Technology Committees

Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee Activities

The OSTC met 11–12 October 2017, Hammond, Ind., USA. The OSTC was given a tour of ArcelorMittal Riverdale’s BOF facility and the ladle and casting facilities on 11 October, followed by the OSTC business meeting on 12 October.
The OSTC held a safety contact roundtable discussion, which served as an opportunity for members to share safety-related improvements and events so all could benefit.
Mark Borsody, OSTC papers chair, discussed the abstracts selected for the OSTC sessions for AISTech 2018. The committee will hold five paper sessions plus the annual BOF Operators Panel Discussion. Volunteers were taken for session chairs as well.
As a wrap-up to AISTech 2017, volunteers were taken to evaluate nominations for the 2018 AIST Charles Herty Award, which honors the best BOF paper from the conference.
The OSTC then discussed options in organizing a Korea/Taiwan BOF Study Tour. Being planned for March 2018, the study tour would include three BOF facilities in Korea and two facilities in Taiwan. Producer member support will be sought in order for the tour to be conducted.
The meeting ended with six technical presentations on oxygen lances and lance tip designs:

  • Pushing the Limits of the Lance,” by Neal Pyke, ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P.

  • Balancing Lance Tip Life and Slag FeO,” by Yun Li, U. S. Steel Research and Technology Center.

  • Improved Cooling Systems, Supersonic Nozzles With Ideal Contour,” by Christian Oehler, Saar-Metallwerke GmbH.

  • New Lance Concepts,” by Louis Valentas, Berry Metal Co.

  • Twisted Lance Tips and Parabolic Nozzles,” by Steve Gillgrass, Tallman Bronze.

  • BOF Lance Tip Performance at Algoma,” by Kamal Ughadpaga, Algoma Steel.

Karim Alshurafa (left) presented a plaque of appreciation to Nicholas Furdeck (right) for hosting the OSTC’s tour of ArcelorMittal Riverside on 11 October.

The OSTC met 9 May 2017, Nashville, Tenn., USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Karim Alshurafa, SMS USA LLC

  • Vice chair: Neal Pyke, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.

  • Papers chair: Mark Borsody, Carbide Industries Inc.

Karim Alshurafa (right) presented a plaque of appreciation to Jeff Stipec (left), area manager, Steelmaking, U. S. Steel – Mon Valley Works, for hosting the OSTC’s tour of the Edgar Thomson Plant.

The OSTC met 7–8 February 2017, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA. The meeting began on 7 February 2017 with a plant visit to U. S. Steel – Mon Valley Works, Edgar Thomson Plant, which was the original Carnegie Steel Co. facility. The attendees visited the basic oxygen furnace as well as the continuous casting operations floor and witnessed the process of exchanging tundishes. The tour concluded with a question-and-answer session with U. S. Steel personnel.
On 8 February 2017, the attendees met at the AIST world headquarters in Warrendale, Pa., USA. Future meeting locations were discussed. The OSTC will be looking to visit supplier facilities to gain a better understanding of the raw materials used in the BOF process. Potential technical topics for presentation were also discussed, such as iron ore quality; short-term, unpredictable iron chemistry (low temperature, high silicon, high titanium, etc.); and other steelmaking challenges.
The OSTC’s AISTech 2017 technical sessions were reviewed. Four sessions and one panel discussion have been organized on oxygen steelmaking technology. 
Karim Alshurafa, OSTC papers chair, announced the 2017 Charles Herty Award winner. The award will be presented during the OSTC meeting at AISTech 2017. 
The OSTC members discussed potential BOF Study Tour regions. A few tour routes were proposed and the OSTC will evaluate two options: Korea and northern Europe. 
The meeting concluded with a series of technical presentations on predicting and controlling slag eruptions during oxygen blowing. Representatives from ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.; U. S. Steel – Mon Valley Works, Edgar Thomson Plant; and Cappel Stahl Consulting; as well as James Kelly, independent consultant, presented on how to anticipate and limit slag eruptions during the oxygen blow. 

