Iron ore is used to make Steel, with it being extracted during the process of steelmaking. This is a very old but very well known process and the basic concept of extracting steel from iron has remained the same over the years. Usually, when it comes to smelting steel, there comes two main, distinct processes. One is the electric arc method of steelmaking, and the other one is the oxygen steelmaking process. Oxygen steelmaking process is the method which most widely used because of commercial reasons in most places, involving components like Iron Ore, Slag Conditioner, Furnaces and much more. The Oxygen method usually involves making the vessel in which the steel is being extracted, very hot and starting an exothermic reaction. Pure steel is then extracted from it while the impurities get separated from the ore. This also gives rise to a component known as ‘Slag’.
During this whole process, the optimal temperature is maintained in the container that’s being used for smelting. It is very important to maintain a temperature that is stable and consistent all over for being optimal. Otherwise, the impurities that need to get separated will not be completely removed. Furthermore, it might get re-oxidized before the entire amount of steel has been extracted. Using a slag conditioner in this whole process as a covering compound is what makes people capable of sustaining the required temperature for smelting processes.
Why is a Covering Compound used in the form of a Slag Conditioner?
A good covering compound is always necessary in the entire process of smelting steel. It is used to properly cover the iron ore while steel is being extracted from it. People carrying out the process are able to control or regulate the temperature that is required to smelt steel. The entire idea of maintaining an optimal temperature is one thing that’s very important in respect to steelmaking.
Slag is one such compound that can be used as a conditioner to cover and regulate the temperature of the ore; hence the term ‘Slag Conditioner’. It works by effectively reducing the temperature fluctuations in the process of making steel.
Normally, people used to use Slag that’s been naturally obtained from other smelting processes. This is, at times, hard to obtain and also costs more money than other alternatives.
Why Do People have begun to use Alternatives like Synthetic Slag as Covering Compounds?
Synthetic slag is a component that works as an artificial version of slag that is natural and used instead. It is made from burnt rice husk and is a good alternative to be used as a covering compound-one that thermally insulates the iron ore.
It offers lots of benefits to industrialists who use synthetic slag in the steelmaking process. For starters, they are cheaper yet perform at similar levels. Because of its characteristics, it is able to absorb the impurities that are released during smelting like sulphur, etc. People can use it to withstand temperatures of up to 1600° Celsius without losing durability.
Other benefits include synthetic slag being eco friendly and beneficial to the steel’s quality. Therefore, these are some important benefits of slag being used on such large scales in the factories and smelting processes, for it truly makes the steelmaking process much better and efficient than before.