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POSCO Commercializes High Manganese Steel Production Technology Based on Molten FeMn Alloy for First Time in the World

Date
Apr. 13, 2017
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  • - POSCO developed 'PosLM', a heat insulation facility that can store high-purity molten ferromanganese alloy
    - The use of molten alloy instead of solid alloy shortened process time and improved profitability
    - Successful commercial production case utilizing synergies out of cooperation among POSCO's technology research institute, steel mills, and affiliates

    POSCO succeeded in the world's first commercialization of high manganese steel production process technology based on molten ferromanganese (FeMn) alloy.

             

    POSCO Technical Research Laboratories completed a commercial production test of "high manganese steel using molten manganese alloy" and finally transferred the equipment and operations to the Plate Rolling Department of Gwangyang Works. The steelmaker succeeded in commercializing it and opened up a new era of high manganese steel production technology by investing a total of 55 billion won in R&D over four years that began in 2013.

             

    The high-manganese production process developed by POSCO is characterized by the use of PosLM (POSCO Liquid Manganese), a special hot-air furnace facility capable of storing molten manganese iron.

             

    High manganese steel has been produced by melting sold manganese iron in the steelmaking process(a process that removes impurities from molten iron from furnaces and gives the molten iron special properties). At this time, when the solid manganese alloy iron is injected into a converter(a large container for storing molten iron), the temperature of the molten iron is lowered and the temperature of the converter should be increased again. This fact leads to additional energy costs and extends process time. On top of that, this process has a disadvantage where refractories in the converter become seriously worn away as manganese oxide is generated in the process of melting.

             

    POSCO became able to store molten manganese alloy with PosLM, a special thermal insulation furnace facility that was proprietarily developed by POSCO, halving the time required for steelmaking in high manganese steel production. As a result, slab production efficiency for high manganese steel can be raised more than 10%, thus greatly contributing to profitability.

             

    In addition, by producing high manganese steel with various properties depending on manganese content, POSCO plans to apply it to innovative steel products such as cryogenic toughness steel for LNG tanks, wear-resistant steel for energy transport, and non-magnetic steel for transformer enclosures.

             

    The commercialization of 'high-manganese steel production process using molten ferromanganese alloy' is a good example of the successful completion of the process, jointly achieved by POSCO Technical Research Laboratories, steel mills and POSCO M-tech, from its planning stage to its design, operation technology and commercial production. Moreover, the technology has received the Innovation Award at the 2016 POSCO Family Technology Awards.

             

    Meanwhile, POSCO paved the way for the full-scale expansion of the high-manganese steel market on March 22 by applying high-manganese steel of its own development as a material for oil sand slurry pipes of Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company.



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