Characterization of Briquettes Used for Slag Foaming in the EAF during Stainless Steel Production



The modern sustainable stainless steel making industry is characterized by different factors such as an efficient utilization of energy in the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) by a slag foaming practice and an utilization of waste products from its own production facilities. In this study, the foaming briquettes applied for a combined slag foaming and waste product reduction in the EAF are characterized. The recipes of the briquettes were made based on a literature review and previous experience. Afterwards, the composition and density of briquettes were estimated and compared to calculated data. Moreover, weight reduction experiments were made on a laboratory scale at temperatures up to 1500 °C in an argon atmosphere in order to characterize the products (metal, slag, and gas). Based on these results, the calculations were compared with experimental data. The following main results were found: (i) the density of briquettes can be successfully verified, (ii) briquettes have different mechanical properties depending on the materials used for production of briquettes, and (iii) the briquettes yield in different amounts of metal and gas. Moreover, it was found that light briquettes (without FeCr) produced almost double the amount of gas in comparison with heavy briquettes (containing FeCr); valuable metals can be recovered from briquettes, and recipes of briquettes can be optimized based on the amount of metal droplets in briquettes and the total utilization of carbon.