Created by Carboox  

Technologies applied to the steelworks improve the flow of steel and eliminate the use of human labor in the process

The creation of the exothermic device for opening ladles in the steelworks (Dap) and the automatic addition of refractory sand in a pouring ladle are among the most prominent new products developed by Carboox. The first innovation resulted from a partnership with the Colorado School of Mines, in the United States, between 1989 and 1990, and the second, an exclusive initiative of the company, came from the challenge of safely and efficiently adding sand to the drawer valve, without direct human intervention in the process.


Patented by Carboox, Dap has been considered, since then, a success in the steel market due to the ever-present risk of not opening the drawer valve freely. It is a chrome-based technology, coupled with an oxygen lance, whose performance enabled the gain of 90% of this refractory market segment for the quick release of the steel flow..    


It was because of this development that the company successfully entered the refractory area, its corre buness since 2016. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Omar Filho, says that in the early days of this business, the production of basic and aluminous refractories was in the hands of monopolies. This fact led Carboox to extract them from the chromite, in a specific factory, set up in Bahia, between 1990/1998, in an agreement with the Companhia de Ferro Ligas da Bahia (Ferbasa). Later, Ferbasa itself started to supply the raw material, in the demanded specifications.

The development of the machine for adding sand to pans was motivated by Carboox's concern with the good performance of the input. Originally, "the addition was manual, through a steel tube with the pan in a vertical position, but the results were precarious due to the high incidence of falling slag debris inside the valve", as described by Carboox technicians, in a paper on the subject presented, in 2018, at the 49th Seminar on Steelmaking, Casting and Non-Ferrous Metallurgy of ABM Week.


Also according to the work, “the method was modified for the addition with the pan in an inclined position, reducing only the fall of debris in the valve region. However, it continued to involve physical effort, increased heat by radiation, light radiation and the exposure of two operators to risks, simultaneously."


He adds that the solution found consists in implementing a versatile mechanism capable of adding the refractory sand to the steel pan, even with it still hanging on the overhead crane. In this case, its position is tilted at an angle of up to 45°.


Today, the addition takes place automatically, without human hand, and the process is filmed using electronic equipment also coupled to the machine. According to the conclusion of the work, the "customized" mechanization of the method of adding refractory sand to steel ladles in steelworks "brings benefits in terms of operational safety, precision in the execution of the operation, perspective of reducing consumption and the execution time of the assignment".


With this, the product not only diversified the portfolio but also broadened Carboox's business horizons, for both products, that is, sand and device. As soon as the company completes the commercial process of entry into the United States started in 2007, with the sale of sand – a market four times the size of Brazil – it intends to go on even higher flights, since "the sky is the limit", according to Omar Filho.

Máquina é destaque em sessão técnica da ABM WEEK 2018
Machine is featured in ABM WEEK 2018 technical session