The OSTC toured the U. S. Steel – Mon Valley Works, Edgar Thomson Plant on 7 February 2017.
Chad Cathcart, U. S. Steel Canada – Lake Erie Works, presented the facility’s practices for utilizing lower-grade scrap.

The OSTC met 21 September 2016, Hamilton, Ont., Canada.  The meeting began with a tour of the KOBM stream at ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc., hosted by Neal Pyke, who provided an overview of the facility and its history of steelmaking. Operation of the KOBM at ArcelorMittal Dofasco is extremely automated, with specific checkpoints during the process for operator oversight. The automation system controls the process once the hot metal is charged into the furnace and the furnace is uprighted for the blow. The system controls the process through the tapping of the heat. The attendees also toured the ladle metallurgy facilities and the continuous casting pulpit. 
The OSTC held its business meeting and technical discussion the following day. A safety roundtable discussion was held. Pyke then reviewed the potential oxygen steelmaking technical sessions for AISTech 2017. 
Volunteers were identified to evaluate the 2017 Charles Herty Award nominees for best oxygen steelmaking paper from AISTech 2016.
Mike Strelbisky discussed potential options for a 2017 BOF Study Tour in Western or Northern Europe. 
The business meeting concluded with Shank Balajee discussing the AIST Process Benchmarker® BOF Mini-Module parameters showing the benchmarking of BOF operations in the industry. 
Four technical presentations on scrap utilization practices were given by Essar Steel Algoma, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, U. S. Steel Canada and ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. 

Karim Alshurafa (right), OSTC vice chair, presented a plaque of appreciation to Neal Pyke (left) for hosting the OSTC’s tour of ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.
The OSTC service plaque was presented to Nenad Radoja
(left to right): Karim Alshurafa, Jerry Moscoe, Radoja and
Neal Pyke.

The OSTC met 17 May 2016, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Jerry Moscoe, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor No. 4 Steel Producing

  • Vice chair: Karim Alshurafa, SMS USA LLC

  • Papers chair: Neal Pyke, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.

  • Membership chair: Mark Borsody, Carbide Industries

The OSTC met 9–10 february 2016, Southgate, Mich., USA. On 9 February, the members were given a plant tour of AK Steel Corp. – Dearborn Works, hosted by Tim Halls and Tim Cauchie. Kamal El-Rassi, Thomas Henry, Louise Doyle and Gregory Szkudlarek also assisted as tour guides. The tour consisted of a visit to the operating floor of the BOF shop, the overlook of the secondary refining area, and a visit to the operating pulpit of the continuous caster. That evening, the OSTC joined the AIST Detroit Member Chapter for the chapter’s February dinner meeting and a presentation by Alta Equipment Co.
A summary was given of the five Oxygen Steelmaking Technologies sessions for AISTech 2016. Session chairs were advised of their responsibilities in communicating with the authors. Session schedules were reviewed and adjusted to provide a complete program. Any papers that were cancelled were replaced with substitutes.
The OSTC vice chair announced the results of the Charles Herty Award Subcommittee’s review of the award candidates. The award will be presented at AISTech 2016.
The OSTC has been active in holding international study tours. In September 2015, a group of 23 delegates from Japan were hosted by members of the OSTC for a study tour of North American steelmaking facilities. This was a reciprocal tour to the OSTC Japan tour in 2014. Additionally, the OSTC began discussions on its next international visit. The committee is considering either the U.K./Sweden/Finland or a visit to Eastern European steelmaking facilities. More discussion will be held at the next OSTC meeting.
The following technical presentations on ladle refractory maintenance were given:

  • AK Steel Corp. – Dearborn Works Steel Ladle Refractory Maintenance,” by Matt Paddon of RESCO. Paddon provided a detailed presentation of changes that have taken place over the years at Dearborn and how data is being tracked for the ladles. Some of the parameters being measured and monitored are heats per lining, heats per day, pre-heat temperatures, ladle metallurgy furnace arrival temperatures and steel residence time. Attention to heat line-up and type of heat being produced are part of the program. The goal is to achieve 120 average heats per ladle lining in 2016.

