Optimised process control and increased personnel safety during ferrous metal production

Since the invention of the Bessemer converter in the mid 1800s and subsequent technological developments in injection technology and process control, mass production of steel has become an integral part of the world's economy.
Promat in steelmaking
Promat´s engineered insulation solutions are used to control process temperatures and reduce heat loss at each stage of the steelmaking sequence. Optimised process control through precise temperature management allows much better quality control and tighter control of the metallurgy.

Basic oxygen steelmaking is a refined version of the Bessemer converter where blowing of air is replaced with blowing oxygen. Roughly 70% of world steel output is made using the basic oxygen furnace. Blowing oxygen through molten pig iron lowers the carbon content of the alloy and changes it into steel. Electric arc furnace steelmaking is the manufacture of steel from scrap or direct reduced iron melted by electric arcs. These are known as primary steelmaking processes. Secondary steelmaking is most commonly performed in ladles and often referred to as ladle metallurgy as it is used to add alloys and generally modify the steel chemistry.

Promat solutions for molten metals handling
Molten pig iron is transferred from a blast furnace to the steel mill by mean of torpedo cars. The torpedo cars can carry as much as 600 tonnes of iron and are also used for some pre-treatment of the metal. A Promat insulation system ensures minimum heat loss from the metal during transfer.

Promat – the complete supply and service package
Our service commitment begins with help in the design of your insulation solution based on analysis of your thermal problem. We can offer measurement by thermography together with transient thermal analysis and support with any indicative performance testing. When required we can provide assistance with installation and commissioning at your premises.

The challenges
  • Thermal management – energy loss control – optimise process control
  • Best possible control of heat loss
  • Resistance to thermal shock
  • Resistance to compression by molten metal load
  • Non-combustibility
  • Resistance to damage by water during installation alongside wet castable
  • Design for continuous high temperature operation without deterioration. Longest possible working life essential for insulation without excessive shrinkage or other impairment of performance
  • Easy installation of insulation components
  • Fast ROI for insulation – cost effective system design for competitive high maintenance requirement

Promat can help solve all these design challenges. By choosing from the broadest product portfolio on the market based on the "best in class" insulation products with the lowest thermal conductivity, we can design an "engineered solution" that best meets all design challenges. We select from the very best microporous, calcium silicate, refractory and fibre insulation products available. We have purpose designed products specifically for the ferrous metals industry. A Promat system cannot be beat on performance.

Application solutions

The challenges:
  • Increased continuous casting
  • Increased ladle retention time – less energy needed for preheat and reheat
  • Increased secondary metallurgical processing inside the ladle – more consistent temperatures and viscosity
  • Reduce temperature drop

The solution:
  • STEELFLEX® between the ladle shell and the ceramic lining

The benefits:
  • Reduction of heat loss through the shell
  • A cooler shell expands less giving a tighter lining
  • Less thermal shock in bricks results in – More uniform expansion – Fewer gaps between bricks – Less tendency to pinch – Better resistance to penetration of molten steel
A tundish is used to feed molten metal into an ingot mould in order to avoid splashing and give a smoother flow. The tundish allows a reservoir of metal to feed the casting machine while ladles are switched, thus acting as a buffer of hot metal, as well as smoothing out flow, regulating metal feed to the moulds and cleaning the metal.

The challenge:
  • To optimise the metal flow and quality

The solution:
  • STEELFLEX® between the tundish outer casing and the ceramic lining

The benefits:
  • Assistance in maintaining consistent steel temperature and viscosity
  • Accurate temperature / flow control is essential to assist the multiple metallurgical operations and homogenisation that occur within the tundish flow
Torpedo ladles
Torpedo ladles transfer molten iron from blast furnace to the steel plant.

The challenge:
  • Long holding times and distances of travel – temperature retention problems

The solution:
  • MICROTHERM® insulation

The benefits:
  • Allows a much thinner lining thickness overall with no loss in thermal efficiency
  • Increased ladle capacity
  • Better control of temperature and viscosity of molten metal
  • Reduce temperature drop during transportation
Blast furnace
Microtherm® products applications:
  • Hot blast Tuyeres/blow pipes
  • Hot wind valves, bellows, and elbows
  • Iron runners and troughs
  • Trough covers

De-gasser unit:
  • Vessel walls
  • Legs
  • Top plenum
Other applications
Electric arc furnace
Electric arc furnaces operate at temperatures around 1800 oC  and can be up to 400 tonnes capacity. Efficient insulation can make a dramatic improvement to operational efficiency.

A typical Promat solution comprises:
  • Magnesia carbon (MgO-C) refractory bricks.
  • PROMATON® lightweight refractory bricks.
  • PROMALIGHT® microporous backup insulation.

Annealing/heat treatment furnaces for iron and steel (including walking beam)
  • Reduce heat up time and heat loss through walls
  • Temperature uniformity in different heating zones
  • Reduce shell temperatures near burner section for personnel safety

Coke oven batteries