Air Products’ Oxy-fuel Technology Yields Significant Savings for Ladle Preheaters
A firm believer in improving the performance and efficiency of his operation, Joe Malchar, Manager of Ladle Metallurgy and Refractories at Gerdau Ameristeel’s Midlothian, Texas mini-mill, was intrigued by Air Products’ oxy-fuel technology to preheat his ladles. With the increase in natural gas pricing and the availability of oxygen on-site, Malchar turned to Air Products’ novel oxy-fuel technology, eventually converting five preheaters from forced air to Air Products’ oxy-fuel burners.
Installation and commissioning of the oxy-fuel technology was accomplished in under 24 hours with Malchar commenting, “Air Products understands steel—they were well informed on our application, ensuring that everything went smoothly”.
The mill has been pleased with the ease of operation, excellent reliability and safety of the oxy-fuel burners, as well as the 60% savings in natural gas consumption that has been realised with Air Products’ oxy-fuel technology.