Vacuum plants

Innovative and efficient liquid steel refining

There are various types of vacuum plant for liquid steelmaking available from SMS group. These state-of-the-art production tools support you in meeting today's (and tomorrow's) demands for final product quality. Following your specific requirements, we design tailor-made solutions that cost-effectively accomplish your metallurgical, logistics, and productivity operations.



SMSgroup Plant Image

Recirculation degassing - RH PROCESS (RH, RH-TOP, RH-OB)

Our RH process offers you these distinctive benefits:

Outstanding decarburization

Reproducible and rapid achievement of lowest carbon contents for the production of DDQ & EDDQ thin sheet.

Excellent degassing

Effective hydrogen removal from liquid steel.

Low temperature losses

Here, the slag layer on top of the liquid steel remains closed throughout. It insulates against heat loss to the ambient air.

Short treatment times

RH recirculation ensures a high lift gas rate plus a greater steel surface directly exposed to the vacuum. So you get fast metallurgical reactions and very short treatment times This is why RH suits fast-running BOF shops with short CCM cycle times and extended CCM sequence lengths.

No extra ladle freeboard

Vacuum treatment outside the ladle does not require any extra freeboard, neither with higher ladles nor with lower steel weights. That generates maximum production with a given ladle design.

No ladle plugs required

Special to the process is that the inert lift gas is injected into the RH snorkel – outside the ladle. As a result, the ladle does not necessarily need bottom purging plugs. What’s more, the steel back flow ensures excellent homogenization of the liquid steel.


RH plant designs

Whatever you need in terms of capacity and productivity, you'll find the ideal solution among our three basic RH plant types. To make it easy, we team up with you and create the optimum plant design based on our long experience from many versatile steelmaking plants.

Single RH plant image

Single RH plant

  • One vacuum vessel in fixed position 
  • One treatment position
  • Compact design
  • Low investment cost
  • Standard capacity
Quick-exchange RH plant image

Fast-vessel-exchange RH plant

  • Two movable vacuum vessels 
  • One treatment position
  • Low vessel exchange times
  • High productivity
  • High capacity
Duplex RH plant image

Duplex RH plant

  • Two vacuum vessels in fixed position
  • Two treatment positions with a common vacuum pump system
  • Minimum treatment cycle times 
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Maximum capacity

RH Technology highlights

Vacuum pump systems image

Vacuum pump systems

We always design your vacuum pumps to suit your specific steel plant conditions and process requirements.

Top lances image

Top lances

Multi-functional TOP lance systems are indispensable for modern, efficient, and cost-effective RH operation.

Ladle handling image

Ladle handling

Optimized ladle handling from arrival to departure is as important as the vacuum treatment itself.

SMSgroup Image

Splash control

You benefit from our RH-SC® with advanced splash control. It features variable steam nozzles for direct vacuum control.

Selected References

Big River Steel, USA image

Big River Steel, USA

Type: 150 t RH plant

Startup: 2017

Highlights: Fast-vessel-exchange design, V-track for two ladle cars, ladle lifting by bottom ram, multi-function TOP lance

Shop: EAF shop for long products

Hyundai Steel, South Korea image

Hyundai Steel, South Korea

Type: 155 t RH plant

Startup: 2015

Highlights: Fast-vessel-exchange design, common track for two ladle cars, ladle lifting by RockerType, multi-function TOP lance

Shop: EAF shop for long products

Tubos Reunidos Industriales, Spain image

Tubos Reunidos Industriales, Spain

Type: 110 t RH plant

Startup: 2013

Highlights: Common track for two ladle cars, ladle lifting by RockerType

Shop: EAF shop for long products

Taiyuan Iron & Steel, China image

Taiyuan Iron & Steel, China

Type: 2 x 80 t RH plant

Startup: 2012

Highlights: Duplex design, ladle lifting by bottom ram, multi-function TOP lances

Shop: BOF shop for flat products

Arcelormittal Dunkerque, France

Arcelormittal Dunkerque, France

Type: 260 t RH plant

Startup: 2009

Highlights: Fast-vessel-exchange design, ladle lifting by turntable, RH-OB submerged oxygen tuyeres

Shop: BOF shop for flat products


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
Increased plant availiability - Quick coupling systems for all fluid connections in the steel meltshop
New secondary steel treatment options implemented at TerniumSiderar (ARG)


SMSgroup Eggert, Rüdiger

Rüdiger Eggert

SMS Mevac GmbH
Bamlerstraße 3a
45141 Essen

Phone : +49 201 6323 139
Fax : +49 201 6323 239

SMSgroup Schlüter, Jochen

Jochen Schlüter

SMS Mevac GmbH
Bamlerstraße 3a
45141 Essen

Phone : +49 201 6323 120
Fax : +49 201 6323 220