Carnegie Mellon University

NREC Signs Agreement with Harsco to Improve Customer Yield

June 16, 2017

NREC signs agreement with Harsco to improve customer yield

The National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) signed a research agreement with Harsco Corporation to develop ruggedized sensors to measure steel makers Iron (Fe) yield at various points during their steel making process. Camp Hill, PA-based Harsco is the world leader in environmental resource recovery and material handling services to the metals and minerals industries. The project starts in the fall of 2016 with objectives of improving customer melt to cast yield percentage and creating more value add in Harsco’s logistics service process.

Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) steel slag is a by-product of the manufacture of steel by the EAF process. An EAF produces steel by melting recycled scrap using heat generated from large electric electrodes which generate enormous amounts of electrical current. The slag is formed through the addition of lime, which is added to remove impurities from the steel. For a typical EAF steel making process, up to 15% of slag per ton of steel can be produced. Fe can make up for 20-40% of the slag concentration depending on each steel mill’s operating practice.

Sensors used in this application require ruggedized housings and system design due to its intense heat, which can reach temperatures up to 2000° C during the slagging process. Working in partnership with Harsco, NREC will use its field-proven sensing technologies to make the EAF process more efficient. These technologies will better estimate the percent Fe and slag for each heat of steel produced.