When a water cooled power cable is used in severe environments such as powering an EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) in a steel mill there is an enormous potential for heat, flames, ash or molten splash to severely damage the electrical cables (or series of cables) thus crippling the melting operation. This translates into unscheduled maintenance and lost production time. In some instances these costs have been estimated as high as $100,000 / hr depending on the size of the operation and production schedules.
The water-cooled furnace power cables provide a flexible source of power to permit movement of the electrode arms up and down and to allow swinging the electrode arms and roof back and forth when charging the furnace. The power cables consist of copper wire strands forming a round spiral construction which are attached to copper terminals at either end of the cable. A low temperature rubber jacket around the outside of the cable allows cooling water to flow through the cable assembly. The rubber hose is attached at either end of the cable using stainless steel clamps, vulcanized bumpers or an anti-chaffing type hose.
The danger is that molten metal splash caused by “wet charges”, or flame impingement, extreme heat, etc. will damage an unprotected power cable. This can cause a chain reaction of catastrophic events including loss in water cooling resulting in overheating or shorting of the electrical power cables and halting the melting process.
Given the large diameter of the rubber hoses surrounding the power cables and proximity to the EAF, there is a significant landing area for sparks, molten metal splash, etc. In many applications the cables are left completely unprotected and exposed to severe high temperature environments. In some cases the rubber cooling water hose is wrapped with inexpensive fiberglass tape or sleeve that offer minimal protection against possible hazards.
With a minimal capital investment, Worbo Inc.’s severe duty protective molten splash away sleeve may be installed to wrap around new or existing water cooled power cables to resist heat, flame, ash and large intermittent exposure to molten metal splash. Worbo Inc’s development of a highly flexible, molten splash resistant, easily installed and completely non-conductive sleeving solution is a perfect fit for this application.
Manufactured and designed with 100% Non-Conductive materials specifically for safe non-arcing use in close proximity to AC or DC EAF’s.
The hydrophobic, low surface energy, non-stick “Splash Away” properties of the thick silicone coating sheds large random but potentially hazardous amounts of 3000˚F molten metal splash to help maintain the integrity of the water cooled power cable until the next scheduled maintenance period.
Equipped with a hook and loop self gripping closure, EAF Cable Molten Splash away sleeve is easily field installed (or removed for maintenance) without cable disconnection.
High Shear and Peel Hook and loop self gripping closure is designed specifically for this application to ensure closure doesn’t separate during severe “jumping”, “bouncing” and “bumping” of cables during furnace arc and “cold starts”.
Combination of Heavy duty “Splash Away” silicone shield coating on thick high temperature fiberglass substrate helps insulate and defend against intermittent bouts of molten metal splash, flame impingement, burning airborne particles and high temperatures.
The Economic Benefits
Depending on the application the cost to procure and install a high temperature jacketing system could be as low as $30/ft. Relative to the enormous costs associated with unscheduled maintenance and lost production time this represent an insignificant capital investment that could pay for itself several times over through the prevention of a single unscheduled maintenance event.
Protecting electric arc furnace power cables exposed to sever high temperature environments with a high temperature jacketing system will significantly reduce unscheduled maintenance and lost production time.