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|Following a theoretical consideration of the effect of flooding, fluidisation and softening on blast furnace blowing limits, results are presented which show the effect of these parameters on operation. Industrial trials on Oscar Sinigaglia No. 4 BF are reported and results compared with those obtained theoretically and in the laboratory. It is shown that in these trials the furnace operated at levels of fluidisation very much (80-90%) below those theoretically calculated whereas in some cases (high proportion of sinter) actual hot metal output was near the calculated flooding limit. However, it was observed that as the sinter percentage decreases also actual productivity becomes lower than the one caused by flooding. This gap, which increases as other ferrous components (essentially acidic) replace the basic sinter was explained by the softening of the burden under bosh conditions. Softening indices measured on the individual materials yield support to this explanation. Coke rates data show that for approximately every one percent increase in the basic sinter in place of blended sized ore, a coke rate decrease of 1.1 kg/thm results. For acidic pellets this value is 0.6 kg/thm. Results of breakdown and reduction characteristics are also given and their indices compared with actual pt oduction. Measures to improve operations are proposed.|