The Submerged Arc Furnace (SAF) is a specialized heating system utilized to produce a range of iron alloys using electric power. The smelting process within the SAF is energy-intensive, making a significant portion of the total production cost closely linked to energy consumption.
In terms of temperature control and adjustment of different reduction potentials, the SAF stands as a qualified unit for alloy production. Over time, the establishment of independent ferroalloy industries has met the growing demands of today's steel industry. The majority of ferroalloys are produced through pyrometallurgical processes within submerged arc furnaces.
Key focuses of furnace engineering include customer needs and submerged arc furnace process optimization, ensuring equipment quality, ensuring simplicity and safety in maintenance, and achieving high process efficiency even at low energy levels.
Submerged arc furnaces have found applications in over 20 diverse major industrial sectors, including ferroalloys, chemicals, lead, zinc, copper, refractories, titanium dioxide, recycling, phosphorus, and more. Based on the primary materials used, submerged arc furnaces can be categorized into different types.
The primary purpose of a submerged arc furnace is the production of various iron alloys, including ferrosilicon, ferromanganese, ferrochromium, ferrotungsten, and silicomanganese. These alloys serve as essential raw materials in the metallurgical industry and find applications in industries such as steelmaking and chemical production, like in the manufacturing of calcium carbide. The operational characteristics of the ferrosilicon furnace involve utilizing carbonaceous or magnesia refractory materials as lining and self-baking electrodes.
During operation, electrodes are immersed into the furnace charge to perform submerged arc operations. The energy from the electric arc and the heat generated by the resistance of the furnace charge to the passage of electric current are utilized to melt metals. This furnace type including silicon metal furnace operates in a continuous feeding, intermittent tapping, and continuous processing manner, making it an integral part of industrial processes.
The submerged arc furnace is a kind of industrial electric furnace with huge power consumption. It is mainly composed of a furnace shell, smoke hood, furnace lining, short net, water cooling system, smoke exhaust system, dust removal system, electrode shell, electrode pressure discharge and lifting system, feeding and unloading system, controller, burn through the device, hydraulic system, submerged arc furnace transformer and various electrical equipment.
Submerged Arc Furnaces (SAF) find diverse applications across various industries, primarily in the production of different iron alloys. These applications include the production of ferrochromium, ferro-nickel, ferromanganese, silicomanganese, ferro-niobium, and titanium iron ore (TiO2 slag). Additionally, SAFs offer potential for waste recycling.
Initially, iron alloys were exclusively produced in specialized high furnaces, yielding pig iron with varying amounts of silicon, chromium, and manganese. The type of melting and metallurgical equilibrium determined the carbon content of these alloys. These types of steel making furnaces stand out as qualified equipment for alloy production due to their precise temperature control and adjustment of different reduction potentials. The establishment of independent ferroalloy industries has met the growing demands of today's steel industry over time.
The powerful competition in this field is mainly achieved through the installation of advanced high-power smelting units in SAFs. Currently, over 99% of ferroalloy and TiO2 production takes place in alternating current SAFs.
Developments in large electrode systems, advanced transformer technology, and new furnace construction principles have made it possible to design large-capacity rectangular SAFs with dimensions reaching up to 36 meters in length and 17 meters in width. From a technical perspective, even larger units are possible, but their economic feasibility must be carefully examined.
SAFs including submerged arc furnace for ferrochrome production offer efficient temperature control, precise alloying, and high recovery rates. They are energy-efficient due to the heat generated from the electric arc within the charge. Their ability to accommodate a wide range of raw materials and produce consistent high-quality alloys makes them valuable.
AC SAFs are the most common, using alternating current for operation. DC SAFs use direct current, often offering advantages in specific applications like titanium iron ore production. AC furnaces dominate but DC SAFs are gaining traction in niche areas.
Temperature control is achieved through precise electrode placement and electrical power adjustments. This enables consistent alloy composition and quality throughout the production process.
Yes, advancements in electrode systems, transformer technology, and furnace construction have enabled the design of large-capacity SAFs, allowing for efficient large-scale production of alloys.
CHNZBTECH, one of the professional steel furnace manufacturers in China, believes that continued advancements in automation, energy efficiency, and process optimization are expected, along with a potential shift toward even more environmentally friendly practices in alloy production.