Efficiency in Steel Melting: Opportunities and Progress
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This paper summarizes the findings from a study of melting efficiency in steel foundries and provides examples of material and energy savings from improvements in technology and melting practices. This study is based on information gathered at 19 Steel Founders Society of America member foundries and includes a combination of historical data and industrial measurements by the research team. Information and data were collected on the type of melting equipment, melting practices, energy use and ladle practices. The data was statistically analyzed using STATGRAPHICS commercial software. A multiple regression analysis allowed evaluation of the influence of the melting furnace (type, size, age, and transformer power) and operating parameters such as tap temperature, tap to tap time, and furnace productivity on the energy consumption for melting steel. Also included in this paper are results from one industrial partner's site, Monett Metals, where a concerted effort was made to improve the melting operations with a goal of decreasing energy consumption and melting costs. Melting practices and equipment changes are reviewed and the results are evaluated by comparing heat balances and statistical analysis of the chemistry and energy data before and after the changes.