  • “ArcelorMittal Dofasco Steel Ladle Lining Strategy,” by Neal Pyke of ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. Pyke provided an overview of the steelmaking operation. He elaborated on how data has been tracked since 1997, specifically for the larger KOBM ladles. The ladle brick program is comprehensive and is monitored in real time to allow for maintenance schedule changes and early maintenance if necessary.

  • “ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor No. 4 SP Steel Ladle Refractory Maintenance,” by Jerry Moscoe of

  • ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. Moscoe provided an overview of the ladle management system and how data is monitored.

  • “Refractory Overview and State of the Industry,” by Korey Skala of RHI US Ltd. Skala gave a comprehensive overview of the entire history of refractory development of the years since the Bessemer converter days. He discussed the various types of ladle brick and their specific uses and zones in the ladles, as well as the current market and state of the refractory industry worldwide focusing on the effect that China’s steel capacity has on the market. He concluded by summarizing the challenges the refractory industry is facing.

Nenad Radoja (right) presented Tim Halls (left) with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the OSTC’s tour of AK Steel Corp. – Dearborn Works on 9 February 2016.
Nenad Radoja (left) presented the OSTC service plaque to Jamie Lash (right).

The OSTC met 5 May 2015, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair — Nenad Radoja, Connors Industrial Inc.

  • Vice chair — Jerry Moscoe, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor

  • Papers chair — Karim Alshurafa, SMS USA LLC

  • Membership chair — Neal Pyke, ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc.

Meeting Highlights:
The OSTC Japan Study Tour was reviewed by Mike Strelbisky. He also provided an overview of the upcoming reciprocal tour being arranged for Japanese BOF producers to visit North American steel producers. The tour will be held on 5–9 September 2015 and will include five BOF facilities and four EAF facilities. Concurrent with the proposed Japanese North American  Study Tour will be a technical exchange between the Japanese delegates and representatives from the AIST Oxygen Steelmaking and Electric Steelmaking Technology Committees. The next OSTC International Study Tour is currently being planned and will include visits to either the three BOF facilities in the United Kingdom or the three BOF facilities in Scandinavia.

The OSTC met 28–29 January 2015, Fort Wayne, Ind., USA. The meeting began on the afternoon of 28 January 2015 with a unique tour for the oxygen steelmakers. The OSTC took the opportunity to tour the Iron Dynamics Inc. (IDI) and the Flat Rolled Division of Steel Dynamics Inc. in Butler, Ind., USA. The tour gave the BOF operators and suppliers a perspective on how liquid iron that is similar in quality to blast furnace iron can be made from DRI and a submerged arc furnace and then utilized by an EAF facility to make flat rolled sheet. Conrad Fisher, IDI plant manager, provided the tour of the submerged arc furnace which included the opportunity to witness the furnace tap. Kyle Vanover, EAF metallurgist, and Ricky Rollins, melting manager, provided the tour at the Flat Rolled Division, which included the charging of hot metal in the EAF, a tap, the LMF stations, the thin-slab continuous casters and mold repair area.  
The business meeting and technical discussion occurred on 29 January 2015. James Lash, OSTC chair, opened the meeting and asked the 33 attendees to introduce themselves. Karim Alshurafa, OSTC membership chair, detailed his efforts in recruiting additional BOF operators to the committee. He also asked for the OSTC members to reach out to individuals not on the committee to encourage their participation for the benefit of the industry.
Jerry Moscoe, papers chair, reviewed the OSTC sessions for AISTech 2015. Five sessions are currently planned, including an Operator’s Panel Discussion on Shop Floor Implementation of New Technology. Open paper slots and potential presenters were also identified.
Mike Strelbisky provided a review of the 2014 BOF Japan Study Tour, which included visits to six facilities and a joint ISIJ/AIST technical discussion. Strelbisky then discussed the status of a reciprocal study tour by Japanese BOF operators to North America. Because of shutdowns and logistics, a couple of options are being offered to the Japanese operators for their visit — one option includes AISTech 2015 in May, and the other option would include the fall 2015 OSTC meeting and tour.
Following those discussions, the technical presentations began, which were focused on practices and procedures for alloying during tap. Presenters included: 

  • Ricky Rollins and Chase Ault, who provided an overview of SDI and its Butler operations and alloy practices.

