The variety of Furnaces available to Modern Steel Makers

Mar-01-2018 Post / the-variety-of-furnaces-available-to-modern-steel-makers

Furnace refers to a device used for extremely high-temperature heating, for industrial and metallurgical processes. They are typically used for smelting metals for further processing, heating/boiling slurries in oil refineries, boilers in chemical factories, and for providing heat for other processes like cracking, roasting, etc. involving chemical reactions. The fuel required for the operation of a furnace is provided by various means, directly by fuel combustion and by electricity in an electric furnace. Agni Steels uses induction furnace at its manufacturing facility, which incorporates induction heating for melting its sponge iron. Following are a few of modern furnaces used worldwide for metalwork, especially steelmaking.    

  1. EAF (Electric Arc Furnace): An electric furnace consists of a heating chamber with electricity acting as the heat source for achieving extremely high temperatures to melt metal alloys and in refractories. Principally, the electricity has no electrochemical effect, it rather heats the charge. Specialty steelmakers incorporate EAFs for the production of almost all the stainless steels, electrical steels, tools steels, and specialty alloys required by chemical, automotive, aircraft, machine-tool, transportation, and food-processing industries, for their specific demands. Electric furnaces are also used MSMEs by employing scrap charges to produce reinforcing bars, angled bars, and structural sections like beams.
  2. Induction Furnace: A coil carrying A.C current surrounds the metal chamber in an Induction furnace. Due to induction of eddy currents in the metal that produces extremely high temperatures which are used for melting the metals, to cast alloys of exact composition. As it is only required to reach the exact temperature to melt the metal, preventing valuable alloying elements from being lost, and avoiding impurities is easier. In induction furnace, the operation is faster and more efficient. Agni Steels employs 2 sets of leading –tech 15-ton induction furnaces at its facility.
  3. Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF): BOFs are pear-shaped vessels in which pig iron from the blast furnace, and ferrous scrap, is refined into steel by injecting a jet of oxygen through the hot metal. In BOFs, the unwanted impurities are removed and the concentration of desired product is brought to the specifications. These type of furnaces are used by major small industries for boiling and melting purposes.

With changing technologies, the furnaces have developed a lot, starting from the Bessemer converter of 1856, to the modern counterparts. The efficiency, maximum temperatures, automation, and uniformity have improved massively, in the recent years. The constant development in the field through research and development in the industries, the technologies are bound to improve further. These developments would further improve the quality of metals and help improve the industries they contribute to. Agni Steels maintains their furnaces, to produce maximum efficiency at all times.