Submerged arc furnace (silicon & special metallurgy)

Primary products
Special Metallurgy

Our international experts are passionate about electric smelters and submerged-arc furnaces for TiO2 slag, CaC2, minerals, refractories, ferroalloys, silicon, and non-ferrous metals. This is a field where SMS group in Düsseldorf and Metix in Johannesburg pool their know-how for your benefit. Our team in Düsseldorf handles all SAF-related projects for electric smelters and submerged-arc furnaces worldwide, except in Southern Africa. That leaves Metix responsible for all submerged-arc furnace and electric smelter projects in the southern African region. What's more, Metix supplies feed material pre-heating systems as well as pellet and sinter plants. Paul Wurth provides support with refractory design and tapping/stoking equipment. We join forces with you to work together in partnership, always finding the best possible solution. Our teams are available at any time to stand by your side and help you get the results you want.


Know-how is necessary

What makes electric smelters for special applications particularly challenging is that they are usually tailor-made to meet unique requirements. This means special know-how is necessary for their technological development. That's why, we have, in recent years, engineered and supplied the core equipment for units producing CaC2 slag, TiO2 slag, and hot metal, as well as fused magnesia and dephosphorization furnaces. We also supply test and pilot furnaces for upscaling new processes. All our units are custom-made.

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Titanium slag

You can derive an extra benefit from titanium slag furnaces because they produce TiO2-rich slag and pig iron as valuable by-products. The ilmenite ore can be processed in either DC or AC furnaces ...

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Calcium carbide (CaC2)

Calcium carbide (CaC2) is the raw material for acetylene and calcium cyanimide. Today it's mainly used in the chemical industry and as a desulfurization agent in steel production. ...

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General minerals

Our furnaces are also used in various fields for refractory and mineral production.
That's because SAFs are ideal for producing these products: ...

Ferro silicon and silicon

Technically, the furnaces used for silicon and Ferro silicon (FeSi) are very similar. Yet the materials have different applications. Most FeSi goes to the steel industry, whereas silicon is used much more widely: in steel and aluminium production, the chemicals industry for producing silicones, and in electronics, etc. Typically, ferro-silicon grades produced in submerged-arc furnaces have SI contents from 15 to 96%. Grades with more than 96% Si are known as silicon. The high energy concentration and process gas formation involved here place extreme demands on the design and material of these furnaces.

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Approaches & Technology

Experience for the future

Crucial for our excellent design are our experienced experts, plus a strong R+D department, and advanced engineering tools. All this makes it possible to calculate complex structural furnace parts and intensive thermal areas. These are capabilities even more important for designing large-capacity furnaces. Moreover, FEM calculation is an extra option for cutting electrical losses with alternating magnetic fields.

Our customers have told us again and again that our designs result in reliable and efficient plants. That's because our engineering also ensures long equipment and component service lives. Some SMS group furnaces have been in operation for more than 40 years - and are still running smoothly.

During recent decades, we have developed numerous smelter solutions to cope with the specific conditions dictated by various processes. Take a look at the resulting wide range below.

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Additional competencies

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Each process requires extensive and in-depth process know-how. You benefit from the expertise of our metallurgical department because it provides a solid basis for efficient design as well as safe and reliable operation of your applications. We also team up with many plant operators and renowned institutes worldwide. What has emerged over decades of development in this field is a metallurgical model founded on practical and scientific data.

Our in-house software for complex metallurgical evaluation combined with our experienced employees are your guarantee for reliable and achievable figures. Working hand in hand with the metallurgical department means our experts define the right processes and furnace dimensions for you. This results in perfect solutions for your specific metallurgical requirements. Plus: intelligent dimensioning gives you higher yield and keeps your consumption low.

