June 24th, 2024

High-Quality Refractory Anchor Solutions for the Steel Industry

SILICON - Steel Industry Refractory Anchors

Steel is produced from iron ore, a natural compound of iron, oxygen, and other minerals. The raw materials for steelmaking are extracted from mines and then converted into steel through two primary methods: the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace route and the electric arc furnace (EAF) route. Both methods are continually refined to address the challenge of low-emission steel production.

To utilize iron ore, its oxygen content must be removed in a process known as ‘reduction.’ This can be achieved in the blast furnace, where hot air is injected into a continuous feed of coke, sinter, and lime, or through the direct reduced iron (DRI) process. Both methods produce liquid iron, which is then transported to the basic oxygen furnace.

What is a Blast Furnace?

The blast furnace is the traditional method for processing iron ore into liquid iron. It operates by melting iron ore, coke, and limestone together at high temperatures using hot air blasts. The blast furnace process also generates two significant by-products: carbon dioxide (CO2) and slag, a mixture of minerals.

What is a Direct Reduced Iron Furnace?

Instead of sinter, the DRI process uses pelletized iron ore. However, like sinter, it still requires the removal of oxygen in a process called ‘reduction.’ Unlike the blast furnace, the DRI furnace uses natural gas as its energy source instead of coke. The outcome is again liquid iron, which is then transported via conveyors to the electric arc furnace.

Blast furnace refractory anchors
Direct Reduction Iron Furnace

Blast Furnace and DRI – What’s the Difference?

Blast furnaces can operate at higher capacities and produce more valuable by-products. On the other hand, DRI production is more flexible and generates significantly lower CO2 emissions due to the use of natural gas. Additionally, DRI has the potential to use hydrogen instead of natural gas, which could reduce CO2 emissions to nearly zero if the hydrogen is produced using renewable energy.

While making iron with less energy and environmental impact is a giant leap in the right direction, it comes with its own set of challenges.  Alternative fuels contain significant amounts of volatile substances, leading to increased coating formation, corrosion, and erosion in refractory materials. These issues can be attributed to the combination of alternative fuels and poor-quality refractory anchoring systems. Such problems can lead to furnace failures and urgent repairs, costing steel plants time and money. To address these challenges, high-quality refractory anchors must be used to effectively prevent these chemicals from causing corrosion or embrittlement.

Refractory Anchor Solutions for the Steel Industry

Depending on the steelmaking process, high-quality refractory anchoring is essential. It ensures lower heat loss, reduced consumption, and extended service life.

SILICON offers the following top-quality refractory anchor solutions for the steel industry:

  • SpeedVee®

  • SpeedBolt®

  • Brick Claws

  • V Anchors

  • Y Anchors

  • Corrugated Anchors

  • Bullhorn

  • DRS Studs

  • Boiler studs

SILICON SpeedBolt refractory anchors in the Hot Blast
SILICON Rapid Arc Welding in the steel industry

Rapid Arc Welding for the Steel Industry

RAW is a reliable and efficient technology for fixing refractory anchors in high-temperature vessels. It is safe, fast, and offers the highest quality welding, producing strong welds that can endure extreme temperatures.

SILICON’s RAW technology enables those working in the steel industry to reduce time spent on welding because each machine is computer-controlled, offering unparalleled reliability.

SILICON Technology Benefits

  • CO2 Emissions: Rapid Arc Welding does not produce any poisonous fumes. Additionally, RAW does not require electrodes or added welding gas.

  • Metallurgical Consultancy: We consider every variable of your unique situation, including alternative fuels, to advise you on choosing the right alloy.

  • High Quality: From refractory anchors and Rapid Arc Welding technology to our experienced installation crew, top quality is always our priority.

  • Engineered Solutions: We research and develop new anchoring solutions for your applications as needed. We re-engineer self-designed anchoring systems based on your samples or drawings and convert hand-welded anchors to Rapid Arc Weldable ones.

SILICON total solution provider

Total Solution Provider for the Steel Industry

SILICON is your one-stop shop for your next refractory anchoring project.

  • Engineering and consultancy

  • Refractory Anchor manufacturing

  • Rapid Arc Welding

  • Project management

  • Installation