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Metal Casting Technologies : March 2007
www.metals.rala.com.au 6 BRIEFINGS New Method of Steel Production In the 70s of the last century scientists of the National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine simultaneously with American counterparts worked out an original electric furnace-converter, which was more advantageous than the American one in terms of construction of refining assembly unit and other technological elements ensuring minimum consumption of energy, higher productivity and stability of the converter lining. But due to the nature of the former soviet management of industries the implementation of this method that became known as gas- oxygen refining (GOF) took more than 15 years. The first industrial converter with the capacity of 60 tons was commissioned only in 1987 at Zaporizhzhya plant "Dniprospetsstal" (Ukraine). During the time of its exploitation several hundred high quality grades of corrosion-resistant steels were obtained. The demand for such steels was high even in the most difficult years of crisis of the country's industry. In 1996 an author of GOF process Yuriy V. Sadovnick was awarded by the President of Ukraine the State Prize in the sphere of science and technology. The GOF method is being developed both in Ukraine and abroad. A new metallurgical complex "Spetsstal GOF Plant" has been set up within the "Promarmatura" framework (the town of Mirgorod, Ukraine). The converter GOF with the capacity of 5 tons makes it possible to produce 8 thousand tons of high quality casts for further deformation. High quality of cast and rolled stainless steel articles increases the terms of their exploitation by 2.5-3.0 times. Relatively small capacity of the converter allows for the flexibility in fulfilling small orders. A small factory of stainless steel production with the converter of 60-ton capacity was put into effect in China in April 2006 (Si Chuan Province). Before that time the production of stainless steel in China had been carried out only on the basis of American technology (AOD process). The choice of Ukrainian technology by China testifies to its high appreciation by Chinese steel producers. The possibilities of GOF are not limited by the production of stainless steel. The application of the method is perspective for the production of all high quality steels. The improvement of technical and economics is achieved during the production of refined ferrous alloys. Method GOF, developed by the scientists of the Ukraine, many times does exceed according to the technical characteristics (expenditure of argon, the carbon monoxide of chromium, the durability of brick lining, the duration of process, the assortment of production) the existing American based AOD - process, because of the unique technology that involves scavenging of liquid metal. Method GOF is multifunctional and in contrast with AOD process, it is suitable not only for the production of high-quality stainless steels, but also for obtaining of ferroalloys and nonferrous metals directly from the ore, passing the expensive conversion stages of traditional process. At the present time, with the help of Ukrainian specialists, a new plant for the production of nickel is being constructed in China based on the GOF technology." Numerous other plants are also switching from the common AOD process to a more effective, more reliable, and cheaper way of GOF technology. New Zealand Conference Forum Outcomes At the request of the organizers of the very successful 37th Australian Foundry Conference held in Rotorua New Zealand last October, Doug Harland conducted a Forum to tease out ideas on how to revitalize the Cast Metals Industry. His report is substantial and valuable and for anyone wishing to read it in full, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Because of space limitations, we are providing a brief overview of the outcomes. Several topics were work-shopped and a major one being the foundry industry's poor image and being an undesirable, low skilled workplace. Among many positive solutions being offered, an important one was to offer more apprenticeships and lobby both state and federal governments to become aware of the integral role of castings manufacture within the overall Australian manufacturing industry. Furthermore, the foundry industry should be working closer with its community with particular emphasis on working more closely and effectively with the EPA's as well as engage more closely with designers to educate them on the benefits of castings technologies. The Forum attendees accurately concluded that the average person does not have an understanding of the integral role which castings have in their day-to-day community and that an education and public relations plan should be applied to change this. The suggested solutions to many of the work shop questions are extremely valuable. These outcomes should be fully documented into an action plan going forward. However, a major problem is that there is no representative body. The forum closed with a suggested solution that there should be a consideration of a merger of relevant bodies e.g. The National Council of the AFI and CTNZ. (For a complete copy of the Forum outcomes, please email: email@example.com) GOF Author