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Steel belongs to iron carbon system.

This system has a unique feature to alloy with several
elements of the periodic table to produce materials for diversified applications.
Iron‐Carbon system is capable of creating any desired property by altering the microstructure
through surface hardening, heat treatment and deformation processing. Steel is recyclable and
hence is a “green material”. The above attributes make steel to be the most important engineering
Broadly we have either plain carbon (carbon is the principle alloying element) or alloy (in
addition to carbon there are other alloying elements like Nb, V, W, Cr, Ni etc) steel.
The alloy steels are classified as low (less than 5 weight% alloying elements), medium (in
between 5 to 10 weight percent alloying elements) and high alloy steels (more than 10 weight
percent alloying elements).
Whether plain carbon or alloyed ones, all steels contain impurities like sulphur, phosphorus,
hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon and manganese, tramp elements like copper, tin, antimony,
and non‐metallic inclusions. These impurities are to be controlled during steelmaking.
Carbon imparts strength to iron. It reduces ductility and impact strength. But presence of carbon
allows heat treatment procedures.
Sulphur segregates during solidification (segregation coefficient is 0.02). Sulphur causes hot
shortness due to formation of FeS formed during solidification of steel. Sulphide inclusions
lower weldability and corrosion resistance. Presence of sulphur may also lead to development of
tear and cracks on reheating the steel.
Phosphorus segregates during solidification (segregation coefficient is 0.02). Presence of
phosphorus impairs plastic properties.
Silicon and manganese Silicon reduces the drawing capacity of steel. Manganese is beneficial; it
increases strength without affecting ductility and sharply reduces hot shortness.
Gases: Nitrogen impairs plastic properties and increases embrittlement at lower temperatures.
Hydrogen causes defects such as flakes, fish‐scale fracture.
Inclusions: Presence of inclusions at the grain boundary weakens intra‐granular bonds.
Inclusions also act as stress concentrators. Some type of inclusions is brittle.
Tramp elements: Tramp elements like copper, zinc, tin, antimony etc create problems during
reheating of steels because their melting points are much lower than steel reheat temperature.

Steel making
The concept of modern steelmaking is to make use of the steelmaking vessels like converter,
ladle and tundish of a continuous caster. In all these vessels molten steel is handled for one or the
other purpose.
For examples ladles are used to transfer the molten steel either to ingot casting or continuous
casting. Tundish of a continuous caster is used to transfer molten steel to the continuous casting

mould. Duplex blowing or hybrid blowing. • In some converters. a) Types of converter steel making • In converter steel making pure oxygen is blown from top through a water cooled lance fitted with multi-hole nozzles. removal of gases. The basic idea of employing ladles and tundishes for either refining or composition adjustment or for producing clean steels is to use the steelmaking units like converter and electric furnace for producing steels without much bothering for final chemistry. and (c) Bottom blowing . in ladle and tundish. �2 is blown from top and bottom and these processes are called top and bottom blowing. removal of inclusions etc. Types of converter steelmaking (a) Top blown steelmaking (b) Combined top and bottom blowing. The objective is to refine hot metal to the nearly desired chemistry. control of S. In all these vessels the residence time of molten steel is sufficiently long so as to carry out some refining operations like composition adjustment. These are called combined top blowing and bottom stirred processes. • In another version of converter steelmaking oxygen is blown from top and bath is gas stirred through the bottom. This technology of refining of hot metal is called top blown steelmaking. Modern steelmaking comprises of hot metal / scrap to finished products through the following a) Primary steel making b) Secondary steel making c) Continuous casting d) Finishing operations Primary steel making: Primary steel making consists of refining of hot metal or scrap + hot metal to steel in a) Converter and b) Electric furnace.

