Development of an innovative ferrosilicon production technology of the silicon content min. 75% and ultra-low content of carbon, max. 0.02%
The project’s objective is to obtain a new product, at a national scale, in a form of a high-grade iron and silicon alloy FeSi of particularly low carbon content (less than 0.02%) with simultaneous use of energy saving and low-loss production technology developed in industrial conditions.
FLow-carbon FeSi is applied in refining processes of high-grade steels, special-purpose steel, as well as in comprehensive modifiers and casting mortars obtaining processes, also in processes of pure metals production thanks to silicothermic method of oxides reduction in ores or concretion, that is polymetallic sea sediments. Carbon is particularly unwanted in alloy steels because of carbides generation causing unfavourable changes of microstructure, thus reduction of strength, plasticity and chemical properties, especially corrosion resistance due to depletion of alloying element in the circumcarbide zones. Therefore, reducing carbon content in FeSi, usually added to steel bath, directly translates into quality of smelted steel. For this reason, low carbon content FeSi is particularly searched for in metal market. The project's objective will be obtained thanks to an innovative technology of ferrosilicon refining allowing for removal of carbon from the alloy, at the same time avoiding losses of other elements. It is possible by using adsorbing properties of amorphous silica fume resulting from its ultradispersion (grain size is not larger than 1µm) and considerable specific surface area (25,000 m2/kg). Silicon carbide in liquid FeSi is being bound by silica fume grains and then it forms carbidized particle passing to slag or being adsorbed by the ladle lining.
The project is implemented in three stages:
- The first stage includes industrial research conducted by the Silesian University of Technology, within which physico-chemical mechanisms of removing C from liquid FeSi are examined, so are the smelting conditions, in order to select the best ones. Additionally, a schedule of validation tests will be prepared.
- 2. Within the second stage, a demonstration line for production of ferrosilicon of particularly low content of carbon will be built, based on technical guidelines and assumptions specified at the first stage. Tasks within the project will cover delivery, mounting and launching of the installation's elements.
- Within the third stage, technological tests based on the schedule developed at the first stage will be carried out. During this stage, refining time and temperature of liquid alloy in a refining ladle will be measured and detailed analyses of FeSi chemical composition will be carried out. Also, within the works, a detailed analysis of data and information gathered during technological tests will be conducted in order to determine the best production method guaranteeing obtaining an alloy of the best quality parameters with the best technical and economic indicators maintained.
The project's results:
The outcome of the project will be an innovative, low-cost technology allowing for production of FeSi of the content of Si ≥ 75% and C ≤ 0,02% on industrial scale, with losses during refining process of max. 5%
Source of financing:
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within sub-measure 1.1.1 “Industrial research and development works conducted by enterprises” of the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020.