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The electric arc furnace (EAF) operates as a batch melting process producing batches of molten steel known as
"heats". The electric arc furnace operating cycle is called the tap-to-tap cycle and is made up of the following

• Furnace charging
• Melting
• Refining
• De-slagging
• Tapping
• Furnace turn-around
Furnace Charging

The first step in the production of any heat is to select the grade of steel to be made. The scrap yard operator will
then prepare buckets of scrap according to the needs of the melter which is fed into the electric arc furnace.

The roof is then lowered and power is switched ON. After this the electrodes are lowered to strike an arc on the
scrap. This commences the melting portion of the cycle.


The melting period is the heart of EAF operations. Melting is accomplished by supplying energy to the furnace
interior. This energy can be electrical or chemical. Electrical energy is supplied via the graphite electrodes. The
electrodes deliver the power to the furnace in the form of an electric arc between the electrode and the furnace
charge. The arc itself is a plasma of hot, ionic gases.

At the start of melting the arc is erratic and unstable. Wide swings in current are observed accompanied by
rapid movement of the electrodes. As the furnace atmosphere heats up the arc stabilizes and once the molten
pool is formed, the arc becomes quite stable and the average power input increases.

Chemical energy is supplied via several sources including oxy-fuel burners and oxygen lances.

As soon as the scrap melts, DRI, lime is added into the furnace.


Refining operations in the electric arc furnace involve the removal of phosphorus, sulfur, aluminum, silicon,
manganese and carbon from the steel.

At the end of refining, a bath temperature measurement and a bath sample are taken. If the temperature is too
low, power may be applied to the bath.


De-slagging operations are carried out to remove impurities from the furnace. During melting and refining
operations, some of the undesirable materials within the bath are oxidized and enter the slag phase. These are
removed by tilting the electric arc furnace & carrying out the De-slagging operation.


Once the desired steel composition and temperature are achieved in the furnace, the tap-hole is opened, the
furnace is tilted, and the steel pours into a ladle for transfer to the next batch operation in a ladle furnace. During
the tapping process bulk alloy additions are made based on the bath analysis and the desired steel grade.

Furnace Turn-around
Furnace turn-around is the period following completion of tapping until the furnace is recharged for the next heat.
During this period, the electrodes and roof are raised and the furnace lining is inspected for refractory damage. If
necessary, repairs are made to the hearth, slag-line, tap-hole and spout. In the case of a bottom-tapping
furnace, the tap hole is filled with sand.

Electric Power is fed into a furnace to melt Scrap, DRI, HBI etc. The approximate power requirements for melting
the same are as follows :

DRI : 540 KWH / Tonne

HBI : 600 KWH / Tonne

Scrap : 350 KWH / Tonne

Per Minute Power Input into the Furnace

Ex. at Tap 23. Power = 95 MW

Therefore KWH / Min = 95000 / 60 = 1583.33


ectrode Arms

Input power at 33 KV Water Cooled




The Electrode Regulation System is based on three independent impedance controllers, corresponding to three
different phases, and a superimposed current controller affecting all the three phases. This is known as
Impedance Control.

Impedance (Z) = Secondary Voltage (V) / Secondary Current (I)

The Secondary voltage signal is taken from the Secondary side of the Transformer. The Secondary Current is
measured with the help of Rogowski Coil.

This method attempts to hold the ratio of voltage to electrical current constant, hence its description as
'impedance' control. A voltage signal taken from the phase and a current signal are each compared . If the
voltage and current are each at a desired level - the set point, chosen by the steelmaker - the output from this
comparison of signals is arranged to be zero. If however the current exceeds this level its signal increases and
simultaneously the voltage decreases. Then the two back-to back voltages do not balance and an output voltage
is generated. This signal goes to the hydraulic regulating valve in such a way to command the electrode to raise,
aimed at reducing current. Similarly the electrode goes down when current is below the desired level.

The electrode arms fitted with water cooled cables on a mast are moved vertically up & down by a hydraulic
cylinder incorporated in the mast. Since the arc length is dependent, amongst other things, on the ever changing
level of scrap or liquid under the electrode it is necessary to have an automatic control over electrode position --
the regulation system.

The regulation system influences many important aspects of furnace performance, such as energy input, mean
current, arc stability, scrap melting pattern, energy losses to water-cooled panels, energy, electrode and
refractory consumption.


Sec Voltage (from Sec phase) REGULATION
Sec Current (Rogowski coil)

Primary Secondary

Hydraulic valves command to cylinders which raise / lower the electrodes.


There are two modes of operation.

Manual Mode & Auto Mode

Manual Mode

The electrodes are controlled by Manual raise or lower signals.

Auto Mode

The electrodes are controlled by the Impedance controller inside the Electrode Regulation Panel, which is limited
by the current controller.

First the Gantry with the electrodes is placed over the Electric Arc Furnace. All the 3 electrodes are brought
down manually upto the gantry Delta. The electrode movements are placed in Auto mode. After this the Furnace
High Voltage Breaker is switched ON. The Electrodes are lowered automatically till an arc is struck between the
Electrode tips & Scrap. The Voltage & Current signals are then fed into the Impedance Controller of the
Electrode Regulation System.

Predefined Set values of Impedance & Current limits at various taps of Transformer are compared with the
actual values. Based on this, error signals are generated which is sent to the Hydraulic Valves for lifting or
lowering the electrodes.

Protection of Electrodes – Touch Down on Conducting Material

Whenever the electrodes touch down on non-conducting material, the same is detected electrically and stops
further movement of electrodes. This is known as safety device. The electrodes try to strike an arc when near a
conducting material. If the material happens to be non-conductive, the electrode is still lowered. This drops the
hydraulic pressure of the lifting lowering cylinders beyond a set trip value. The electrodes are then raised
automatically. This saves the electrodes from breaking & prevents stoppage of furnace.

Arc Length

The Arc length is derived from the following thumb rule.

Arc Length = Arc Voltage – 40

Arc Power = (Voltage V) x (Voltage V)

Impedance Z

Arc Power = Input Power – Losses ( Transformer loss + Bus Tube loss + Electrode Arm Loss + Water Cooled

Cable Loss + Electrode Loss)