Innovative production technology of ferrosilicon of silicon content of minimum 75% and ultra-law carbon content max. 0.02%

Acronym: RaFeSi

Project no.: POIR.01.01.01-00-0052/17

Project objective: 

The project objective was to obtain a new product in the country, namely a high-content alloy of iron and silicon, FeSi, of particularly low carbon content (below 0.02%) produced with the use of energy-efficient and low-loss production technology developed in industrial conditions.
PLN 36,866,217.31
PLN 9,015,568.92
01.11.2017 – 30.11.2023

Project objectives:

Low-carbon FeSi is applied in refining processes of high-grade steels, special-purpose steels, 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 due to 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 objective was 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 carbidised particle passing to slag or being adsorbed by the ladle lining.

Implementation stages:

The project was implemented in three stages:

  1. The first stage included industrial research conducted by the Silesian University of Technology, within which physicochemical 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 was built, based on technical guidelines and assumptions specified at the first stage. Tasks within the project covered delivery, mounting, and launching of the installation elements.
  3. Within the third stage, technological tests based on the schedule developed at the first stage were carried out.
    During this stage, refining time and temperature of liquid alloy in a refining ladle ere measured and detailed analyses of FeSi chemical composition were carried out. Also, within the works, a detailed analysis of data and information gathered during technological tests were 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.
Results of the project:
The result of the project is 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 with the funds of the European Fund for Regional Development within the Submeasure 1.1.1 “Industrial research and development works implemented by enterprises” of the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014-2020.