YK Steel of Korea commissioned SMS group to supply a new mini-mill with integrated melting, casting and rolling and including all electrical and automation systems. Instead of relocating and upgrading an existing plant, YK Steel instead opted for a completely new mini-mill that will start production in 2025 at the company’s Dangjin site. YK Steel will use the mini-mill to produce reinforcing steel with diameters ranging from 10 to 35 mm (0.39-1.4 inches). The products manufactured in the mini-mill will be sold as 6- to 12-meter-long (20- to 39-foot-long) packages with a maximum weight of 450-550 kg (992-1,212 pounds) and large packages weighing up to 2 tons.
We typically start the New Year off by focusing on new technologies throughout the thermal-processing industry in our January issue. With that in mind, let’s begin 2023 by looking at some interesting technological developments that have come across my inbox in the past nine months.
Tenova LOI Thermprocess successfully completed the production optimization of a new twin-chamber melting furnace (TCF) at E-Max Billets in Kerkrade, The Netherlands. The furnace achieved the agreed performance parameters and is now the sole melting unit for higher contaminated scrap at the plant. As a result, Tenova LOI Thermprocess was awarded a contract for the engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of another TCF and a melting and casting furnace (MCF) for the production upgrade and modernization of E-Max Billets’ plant. The new TCF achieves a daily output of 150 tons of liquid aluminum and reduces specific natural gas consumption per ton of molten aluminum by more than 20%.
Nucor Corp. selected Danieli technologies for its new digital melt shop in Kingman, Ariz. Danieli Digimelter and Digirefiner units will be installed in place of the old, shaft-type DC furnace, with limited impact on the existing foundations, to produce liquid steel in excess of 630,000 shtpy. The melt shop will feed the nearby caster and existing Danieli bar mill. Management of the melting process will be performed by Q-Melt suite. The Nucor Steel Kingman digital melt shop is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2024.
Primetals Technologies and RHI Magnesita are working together to develop a new green steel technology to replace blast furnace plants. The Smelter is a furnace powered by electrical energy and used for melting and final reduction of direct reduced iron (DRI). Operated together with a direct reduction plant and an LD converter (BOF), the Smelter produces hot metal for steelmaking and liquid slag that can be used in the cement industry. The conventional BF-LD converter route results in almost 2 tons of CO2 per ton of liquid steel. According to Primetals Technologies, the new technology will reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of six, to 0.33 tons of CO2 per ton of liquid steel.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that BHE Renewables, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy business, entered into an agreement with the State of West Virginia to purchase more than 2,000 acres of land in Ravenswood, W.V., to be developed as a first-of-its-kind renewable-energy microgrid-powered industrial site. Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC), a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. business, will be the first company to locate on the site and will develop a titanium melting facility that will use 100% renewable energy to manufacture titanium products for the aerospace industry.
Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc. reported that a liquid metal spill occurred during operations at its electric-arc melting facility in Bridgeville, Pa., on Monday, April 11. The spill was caused by a breakthrough at the bottom of a furnace shell. No injuries resulted from the spill. Cleanup and damage assessment are underway, and the company expects melting operations to resume in 6-8 weeks subject to parts and contractor availability. All other operations continue to function as normal. The company does not expect any near-term interruption to product delivery schedules.