MONITORING MOLTEN STEEL BY LASER – AWARD FOR SWANSEA STEEL EXPERTS’ INVENTION
to monitor in temperature
will be able
real time the and chemical
composition in molten metal furnaces, saving each steel plant up to £4.5 million a year, thanks to a new laser technology developed by a Swansea University company.
The new technology has won the Materials Science Venture
Prize awarded by
The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers, and worth £25,000. Swansea University is the first institution to have won this prestigious award twice, both times for its pioneering work on steel.
Currently in steelmaking, production is halted while disposable probes are immersed into the molten metal to measure temperature and take samples. This is inefficient as it takes up time, requires expensive probes and reduces productivity.
In contrast, the new technology uses lasers projected into the molten furnace which monitor the contents continually. There is no need for disposable probes and – crucially – production does not need to be stopped.
The technology is being developed by Swansea University spin-out company Kubal-Wraith Ltd.
Dr Szymon Kubal of thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, research fellow at Swansea University, said:
“Our new technology allows a laser beam to be projected into a molten furnace through a channel called a tuyère in the furnace wall. We exploit the latest gas injection techniques to protect the data channel.
One difficulty was testing our innovations in an operational steel plant under production conditions. However, by working with thyssenkrupp Tata Steel UK we are able to undertake full-scale trials.”
The technology is also applicable to other metals such as aluminium, copper and nickel. World Steel Association data indicates there are more
CALL FOR PAPERS THE WITCHES CAULDRON
INSTITUTE OF REFRACTORIES ENGINEERS ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2018
WEDNESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER VENUE: TANKERSLEY MANOR, CHURCH LANE,
TANKERSLEY, BARNSLEY, SOUTH YORKSHIRE S75 3DQ
The art of finding a refractory solution to the challenging environment of Waste to Energy units.
Waste incineration plants are becoming more popular in the UK and many new units are being erected throughout the country. New technologies of handling the waste and ensuring the energy is captured in the most effective ways have become available.
Anyone with experience in the field of selecting refractory materials and design of these units are welcome to present a paper on the day.
Dr Szymon Kubal pictured with a ladle of molten steel at the thyssenkrupp Tata Steel Port Talbot works Courtesy: thyssenkrupp Tata Steel
than 1000 molten metal furnaces worldwide, which could see benefits in cost and productivity by using the new method of monitoring.
The team, led by Dr Szymon Kubal, includes Swansea University College of Engineering experts Dr Cameron Pleydell-Pearce and Dr Adrian Walters.
Professor Bill Bonfield, chairman of the Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize judging panel, said:
“This project shows how research and innovation has the potential to transform long-established manufacturing processes.
Our prize looks to encourage scientific entrepreneurship in the UK and provide funding to help innovative developments like this realise their potential.”
Dr Adrian Walters, Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at Swansea University, said:
“Swansea University also won the Venture Prize in 2016 with a pioneering method of tackling corrosion, improving steel-based products, whereas this year’s winner improves the first stage of the steel manufacturing process. It shows that Swansea University is delivering innovation right across the steel industry.”
Dr Gerry Ronan, Head of Intellectual Property for Swansea University, said:
“This is a highly prestigious and competitive award and offers a great deal of credibility to an early stage start-up.
This second award in three years shows the strength of expertise in material science at Swansea and also the quality of the commercial opportunities that the University creates. It is also a credit to Dr Adrian Walters, who has worked closely with both of these successful teams.”
ALMATIS CONSTRUCTING NEW TABULAR ALUMINA PLANT IN FALTA, WEST BENGAL TO FUEL ASIA GROWTH STRATEGY
As demand for Tabular Alumina expands with India’s refractory
requirements, Almatis is committed to support and enhance our customers’ success with quality alumina products and excellent service. A positive outlook for Indian produced steel, leveraged by growing GDP and per capita steel consumption requires premium alumina for longer refractory life.
“Almatis is committed to providing continuous support to the Indian refractory industry,” Emre Timurkan, Almatis’ CEO said. He assured the market that, “Almatis is on a path of rapid construction to satisfy our customers’ increasing demand for high quality Tabular Alumina.”
Operating since 1995, Almatis’ India business is based in Falta with a processing plant that has been growing steadily. Now with this forthcoming, world-class facility, Almatis will expand with integrated manufacturing line in India with Tabular Alumina converters installed. This investment will enable shorter lead times and a further improvement of flexibility from a plant in the proximity of our Indian and Asian customers.
Almatis India General Manager, Sarit Kundu, who’s responsible for execution of this strategic project, affirmed Almatis’ commitment: “Quality and delivery are of prime importance to Almatis. This upcoming Falta India Tabular Alumina production facility would meet the needs of our valued Indian customers and provide supply security for this growing market”.
ENGINEER THE REFRACTORIES July 2018 Issue
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