia. The first steam-turbine blowers appeared in Russia in 1905 and used steam at low (1.3 meganewtons per sq m [MN/m2]) and medium (2.9-3.5 MN/m2) pressure. Gas-turbine blowers were introduced into service beginning in 1943 in a number of European countries and later in the USA. The main user of the compressed air produced by blowers is the iron and steel industry (about 2 tons of compressed air are used in the making of 1 ton of cast iron).
To blow air into large blast furnaces with a volume of 2,300-3,000 cu m, steam-powered turbocompressors capable of supplying air at 5,500 cu m per min and an output pressure of about 0.5 MN/m2 are produced in the USSR; they are powered by 22,000-kilowatt (kW) steam turbines operating at 9 MN/m2 and 535° C. The construction of compressors with a capacity of 7,000 cu m per min at 0.55 MN/m2, driven by 30,000-kW turbines operating at 9 MN/m2 and 535° C, and more powerful turbocompressors (up to 14,000 m3/min), driven by turbines at 13 MN/m2 and 550° C, has been proposed for blast furnaces larger than 3,000 cu m. The maximum capacity of turbines used to power furnace compressors abroad does not exceed 6.7 MN/m2 at 480° C.
In addition to providing air for blast furnaces, blast blowers are used to provide compressed air for other purposes (oxygen-producing plants, Bessemer converters, and continuous steel casting plants; to support combustion in pit and heating furnaces; for production processes in foundries; and for ventilation in various types of industry).
REFERENCEPashkov, V. D. Vozdukhoduvnoe khoziaistvo metallurgicheskikh zavodov. Moscow, 1962.
V. D. PASHKOV