Secondary metallurgy

Innovative and efficient liquid steel refining

There are various types of plant concepts for the secondary metallurgical refining of liquid steel available from SMS group. These state-of-the-art production tools enable you to meet today's and tomorrow's demands for final product quality. Following your specific requirements, we design tailor-made solutions that accomplish your metallurgical, logistics, and productivity operations.

Our promise to meet your individual requirements through innovative solutions, process know-how and the selection of the best possible production route is represented by X-eed®. This brand name stands for our continuous efforts to improve technologies for the benefit of our customers.

Atmospheric and vacuum process technologies

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SMS group's atmospheric ladle treatment processes are used to set the optimum temperature and chemical analysis of the steel as precisely as possible prior to vacuum treatment or casting. In order to increase the steel temperature, heating can be achieved either by an electric arc with electrical energy or by an oxidation reaction with chemical energy. Slag formers and alloying elements can be added under almost inert conditions if required. The most important units in atmospheric processes are ladle furnaces, chemical heating stations and ladle treatment stations.

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In the last 20 years two processes have established themselves at the top of secondary metallurgical vacuum processes: the RH process with the variants RH-TOP (Temperature-Oxygen-Powder) and RH-OB (Oxygen Blowing) as well as the VD process (Vacuum Degassing) with the variants VD-OB and VOD (Vacuum Degassing + Oxygen Blowing or Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization). In VD-OB and VOD processes, oxygen blowing lances are additionally used either to optimize the C-O ratio during decarburization or to blow carbon out of the steel as CO with the aid of oxygen.

In the RH process a stream of liquid steel is continuously circulated under vacuum between vacuum vessel and ladle and unwanted elements are removed as gases.

In the VD process, the entire ladle is placed under vacuum in a tank that is vacuum-tightly closed, and steel circulation within the ladle is enabled by bottom rinsing via plugs in the ladle bottom.

The RH and RH-TOP plants from SMS group are typically installed in steel making plants with batch sizes from 80 to 400 tons. VD and VD-OB plants typically cover batch sizes from 20 to 350 tons, VOD plants from 10 to 180 tons. RH plants and VD plants can be used in both electric and converter steelworks. VOD plants are required in stainless steel production to achieve particularly low carbon contents in an economical way.


Advanced steel quality A package of superior solutions

SMS group's program covers the complete range of technologies and services for advanced steel quality. This package of metallurgical solutions is an important factor in helping to continuously deliver products with superior benefits for the final customer. These true assets give you maximum capacity and flexibility in constantly supporting leading industries with the most appropriate advanced steel quality. And the demand for quality steels in future-oriented markets is growing.

We coordinate each component of your metallurgical plant individually with you and adapt it accordingly. Our total commitment to technology and services contributes to your competitiveness.

Condition Monitoring System

Optimized vacuum system monitoring

Our Condition Monitoring System (CMS) is also available for vacuum pumps. This allows you to keep an overview at all times: The system monitors the main functions so that you can detect faults and take appropriate action.

Operating and maintenance personnel gain an easier overview

  • The display of pressures and temperatures, for example, makes it easier to understand the relationships between thermodynamic processes
  • This also applies to the interaction of individual factors

Better preventive maintenance

  • Predictive failure warnings give you the opportunity to take counter measures as soon as values deviate too much from the norm
  • You take the right counter measures based on correctly identified causes

Efficient operation

  • You recognize potentials for saving operating media
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Splash control

Less skulls and low refractory wear

It's important to inhibit steel splashing inside the vacuum vessel to avoid skull buildup. RH-SC® does this during rapid decarburization treatment using advanced vacuum pressure and precise lift gas flow control.

Fewer splashes reduce skull formation inside the vacuum vessel. As a result, less effort is necessary for skull cutting with hydrocarbon fuels or oxygen applied through burner lances. This not only directly saves resources but also reduces skull handling, recycling, and disposal.

Skull cutting tends to damage the vessel lining, so reducing it increases the refractory lifetime. It also decreases the volume of worn-out refractories that have to be dumped and recycled. Another advantage of less splashing is that not as much dust is generated to contaminate the condenser cooling water. That eases the load on the water treatment plant.

Selected References


Emergency support - Remote Service

For easy identification of defects and malfunctions and quick initiation of measures for fault elimination.

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Long-term service agreement

As a reliable partner, we provide for a highly productive plant, which operates economically and serves the cycle times of the entire production process.

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Safety Locator

Protect your most valuable asset - your employees - with the SMS group Safety Locator!

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Smart Maintenance

Digitalize your maintenance with SMS group!

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Plant technology
New secondary steel treatment options implemented at TerniumSiderar (ARG)
Increased plant availiability
Quick coupling systems for all fluid connections in the steel meltshop
Electrical and Automation Systems
A new steel plant complex for SDI


SMSgroup Luven, Michael

Michael Luven

SMS group GmbH
Head of Technical Sales and Project Planning - Secondary & Tertiary Metallurgy, Metallurgical Plants and Environmental Technology
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881-8164

SMSgroup Eggert, Rüdiger

Rüdiger Eggert

SMS group GmbH
Senior Manager Technical Sales - Secondary & Tertiary Metallurgy, Metallurgical Plants and Environmental Technology
Eduard-Schloemann-Straße 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 881-8139