The design of steelmaking plants make use of well established methodologies, where the uncertainties related to an approximated simulation of the technological process and the lack of accurate models of the structural behaviour are overcome by simply over sizing the most critical parts. The demand of a strong improvement in term of productivity and reliability and cost reduction requirements have completely been changing the design approach. Quite complex phenomena such as plasticity at elevated temperatures, low-cycle thermal fatigue or phase transition need to be considered.
Although these aspects have already been addressed in other technological areas, their use for designing steelmaking plants it is not straightforward and still requires further study. An industrially oriented approach need to be implemented, in order to achieve the best balance between accuracy and model complexity. The work aims to describe an example of such approach applied to the thermo-mechanical analysis of a water cooled anode for arc furnace, which is representative of the above-mentioned aspects.