Alloy Recovery and Control in Steel Melting
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Alloy recovery plays an important role in steel melting economics because the cost of alloying additives such as ferroalloys and pure non-ferrous metals is significantly higher than the cost of steel scrap. Recovery of alloying additives also influences the reproducibility of steel properties from heat to heat. This paper reviews alloy recovery and final chemistry distributions at seven steel foundries and preliminary laboratory studies of alloy dissolution in ladles. Melting and alloy practices were observed for several plant trial heats in each of the foundries. Alloying and chemistry data were collected for an additional 20 - 155 heats at each plant. The recovery of alloying additives depends on the type of furnace and individual foundry practices. EAF operations had greater variations in final chemistry performance than induction furnace operations. Laboratory experiments showed that there is a potential for increased alloy recovery and control through argon stirring with a porous plug. Argon stirring decreased mixing time by 50% and decreased the local variation in steel composition.