MS Life Primary Steel Manufacturers who undertake mines-to-mills operations
MS Life Steel is a primary steel manufacturer, who produces steel with an alloy based primarily on iron. We mine iron as iron oxides from the earth’s crust and convert or reduce using carbon with the help of coking coal.
Coking coal is converted to coke by removing impurities and extracting pure carbon. Coking coal softens the coal, and then liquefy and resolidify into hard, porous lumps when heated in the absence of air. Coking coal should contain low sulfur and phosphorus and most of the metallurgical coal is used in coke ovens.
The coking takes place by heating coking coal to 1000-1100ºC without the presence of oxygen to remove volatile compounds and this process is called pyrolysis, which results in producing coke which is a hard porous material. Coke is created using a coke battery, which is made out of coal filled into coke ovens stacked in rows. It takes over 12-36 hours for the coking method. After the hot coke is being cooled, it is then used for storing or iron making.
Over 50 nations are mining the iron ore – the highest producers are Australia, Brazil, and China. Iron ore is also used in steel-making around 98%. In the process of iron-making, the iron ore is heated along with coke and small quantities of fluxes – minerals used in collecting impurities. Heated air up to 1200°C is blown into the lower section of the furnace. The air helps to burn the coke which reacts with the iron ore and melts the iron. Lastly, the liquid iron and impurities are drained out by opening the bottom hole of the furnace.
Steel is a compound created by two techniques – integrated refining of the iron using blast furnace – basic oxygen furnace and electric arc furnaces.
1. Basic Oxygen Furnace
The most common method for steel-making is by using the blast furnace or ‘basic oxygen furnace’. The iron is mixed with steel scrap and a bit of flux. A lance is then used to blow away 99% of pure oxygen rising the temperature up to 1700°C. The scrap is melted and the impurities are oxidized resulting in liquid steel.
Other methods are secondary steel-making processes, here the properties of steel are added to other elements like boron, chromium, molybdenum. The best operation of the blast furnace requires the highest quality of raw materials like the carbon content of coke, it highly affects the furnace and the hot metal quality. This results in greater quality hot metal and better productivity.
Around 600 kgs of coke produce 1000 kgs of steel, and around 770 kg of coal is used to produce 1000 kgs of steel through this technique. Basic Oxygen Furnaces presently produce about 74% of the world’s steel.
2. Electric Arc Furnaces
The electric arc furnace method has no iron-making. It reuses existing steel instead of adding other minerals. The furnace at first is loaded with steel scrap, it can also include pig iron for chemical balance. The electrodes in the furnace supply the power, which produces an arc of electricity through the scrap steel raisin the temperature to 1600˚C. The impurities are taken out through the taphole.
Around 150 kgs of coal is used to produce 1000 kgs of steel in electric arc furnaces.
Other steel production methods
Pulverized Coal Injection
Pulverized Coal Injection (PCI) technology includes directly adding coal into the blast furnace providing the carbon for iron-making. Many varieties of coal can be used in this method such as steam coal which has lower carbon content than coking coal. Additionally, this has various advantages like reducing the expense and increasing the life span of the existing coke batteries.
MS Life Steel is 100% recyclable. The BOF process uses up to 30% recycled steel scrap and around 90-100% is used in EAF production.
MS Life uses Modern Steel Production Process
Steel manufacturing methods have evolved significantly since industrial production during the late 19th century. MS Life Steel uses the most modern methods, by making use of recycled materials as well as traditional raw materials, such as iron ore, coal, and limestone.
Two processes are used by MS Life Steel which is the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) and electric arc furnaces (EAF), account for virtually all steel production.
MS Life Steel is manufactured in the following six steps:
Step 1: Ironmaking: Here the iron ore, coke, and lime are melted in a blast furnace. The result is molten iron also called hot metal which has 4-4.5 percent carbon and other impurities making it brittle.
Primary steelmaking has two types: BOS (Basic Oxygen Furnace) and EAF (Electric Arc Furnace) methods.
BOS methods are recycled scrap steel the molten iron is a converter.
At high temperatures, oxygen is blown through the metal, which reduces the carbon content to between 0-1.5 percent.
EAF methods feed the recycled steel scrap to use with high-power electric arcs at temperatures up to 1650 C to melt the metal and convert it into high-quality steel.
Secondary steelmaking involves treating the molten steel produced from both BOS and EAF routes to adjust the steel composition.
This is done by adding and removing certain elements or manipulating the temperature for the production environment.
Depending on the types of steel required the following secondary steelmaking processes will be used
The shell strand is withdrawn using guided rolls and fully cooled and solidified. The strand is cut into desired lengths depending on the application; slabs for flat products (plate and strip), blooms for sections (beams), billets for long products (wires) or thin strips.
In primary forming the steel that casts then formed into various shapes, by hot rolling, the process that eliminates the cast defects and achieves the wanted shape and surface quality.
Hot rolled products are divided into flat products, the long products, the seamless tubes, and specialty products.
Finally, it’s time for manufacturing, fabrication, and finishing.
Secondary forming techniques give the final shape and properties to the steel. These techniques include:
- Shaping (cold rolling)
- Machining (drilling)
- Joining (welding)
- Coating (galvanizing)
- Heat treatment (tempering)
- Surface treatment (carburizing)