11:14, 31 August 2021

Severstal to Install Argon Metal Blowdown Monitoring System at Ladle Furnace Plant

Datana (part of the LANIT group), a Metal-Expo regular exhibitor, announced the conclusion of an agreement with Severstal PJSC, a Metal-Expo regular exhibitor, for the development and implementation of an argon metal blowdown monitoring system at a ladle furnace installation, the forecast economic effect from the implementation may be 2 %.

Agitation metal as a result of argon blowing is an important process in the out-of-furnace treatment of steel. Without purging metal with argon, it is impossible to fulfill the main tasks of out-of-furnace treatment - averaging the metal by chemical composition, temperature, obtaining pure steel by non-metallic inclusions.

The process of mixing metal in steel-ladle at the furnace-ladle installation proceeds under a special cover equipped with a working window. Through the working window, it is possible to visually evaluate the mixing process, the intensity of argon blowing. However, it is not possible to continuously control this process, which prevents the purge control process from operating effectively.

Datana proposed to equip the ladle furnace with a thermal imaging camera system and use Datana Sense software to monitor metal processing, evaluate the quality of blowing and make recommendations to steelworkers. The complex solution will analyze a number of parameters in real time, including assessing the freeboard, physical properties of off-furnace slag, monitoring the ingress of ferroalloys and slag-forming materials into steel-ladle, compliance with the blowdown modes of the approved technology and others.

The projected economic effect of the implementation is achieved by reducing the consumption of electricity and argon by 2%, and may amount to about ten million rubles per year. However, the full potential from the implementation of this system has not yet been revealed. The associated effects can be in reducing the time of off-furnace processing on the unit with the possibility of increasing its throughput, noted Datana.

"This is not the first project to control the process of purging metal with argon, but the solution being developed for Severstal has its own features. Firstly, together with the development of software and mathematical models, the problem of continuous survey of the metal refinement process in all modes of operation of the furnace-ladle installation is solved. This means that we must provide a stable video image not only at the time of blowing, but also during electric arc heating, and when turning on the lance, when the camera array is subjected to enhanced radiation, and a stream of hot slag particles flies onto the lens. Secondly, we are developing not only a smart stalwart adviser, but also a technological process analysis tool, which can subsequently be used to improve the quality of products and increase the efficiency of steel refinement, "explained Yevgeny Merzlyakov, Datana project manager.

"Of course, this project is significant for steelmaking. The out-of-furnace processing workshop, which is part of it, is little digitalized, and the introduction of machine vision to evaluate the process of mixing metal with argon is another step towards digitalization of the out-of-furnace processing process, which will definitely increase its efficiency, "said Pavel Salikhanov, a leading expert at the Center for Technological Development on out-of-furnace processing of steel.

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