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Siemens optical sensor sees temperature of molten scrap

Germany – German steel-making technology firm Siemens says its Simetal RCB Temp system uses an optical sensor to “see” the temperature of molten metal during steel production.

Accurate measurement of the scrap metal temperature in electric arc furnaces allows optimum melting sequence times to be calculated, reducing energy consumption and operating costs.

Manual measurements are strenuous, hazardous, and can only be carried out a limited number of times before the steel is tapped. The temperature has to be taken with cartridges inserted through the open slag door, because optical measurement systems are too sensitive to heat and soiling to be installed inside the furnace.

Siemens Industry has integrated an optical temperature sensor into the RCB (Refining Combined Burner). Conventionally, the burner melts the scrap metal while a lance injects a precisely concentrated stream of oxygen into the liquid steel. In this system, the system also injects an inert gas, enabling an optical sensor at the rear of the lance to detect the steel’s infrared radiation profile, and a special algorithm is applied to this data to calculate the temperature of the molten metal.

The system is said to be accurate, reliable, and allows more frequent temperature measurement. Siemens says it can be easily retrofitted to existing production lines.

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