Italian metallurgical process plant and mechanical construction company SMS Meer was contracted in February by Spanish steel producer ArcelorMittal Asturias to revamp the 150 t/h walking beam furnace, which feeds the steel company’s wire-rod mill.
The aim of the project is to reduce the plant’s operative costs to increase competitiveness. The revamp will achieve 80% natural gas savings and lower emissions, as well as improve productivity and flexibility.
The project mainly involves redesigning the combustion equipment, which currently runs on 100% natural gas, by introducing the possibility of also combusting blast furnace gas.
The new combustion equipment will provide the user with the flexibility to use a mixed bag of variable percentages of natural gas and blast furnace gas, with the latter being preheated by a new recuperator. Thus, the new system will enable the steelmaker to save about 80% of its current natural gas consumption.
The technical approach has been jointly developed by SMS Group and ArcelorMittal engineers over several months of close collaboration, balancing the needs to save fuel, decreasing the company’s pollutants emissions and accomplishing the complete revamping job in a short time.
According to the challenging schedule of this turnkey job, the furnace will be fully operational again in September, after just one month of mill stoppage.
The project will also provide ArcelorMittal with the opportunity to completely update the furnace combustion system to the latest European safety regulations.
With the new equipment, any grade of iron will be able to be reheated without any limitations. The billet dimensions are 150 mm × 150 mm and 180 mm × 180 mm, from 12 000 mm to 15 200 mm.
Further, the system will be constantly managed by Prometheus, the advanced combustion optimisation system recently developed by SMS Group.
This system allows for targeted improvements of the metallurgical properties. For example, it increases temperature uniformity and minimises steel decarburisation and high-scale formation.
Prometheus will also help SMS Siemag reduce fuel consumption by adopting heating strategies that minimise the temperature set points, yet guarantee that the required temperature of the final stock target is attained.