Molten Steel Splash of Over 1000 Degrees! Multiple People Suffer Burns Covering Over 90% of Their Bodies!

On April 26, an incident occurred at Shengli Machinery Factory, involving a molten steel splash from a medium-frequency furnace, leading to burns. After the steel leakage, the company did not promptly evacuate personnel, and some employees gathered to watch, resulting in injuries to four people, three of whom suffered burns covering more than 90% of their bodies.

The accident took place in the casting workshop’s medium-frequency furnace melting area, which has two 1-ton medium-frequency furnaces. The incident involved furnace number 2. The production process is as follows: raw material preparation (scrap steel + ferroalloy) → melting the steel in the medium-frequency furnace (steel tapping temperature around 1600°C) → casting and molding.

01 Incident Process

On April 26, at approximately 7:30 AM, the number 2 medium-frequency furnace in the casting workshop began smelting the first batch of molten steel, with nine employees working on-site. At around 9:24:55 AM, the bottom of the medium-frequency furnace burned through, causing molten steel to leak into the ladle pit in front of the furnace. The operator then cut off the power supply to the heating system. Subsequently, the on-site employees organized the tilting of the medium-frequency furnace to transfer the molten steel inside the furnace to the ladle.

At approximately 9:27 AM, molten steel suddenly splashed from the mouth of the medium-frequency furnace, causing burns to four employees on-site (employees numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the diagram).

02 Preliminary Analysis of the Cause of the Accident
Based on on-site inspection, inquiries, and expert discussions, the preliminary judgment is that the accident was caused by a localized burn-through of the refractory layer between the second and third layers of the water-cooled copper induction coil beneath the medium-frequency furnace body, leading to steel leakage. During the furnace tilting process, the leak hole enlarged, and the leaking molten steel burned through the induction coil. The cooling water inside the induction coil leaked, rapidly vaporized upon contact with the high-temperature molten steel, and caused the molten steel to suddenly splash, resulting in burns to four employees in front of the furnace. The specific cause is still under further investigation.

03 Main Issues Exposed by the Accident
Preliminary investigation revealed the following issues with the company involved in the accident:
1. Chaotic Safety Management: The company had inadequate safety risk controls for the leakage of high-temperature molten metal. The medium-frequency furnace lacked safety monitoring devices for its cooling water. The company’s management was unaware of significant accident hazards in the machinery industry and unfamiliar with relevant safety laws, regulations, and standards.

2. Inadequate Emergency Response: The company lacked basic safety training and education, and had not conducted emergency rescue drills. When the steel leakage occurred, they did not promptly evacuate unrelated personnel from the vicinity. Instead, some employees from other positions gathered to watch, which increased the number of injuries.

Molten metal splashes are a common hazard in metal smelting and casting plants. Ordinary clothing cannot withstand the dangers posed by high-temperature molten metal splashes. Specialized clothing not only refers to flame-resistant garments. Common flame-resistant cotton and aramid flame-resistant clothing can resist flame damage to a certain extent, but in the case of molten metal splashes, the fabric will inevitably burn through and even adhere to the skin, causing secondary injuries. The temperature of molten metal such as molten steel reaches as high as 1600 degrees Celsius, and the damage caused by contact with the skin is unimaginable!

To address these hazards, Weileit Technology recommends METAL STOPPER® and LIFE SAFE® HS fabrics.

Advantages of METAL STOPPER®
– Specifically developed for the metal smelting industry.
– Proven in practice to resist not only aluminum and iron but also high-temperature molten substances such as silicon, zinc, magnesium, and cryolite.
– Moisture-wicking and lightweight.

Advantages of LIFE SAFE® HS
– Specially developed for the high-temperature smelting industry.
– Demonstrates more significant resistance to radiant heat in front of high-temperature heat sources.
– Effectively resists radiant heat, contact heat, and sudden flame and high-temperature substance splashes during daily operations.

 

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