Development of a Process to Continuously Melt, Refine and Cast High Quality Steel
The purpose of this project is to conduct research and development targeted at developing a design for a steel making process that will revolutionize the way steel is made in the 21st century. The process being developed will be less capital and energy intensive to both build and maintain, significantly more productive, safer, environmentally friendly and cost effective to operate, and will produce higher quality steel faster than traditional batch processes. This process will deliver high quality steel from scrap to the casting mold in one continuous process. In the continuous steelmaking process (see Figure), three continuous vessels directly connect the electric arc furnace with the continuous caster replacing current batch ladle operations. The vessels are designed for fast, near-equilibrium reactions to ensure a large degree of control, productivity, flexibility, and to reduce maintenance with oxidizing conditions in the first two vessels (EAF, Oxidizer) and reducing conditions in the Reducer and Finisher. A series of two vessels with similar near-equilibrium conditions allows for optimum refining and for the minimization of variations in fluid flow (residence time distributions) and composition (chemistry, inclusion), contributing to the reliability and flexibility of the process. The sequential refining and the near-equilibrium, steady-state operation of the continuous process allow for increased refining and reduced alloy and flux consumptions as compared to the current EAF-LMF steelmaking route.
K. D. Peaslee et al., "Development of a Process to Continuously Melt, Refine and Cast High Quality Steel,", Jan 2006.
Materials Science and Engineering
United States. Department of Energy
Article - Journal