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Steel industry


Oxygen, nitrogen, and argon are widely used in steel industry.


0xygen

It was the efficient use of oxygen in the steel industry which triggered the development of air separation. Even now the steel industry is the main consumer of oxygen and it is oxygen which has made it possible to develop a crucial line in steel melting known as the converter melting processes.


Oxygen is used in:

  • Cast iron and steel production (to remove excessive carbon)
  • Converter steel production
  • Electric furnace steel production
  • Blast furnaces (with oxygen injection)
  • Ferrous alloy production
  • Melting of nickel, zinc, lead, zirconium, and other non-ferrous metals
  • Intensification of raw material burning in non-ferrous metallurgy
  • Direct reduction of iron

Nitrogen

Nitrogen is used as a shielding gas to protect technological processes against ambient air and its oxidizing components (moisture, oxygen, carbon dioxide).

In particular nitrogen is used:

  • To form a shielding atmosphere during the vacuum degassing of molten metals
  • To form an inert atmosphere during continuous steel casting
  • To provide purification processes in aluminum production

Argon

Argon is used in the production of high quality metals and alloys, in processes which require the prevention of contact between molten metal and ambient air and its main components, nitrogen and oxygen.


Argon is use in:

  • Melting of special steel grades under vacuum using a shielding inert atmosphere
  • Hot working on titanium, tantalum, niobium, beryllium, zirconium, hafnium, tungsten.
  • Removing of trapped gas (degassing) from liquid steel
  • Steel casting in an argon atmosphere