Dr. Cappel holds a doctoral degree in ferrous metallurgical engineering from RWTH Aachen in Aachen, Germany. Dr. Cappel has more than 20 years of experience working in iron- and steelmaking facilities. His responsibilities included management of the blast furnace process, the BOF and secondary treatment processes, raw material procurement, steelmaking research and development and overall steelmaking production. Throughout his career, he has been an active proponent for fundamental education of individuals in the steel industry. He has provided instruction to many of his employees while in steel production. Currently, as a consultant in the steel industry, one of the primary benefits to his customers is the education of their employees in producing steel efficiently in a safe, sustainable environment.
The AIST International Steel Academy course MSTS 201: Steelmaking is intended as an introduction to the origin and sourcing of steelmaking raw materials and the fundamentals of melting, refining and solidification of steel. World-class manufacturing pursues excellence in quality, technology, efficiency, sustainability and innovation. An educated workforce knowledgeable in the fundamentals of raw materials, equipment, technology and operations is critical to achieving world-class steel production. This course, developed from experiences in academia, operations and research, also presents the dynamic state of steelmaking technology and the significance of steel production for economic growth.
Today’s steel industry is teeming with innovation and advanced technology. Many of the breakthroughs are the result of experienced personnel who have merged hard work with efficiency and opportunity. Young professionals, devoid of the industry experience beneficial to developing new technologies, must rely on the steelmaking curriculum from academic institutions, which in recent years has waned. The MSTS 201: Steelmaking course merges practical industry experiences with advanced metallurgical concepts of smelting, refining and solidification. While many courses focus on steel as the material, the MSTS 201 curriculum broadens the scope to include the ancillary, supporting technologies critical to steelmaking, such as environmental aspects, equipment technology, production scheduling and control systems. The various subjects are presented in a manner that makes complex concepts understandable to non-experts.
1. History and Fundamentals of Iron- and Steelmaking
Through the last 6,000 years, the art of ironmaking has gradually turned into the science of steelmaking and continuous casting. The progress in technology over those years will be presented to create a foundation for the remaining MSTS 201: Steelmaking presentations. Included will be the histories of ironmaking, steelmaking and continuous casting, as well as how the steel industry created the industrialization of the modern world. The session concludes with a steel market review and a statistical overview of the host country steel industry situation.
2. Sustainability in Steelmaking
Eight sustainability indicators summarize the responsibility of the steel industry to their employees, their social role and their environmental behavior. Indicators will be presented to detail what it means for a steel company to be sustainable, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy and material efficiencies, environmental management systems, reduction in lost-time injuries, employee training, investment in new processes and technology, and providing a defined value to society.
3. Raw Materials
Steel production requires efficient sourcing and use of raw materials. Iron ore, coal, alloys, fuels, fluxes and recycled products will be described in terms of origin, availability, trade, chemical and physical properties, and logistics. Preparation and efficient use for cost-effective production will be discussed. The session concludes with an introduction of modern recycling technologies to reutilize mill waste according to the material efficiency indicators of the sustainability approach.
4. Burden Preparation
Many raw materials cannot be utilized directly in iron- and steelmaking processes. Thermal preparation processes like sintering and pelletizing are introduced, as well as cold preparation technologies, including briquetting. Other alternatives are discussed. The importance of material quality testing and material behavior simulation in the melting process is pointed out. The session concludes with some remarks about lime and dololime production.
5. Blast Furnace Process
The overall blast furnace design and process will be outlined. Discussion will cover the metallurgy of iron ore reduction and melting, hot metal quality and ways to influence it, as well as slag formation and processing to valuable byproducts. BF top gas composition and dust types and utilization are introduced. An overview of material and heat balances for the blast furnace will be discussed in detail. Maintenance considerations, production cost, plant utilities, recent advancements in instrumentation, modeling, automation and environmental aspects will also be described.
6. Alternative Ironmaking
In some regions of the world, non-coking coal or other primary energy sources are available for ironmaking. To develop a steel industry in these countries, direct reduced iron technologies came to industrial application. Current, viable technologies such as Midrex, Corex and Finex will be presented, including the metallurgy and final product characteristics and process byproducts. The session concludes with the introduction of the smelting reduction technology and the pro¬cesses under development for industrial application.
