CIVS Researchers Visit U. S. Steel Gary Works for DOE IVBF Project

October 21, 2021

On October 7th, 2021, long-time CIVS collaborator and SMSVC member company U. S. Steel hosted a plant tour and facilitated the first steps of technical research for the U. S. Department of Energy funded Integrated Virtual Blast Furnace (IVBF) project.

Project team members visited the Gary Works #14 blast furnace located on Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana. Blast furnace #14 is the largest of Gary Works’ four furnaces, and a key location for the development of the IVBF analysis tools and methodology. Attendees including CIVS included Research Associate Professor Tyamo Okosun, Research Engineer Kyle Toth, and graduate and undergraduate students Sam Nielson, John Rosser, and Nick Rheinheimer toured the facility and discussed project direction elements with the contributing team from U. S. Steel. Also attending were Prof. Jun Chen and PhD student Weixiao Shang from Purdue University West Lafayette, bringing with them a high-speed camera to take imaging data of liquid iron flow out of the furnace to use in the development of a new casting rate sensor for the IVBF project. The visit served as a kickoff for work on the casting rate sensor and provided students with a deeper understanding of the blast furnace process and its operation.

The IVBF project is awarded with a $7 million federal grant to to develop next-generation Integrated Virtual Blast Furnace, which is a tool for industrial iron and steelmaking companies to improve blast furnace energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, and to develop a virtual training model for workforce development.