In this work it is presented a methodology applied by Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN, Brazil) in order to assess its blast furnace 3 carbon refractory hearth lining conditions. The aim of the investigation was the gathering of critical data base for blast furnace refractories life cycle follow up and eventual repair decision taking.
The sample drilling locations were chosen around the tap holes and hearth bottom areas. The advancing drilling depths were based on local temperature profiles. The isotherm limit of 500 °C was elected as a control parameter to assess the critical carbon refractory condition. The guidelines for sampling and testing as well as the results obtained through the physical and chemical characterizations of the cored samples are presented. The condition of the refractory lining is discussed under the light of the different known wear mechanisms of blast furnace hearth carbon refractories.