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Advantages of Electric Arc Furnace for Steel-making

Source: | Updated: Mar 27, 2017

Electric arc furnace (EAF), which heats charged material by means of an electric arc.

Industrial arc furnaces have different size, the minimum of which is only approximately one-ton capacity (used in steel plants for producing cast iron products), and the maximum is about 400 tons units used for secondary steelmaking. The normal temperature of Industrial electric arc furnace can be up to 1,800 °C (3,272 °F), while it can exceed 3,000 °C (5,432 °F) in the steel factory units.

EAFs allows steel to be made from a 100% scrap metal feedstock due to the development of technology. Compared with primary steel-making from ores, the energy required to make steel is greatly reduced. Besides, flexibility is another benefit: EAFs can be started and stopped quickly, which allows the steel mill achieve vary production according to demand. Although scrap steel is generally adopted as the primary feedstock in steel-making arc furnaces, if hot metal from a blast furnace  or direct-reduced iron is available economically, these can also be used as furnace feed. Considering that EAFs require large amounts of electrical power, many companies implement their operations to take advantage of off-peak electricity pricing.

Typical steel-making arc furnace is the source of steel for a rolling mill, which may make bars or strip product, such as wire rod, re-bar, coil, flat. Rolling mills can be located near the markets for steel products transport, which would commonly be sited near a harbor for the convenience of shipping.

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