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|Flow maldistribution in the iron blast furnace has been studied analytically by the use of the vectorial form of the Ergun equation and experimentally via packed columns and a cold model of a blast furnace. Experimental results are presented showing the effect on fluid flow patterns of the following types of nonuniformities in a packed bed: the increased voidage at the wall ("wall effect"), the decreased voidage at the interface between layers of materials with different sizes and shapes, and the differences in resistance to flow of bulk regions of a column with different sizes and shapes. The proposed theory is applied to the calculation of fluid flow patterns for these nonuniformities. Velocity profiles, as calculated from these flow patterns, were found to agree reasonably well with experimental measurements obtained via hot wire anemometry techniques for laboratory scale packed columns. Calculated fluid flow patterns are presented for blast furnace burdens which show how flow patterns are affected by (a) coke segregation and (b) the relative differences in resistance to flow between coke and oxide pellet layers. For the cold model study, calculated flow patterns are presented based on photographs of a given burden distribution. The velocity profiles calculated from these flow patterns were found to agree reasonably well with the velocity profiles measured from the cold Model.|