The solid flow inside a blast furnace is modelled using a stand-alone finite
element program and a constitutive equation called hypo-plastic, in order to better
simulate the granular material behaviour. The parameters of this constitutive equation
are calibrated using data obtained from simple soil mechanics tests on coke and sinter
materials, such as triaxial and oedometric devices. Steady velocity, stress and void
fraction fields are obtained after several iterations of the code. Knowledge of the solids
velocity field makes it possible to determine the dead man profile, as well as its renewal
kinetics. Burden trajectories and time lines are also computed. Knowledge of the stress
field makes it possible to compute pressures acting on the burden as well as on the walls.
Finally, the knowledge of the void fraction field makes it possible to determine gas paths.
The solid flow model was validated on 2D and 3D small-scale cold blast furnaces, but the
simulations never required any tuning parameter. This code is in fact an invaluable tool to
determine the effect of blast furnace profile on solid flow conditions, and vice versa.