Steel manufacturers use ladle refining furnaces ( LRF ) in the steel-making process for manufacture of quality steel. It is basically an arcing process, arcing between molten metal and the graphite electrodes. After tapping the molten steel from Electric Melting Furnaces or BOF the molten steel is further refined in LRF with tight control of ladle metallurgy for producing high grades steels with controlled chemistry.
LRF facilitates better cleaning, homogenizing, desulfurizing and removing many other types of impurities, as well as hold all of the molten steel for the next process of degassing. The reason they call these furnaces “ladle” refining furnaces is that the refining takes place with the molten metal inside the ladle itself.
LRFs also act as buffers between the furnace and the continuous caster. When making critical grade steel or other specialty alloy, these operations are very important and are often very costly. The costs of running LRF include the additional electricity, expensive refractory and the graphite electrodes. The only thing that LRF cannot do is reduce phosphorus to very low levels of 0.015 max.
There are many benefits of LRFs, a few of them include:
- Micro Alloying
- Desulfurization (deep sulphur removal) to less than 0.005
- Homogenization (both chemistry and temperature)
- Inclusion floatation and removal giving better purity
- Get more temperature for better holding time in Vacuum degassing under 1 mbar.
- Removing tramp elements by arcing of molten metal (often we cannot measure these like Sn, As, Zn, Bi etc)
- Irrespective of the quality of scrap it refines the steel
- Quality steel, irrespective of melting through arc furnace or induction furnace
At Kisco, we have the latest LRF facilities with an electrode regulation system from Primetal UK. We use them 100% for making all grades of steel without any compromise on quality, despite increased costs.Our sales team is looking forward to serving your requirements.