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Application of plasma torches in steel-making processes


This project set out to develop plasma torch heating technology for the 3-ton steel distributor of the continuous casting system at Villares Metals S/A. It is a known fact that the stability of the temperature of the steel brought about by the plasma torch in the distributor, coupled with an inert atmosphere on the surface of the liquid metal, has a beneficial effect on the quality of the steel, with less segregation and a more homogeneous structure of equiaxial grains. Experience in other countries has shown that the system of plasma in the distributor may offset, within a range of +/-1°C, fluctuations in temperature between one trip and another of the crucible of up to +/-20°C. The most appropriate settings of the torch and the distributor were studied, the level of potency of the torch required to keep the temperature of the steel within desired limits for a given mass of liquid metal, and the effect of the plasma assessed on the quality of the steel and the savings in the process. (AU)

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