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The SMS group turnkey department is noted for its expertise in planning and supplying complete plants of any size for ferroalloys, nonferrous metals, and other products worldwide. As leading partners in consortiums or as plant planning specialists, we offer you comprehensive know-how
and a wide spectrum of services. Our full technical service ranges from the planning and project phase to the handover of the turnkey plant. We also provide engineering for individual plant sections that are subsequently combined with other units to build a complete plant. Acting as an EPC/EPCM contractor, SMS group has implemented many projects based on these business models:

  • Business model 1: Core equipment delivery (e.g. Barro Alto/Brazil)
  • Business model 2: Turnkey equipment delivery (e.g. Silicium Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 3: Business model 2 + local engineering by SMS group, procurement and construction by customer with SMS group assistance (e.g. Vale/Brazil, Kazchrome/Kazakhstan)
  • Business model 4: Business model 3 + local civil engineering and construction engineering by SMS group (e.g. PCC Bakki/Iceland)

There is no better indication of the SMS group Johannesburg office's competence in EPC services than the impressive track record of Metix in installing plants with full budget and time responsibility. Metix enjoys an excellent reputation - particularly in FeCr sinter plants (based on Outotec design and technology) and electric smelters. The Sakura project in Malaysia, where SMS group is supplying a complete FeMn-plant, is managed on a full EPC contract basis.

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Besides supplying engineering, equipment, and plant, we also provide these services and engineering:

  • Operating cost optimization
  • Environmental impact studies
  • De-bottlenecking, plant logistics, process modeling
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Product optimization programs and product change/expansion plans



Digital documentation: First step to a smart plant.

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Equipment check

Regular inspections and maintenance form the basis for safeguarding the efficiency of your equipment.

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Long-term maintenance services

SMS group offers you the full range of services along the value chain, while you can focus entirely on your core competences.

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Reference - Tailor-made warehousing at Kazchrome

SMS spare parts are available in-time for all maintenance activities at melt shop # 4 and its auxiliary plants.

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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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Selected References

ReferencesSince 2000

SMS group, a strong partner

SMS group supplies a wide product portfolio to end users who process ferroalloys, PGM, NF metals, iron, and steel. Over the last 100 years, we have developed many processes to produce more than 60 different kinds of metals and slags (collecting in excess of 750 references) Internationally, SMS group ranks among the strongest players in the field of all smelter components, equipment, and plant solutions. Today we are the global leader in metallurgical plant and machines, not least because we integrated top names such as Demag, Krupp, Krupp Technologie, Schloemann, Concast, MAN-GHH, Paul Wurth, and Metix.

SMS group constantly develops applications for all kinds of customers. They are located throughout the world, predominantly in countries with large raw material reserves and/or low energy costs.

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Electrical and automation systems

Leakage detection with X-Pact® Sense

Water leakages detection for Submerged arc furnaces

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X-Pact® Electrode Control

Stable melting process - Smaller electrode movements

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X-Pact® HD Monitoring

High-definition refractory lining Monitoring. System and heat flow measurements in SAF lining

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X-Pact® Thyristor Control

Special energy control method for FeNi SAF

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Digital twin

Digital counterpart of a customer-specific plant

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Plug & Work

3D real-time simulation of technology prior to installation

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Product quality analyzer (PQA)

Solution for smooth process flow and constant high quality

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Remote service

Always at your side, quickly and dependably, worldwide

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Safeguarding plant lifetime

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X-Pact® Business Intelligence

Systematic analysis of data in an electronic form

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X-Pact® Drive

Low voltage frequency converter as integral part of X-Pact®

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X-Pact® Energy Advisor

Energy management for metallurgical plants and rolling mills

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X-Pact® MES 4.0

Production planning and scheduling for all production units in the plant

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X-Pact® Process Condition Analyzer (PCA)

The "transparent" plant

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X-Pact® Process Guidance

New standard for the future automatic control of complex plants

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X-Pact® Sense

Intelligent sensor system and camera-based solutions

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X-Pact® Vision Mobile Operation

Easy access on process results - Full information and control everywhere

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X-Pact® Vision Operation and Visualization

Innovative HMI and new control station

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SMSgroup van Niekerk, Andrew

Andrew van Niekerk

METIX (Pty) Ltd.
Managing Director
204 Rivonia Road
2196 Morningside, Sandton
South Africa

Phone : +27 11 480 1805

SMSgroup Schmale, Klaus

Klaus Schmale

METIX (Pty) Ltd.
Deputy Sales Director
204 Rivonia Road
2196 Morningside, Sandton
South Africa

Phone : +27 11 676 2321

SMSgroup Göcoglu, Mesut

Mesut Göcoglu

SMS group GmbH
Head of Sales Electrics/Automation SAF & Non-Ferrous
Eduard-Schloemann-Str. 4
40237 Düsseldorf

Phone : +49 211 8816793
Fax : +49 211 881 776793