8% and P ~ 0. Mn~ 0.5 to 4%.6 to 0. with or without bottom stirring or post combustion. Now a day EAF has occupied a unique position in the steel industry: EAF can be switched over easily to produce plain C or alloy steel depending on the market requirements. Graphite electrodes are used to supply the current. Electric energy is the principle source of thermal energy.e.Principle chemical reactions Hot metal contains C ~ 3. EAF can be either normal power or ultra high power (UHP) with single or twin shell.1 to 0. Typically oxygen blowing time is independent of converter capacity i. The AC electric arc furnaces are very popular. Slag formation of desired chemistry and physico-chemical properties is vital for the successful operation of converter steelmaking technology. Secondary steel making: The objective of secondary steel making is to make the steel of desired chemistry and cleanliness by performing the following treatments in “Ladle”: a) To stir the molten steel by purging inert gas through the bottom of the ladle.2%. The heat produced due to chemical reactions is sufficient enough to raise the temperature of hot metal from around 1250℃ to 1300℃ to molten steel tapping temperature of 1600℃ to1650℃. O 2 is blown for 15 to 20 minutes irrespective of the converter capacity. . b) To inject slag forming powder either through a lance for further refining c) To produce clean steel by removing inclusions or modify them by injecting suitable materials d) To carry-out deoxidation and degassing. Oxygen is blown from top and the following reactions occur: [Fe] + [O] = (FeO) [C] + [O] = {CO} [Si] +2 [O] = (SiO2) [Mn] + [O] = (MnO) 2[P] + 5[O] = (P2O5) [C] + (FeO) = {CO} + [Fe] (Fe) + (MnO) = (FeO) + [Mn] Note the following: • No heat is supplied from outside. EAF generates a considerable noise. Si ~ 0. b) Electric Arc furnace (E A F) In electric arc furnace steelmaking scrap + hot metal + directly reduced iron is used to produce plain carbon steel. • Except carbon which is removed as a gaseous phase rest all other elements form slag.6 to 1%.

0. molten slag and gas. . The arrangement of the tundish. mold and secondary cooling sprays are arranged such that steel is poured continuously from the tundish and the solidified cast product is withdrawn continuously. blooms and slabs depending on the desired product i. LEC 11 Converter steelmaking processes are also known as BOF (Basic oxygen Furnace) steelmaking. Hot metal is a multi-component solution in which impurities like carbon.e. In continuous casting. the impurities like carbon.3. gas/slag and gas/metal/slag reactions so as to produce steel of desired chemistry and cleanliness (cleanliness refers to the inclusions). phosphorus and sulphur are dissolved in very low amount (total concentration of all the impurities is approximately 5% to 6%) in iron. Science of steelmaking involves equilibrium concentration of an impurity between the phases and the rate of transfer of an impurity from the hot metal. thereby molten steel is raised into the vessel and recirculates back into the ladle through the other snorkel. In recirculation degassing steel is made to flow from the ladle into a separate degassing chamber and then returned after exposure to the vacuum. In steelmaking. like vacuum tank degasser. 0.15 . Equilibrium between the phases: The phases in steel making are hot metal. Slag is a solution of predominantly oxides with small amounts of sulphides. the liquid steel is raised into the vessel. In most of the steelmaking practices hot metal is pretreated to remove Si.8 to 1% Si. P and S from hot metal to the extent it is possible. Pressure is reduced and argon gas is passed into one of the snorkel. Ladles have additional heating facility and are called Ladle furnaces (LF).2 % P. silicon. stream degassing and recirculation degassing. tundish. mold and spray is shown in the figure 2. phosphorus and sulphur are removed from hot metal through a combination of gas/metal. oxygen is blown from top. These processes include top blown steelmaking and combined blown steelmaking processes. silicates etc. Hot metal from Blast furnace is refined to steel. whether long or flat products. degassed and returned into the ladle. Blast furnace hot metal contains 3-4 % C.6 to 0. silicon. There are several practices adopted for degassing. In one of the recirculation degassing practice metal circulation is achieved by dipping the degassing vessel into the ladle. These processes are based on hot metal. manganese.8 % Mn and 0. phosphides. manganese. In another practice a refractory lined vessel is equipped with two legs (called snorkels) for dipping into the ladle containing molten steel.0.Secondary steelmaking in ladles has become an integral part of steel making. Continuous casting and strip casting Molten steel is being cast continuously in to billets. In all BOF processes.