7. Hot Metal Pretreatment
On its way from the blast furnace to the steel meltshop, liquid hot metal must be transported, intermediate stored and processed. The common technologies and metallurgies for hot metal pretreatment, are presented, detailing the methods used and the benefits of the processes to the final steel product. The role of hot metal solidified for scrap replacement in direct steel meltshops is explained. Environmental aspects are discussed.
8. BOF Steelmaking
The basic oxygen furnace (BOF) steelmaking process (also called the LD process) began in the 1950s in Europe. Since that time, the BOF process is the primary process to produce large quantities of high-purity steel from blast furnace iron. The history and current state of the process will be presented. The oxidation metallurgy of the BOF — including raw material considera¬tions, material and heat balances, oxygen blowing and tap procedures — will also be detailed. The course will include information on BOF maintenance, production cost, plant utilities and the current technology available for instrumentation, modeling and automation. A description of environmental systems for BOF steelmaking will be included, as will the challenges facing steel produced via a BOF.
9. EAF Steelmaking
In the last 20 years, the electric arc furnace (EAF) process has spread rapidly across the globe as a viable alternative to the BOF for producing many steel products. This section of the course will detail the metallurgy of the EAF, including raw material considerations, material and heat balances, oxygen blowing and tap procedures, and the many variations in EAF designs. This section will also highlight maintenance requirements, plant utilities required and an overview of the current technology available for instrumentation, modeling and automation. An overview of the environmental systems and the future challenges for EAF steelmaking will conclude the section.
10. Alternative Steelmaking
This section will showcase recent, viable alternative steelmaking technologies: direct scrap melting with oxygen and coal (KMS) technology, energy optimized furnace (EOF) technology, induction furnace (IF) technology, and submerged arc furnace (SAF) technology. Micromill technology will also be introduced. Two general routes are available: an EAF/Consteel-based steelmaking route and a cupola furnace-based, hot metal to steel route.
11. Steel Refining
The chemical and temperature refinement of liquid steel is critical to the final cast product. The fundamentals of the metallurgical operations used to de-oxidize and refine steel will be pre¬sented, including the various treatment stations for reheating, degassing and alloying liquid steel. The different stations are necessary to produce the broad range of chemistries required for today’s steel market. Interstitial-free steel grades are processed differently than sour gas service grades; likewise, a different process route is used to produce high-alloy steels for tools and roller bearings. The linking of these treatment stations to the overall process route will be pre¬sented, as well as the variety of process routes that can occur between the steel melting furnace and the final solidification process.
12. Casting Fundamentals & Casting Process
The casting section will begin with a history and overview of ingot casting and the current bene¬fits of continuous casting steel via the ingot process. The history and evolution of continuous casting will then be described, focusing on the different cross-sectional shapes which can be cast and the markets served by each type. Machine elements will be discussed, along with physical and metallurgical models to understand the process, and an explanation of reoxidation prevention, flow control and slag carryover control. The benefits of technologies like electromagnetic stirrers are described, and mold powder technology is introduced. This part concludes with the technology developments of the last four decades.
Discussion of metallurgical phenomena will include surface and inner defects on CC products, their origin and countermeasures. Cleanliness of steel is discussed, as well as solidification effects and minimizing of negative quality effects caused by segregation. Various mold technologies, strand mechanics, the bending/unbending process, cooling processes and casting tensions are included.
As in the previous sessions, the material and heat balance of the process is introduced, along with maintenance issues, productivity aspects, production cost, plant utilities and the latest technological developments in modeling and instrumentation. The session concludes with casting/rolling applications like thin slab and direct strip casting.
13. Steel Markets and Applications
Steel grades can be classified into one of four categories: construction steel, ultralow-carbon steel, line pipe steel and engineering steel. Each category will be described in terms of its requirements in steel chemistry and applications. Innovations will be introduced.
14. Production Planning
Production planning requires an understanding of raw material availability, current operating conditions, current orders, and customer requirements and equipment availability, among other considerations. Continuous production processes are merged with batch processes to produce an efficient production sequence. An overview of how an order becomes a product will be given for different production systems.