The inner volume enclosed by the refractory should be maximized so as to achieve an optimum metallurgical process without sloping of slag. erosion.1a) has certain advantages: such as adequate mixing of the reagents due to flowing of hot metal.In recent years pretreatment of hot metal prior to charging in converter has become common practice. and stability of nose lining. or in transfer ladle or in torpedo. Magnesium granules help to reduce injection time and slag volume.1600ºC. P and Si of hot metal to produce steel with good surface finish. But disposal of soda bearing slag is a problem. skulling. Also soda ash generates dense fumes on addition to hot metal. Calcium carbide along with lime is injected into the bath. The volume of exit gas is 6800m3.1 (a) Blast furnace runner (b) Torpedo car Material balance Material balance gives an idea of the charge materials required. The nose diameter and angle are chosen with reference to problems of heat loss. A modern LD-converter consists of a top cone with the lip ring a barrel section and a lower cone with a dished bottom. These are the approximate values and are given to develop a feel of the converter design. which keeps the liquid steel in space. This practice saves time and increases ladle availability compared with when treatment is carried out in ladles. Location of hot metal pre-treatment Hot metal pretreatment can be carried out either at blast furnace runner. • In some situations mill scale and sinter fines are used to desiliconize hot metal. The vessel is supported by a suspension system which transmits the load to the trunion ring. Design of converter From the metallurgical point of view an ideal converter keeps the liquid steel in space and allows all necessary metallurgical reactions to take place within the temperature range of 1400 . The amount of slag would be 12 tons and total oxygen required would be 1900m3. • Calcium carbide and Magnesium granules Both are highly efficient desulphurizing agents and can decrease sulphur content to very low value. is steel shell lined with refractory material. A ratio of 3 m3 (internal volume/ ton) is typical in converter design. . free from internal cracks. The mechanical part. Reagents for hot metal pretreatment • Soda ash It is effective reagent for both desulphurization and desiliconization. Figure 11. For example 100 ton capacity would require approximately 93 tons hot metal and 1 ton scrap. Pretreatment in the blast furnace runner (Figure 11. The objective is to reduce S.

Lance life is determined by the life of the nozzles. Shop Layout Layout requires rational arrangement of equipments to ensure smooth handling of solid raw materials like scrap. Water requirements are around 50−70 m3/ hr at a pressure of 5−7 kg/cm 3.3: Lance to blow oxygen Lance is nearly 8-10m long and its diameter varies between 20cm to 25cm depending on the furnace capacity.  An efficient process control strategy using computers and automatic spectro-chemical analytical methods is required. Lance movement is controlled by electrically operated gear system. the tip of which fitted with multi-hole Laval nozzles made of copper Figure 11. The most important part of the lance is the Laval nozzle.12 bar. The lance is designed to operate at an upstream pressure of 10. • To produce droplets Lance is designed to produce non-coalescing free oxygen get. manufacturing defects and differential expansion between copper tip and steel tube. movement of oxygen lance and hot metal.  The number of vessels in a shop may be generally two or three and one out of two or two out of three operating at a time. Also layout should ensure smooth flow of ladles containing hot metal and steel. refined steel. fluxes. scrap and slag  The hot metal mixer should be located on the ground floor. Feed Materials: • Hot metal • Cold pig iron • Steel scrap • Fluxes • Gaseous oxygen . Functions of the nozzle are • Supply and distribution of oxygen • To produce a gaseous jet • To induce bath agitation. The refining of hot metal to steel is very fast and hence an efficient system of material transport and weighing is required.  The shop is provided with separate cranes for handling hot metal.  The refractory lining maintenance facilities must be adequate.Lance: Oxygen gas is supplied through a water cooled lance. Some essential considerations of layout  A tall shop is required to raise and lower the lance in the vessel  An elaborate gas cleaning facilities are required. Failures of the lance may be due to faulty cooling.

Scrap and ore Used as coolants to best utilize the excess heat energy. Proportion of hot metal in the charge is 75-90% Fluxes Commonly used lime/ limestone/ dolomite to bring down the softening point of the oxides. Mn in hot metal produces MnO.5−3m3min. Iron ore is sometimes used by some plant as a coolant and to promote slag formation. V. Ni. and also with single and multi-hole designs and is approximately 2. Oxygen Consumption of oxygen per tonne of steel varies with proportion of scrap and ore. Carbon is added to recarburize steel if required . Nb etc are added as alloying elements. MnO tends to retard the dephosphorization of the bath.Hot Metal Sulphur in the hot metal should be close to final specification level Silicon content of hot metal determines amount of lime and slag. The elements like Cr. to reduce the viscosity of slag and to decrease the activity of some components to make them stable in the slag phase. Mn could be 0.5 to 0. ferrosilicon and ferromanganese are added as deoxidisers. Refining reactions are exothermic Deoxidisers and alloying elements Elements like Al.⁄ Source of heat: No external heat.8% Temperature of hot metal at charging is around 1250℃ to 1300℃.