  • Steve Snell of Hickman Williams & Co., who discussed microalloying of advanced high-strength sheet (AHSS) steel.

  • Neal Pyke, who  presented the ArcelorMittal Dofasco KOBM tap and alloy/flux procedures.

  • Vince Clemans presented the tapping practices at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. 

Next OSTC Meeting:  Wednesday, 6 May 2015 during AISTech 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The OSTC met 17–18 September 2014, Southgate, Mich., USA. The meeting began with a tour of the U. S. Steel – Great Lakes Works steelmaking facilities on 17 September.  Attendees visited the BOF operating floor, the RH degassing facility and the No. 2 slab casting operating floor.  Following the tour, a group networking dinner was held. The business meeting and technical exchange were held on 18 September 2014.
An overview was provided on the AISTech 2015 technical session development. Six sessions have been planned covering BOF endpoint prediction, BOF chemistry and process improvements, maintenance, refractories and a panel discussion on shop floor implementation practices for new technology.
Five OSTC members volunteered to evaluate the nominees for the 2015 Charles Herty Award. The award will be presented at the OSTC meeting during AISTech 2015.
A request was made to consider inclusion of other regions in the AIST BOF Roundup, which is published each April in Iron & Steel Technology. Currently, North and South America are the only regions included.  Other regions to consider are Europe, Japan and India. It was decided to request assistance from the AIST India Member Chapter to add the Indian BOF facilities into the roundup.
An update was provided regarding the AIST BOF Study Tour, held in Japan on 19–25 October 2014. A complete report of the study tour appears on pages 147–157 of this issue.
The following presentations were given:

  • “A New Source for Steelmaking Refractories,” by Kyle Kingsbury, Duferco Refractories.

  • “BOF Refractory Practices,” by Pitagoras Lanna, Magnesita Refractories.

  • “Post-Combustion Lance Usage at U. S. Steel – Great Lakes Works,” by Jamie Lash, U. S. Steel Great Lakes Works.

The OSTC met  29–30 January 2014, Middletown, Ohio, USA. On 29 January, the OSTC toured AK Steel Corp. – Middletown Works. Jeff Krause, manager — steelmaking; Steve Palmer, corporate manager — primary engineering; and Steve Torok, project engineer, hosted the tour of the facility. Krause provided an overview of the facility and its history in Middletown, Ohio. Established in 1910 on 2,791 acres halfway between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, the Middletown Works has a coke plant, blast furnace, steelmaking shop, hot strip mill and finishing facilities. The steelmaking facility can produce more than 2 million tons per year via two BOFs, a CAS-OB, RH degasser and a twin-slab caster.

The OSTC Met on 30 January 2014. The OSTC held its business meeting and technical discussion. Attendees held a safety discussion which highlighted recent safety incidents in the industry and safety improvements from which all could learn.
The OSTC sessions for AISTech 2014 were reviewed, along with paper selections and an overview of session chair responsibilities. The 2014 Herty Award winner was announced, and the award presentation will occur at AISTech 2014.
An overview of the 2014 OSTC Japan Study Tour was given, highlighting the five BOF facilities scheduled to be visited.
The meeting included technical presentations on BOF hood designs, maintenance and offgas systems. Dejan Zrelec from Tenova presented on BOF offgas and hood combustion monitoring systems to improve energy control and hood integrity. Frank Massaro of Munroe Inc. presented technologies for hood overlays and repair equipment. The meeting concluded with a producers roundtable discussion on hood designs, maintenance practices and inspection procedures. 

The OSTC met on 2–3 October 2013 in Merrillville, Ind. The 45 OSTC members in attendance were given a tour of the No. 4 Steel Producing Facility at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor by Jerry Moscoe on 2 October. The attendees were given the opportunity to tour the BOF operating floor, the secondary refining and continuous casting areas, and the scarfing facility. Following the tour, the members gathered at the Bulldog Brewing Co. for the OSTC Fellowship Dinner. The Fellowship Dinners were instituted regularly at OSTC meetings in 2007 as an opportunity for members and guests to get together at a social function to network and strengthen individual relationships. 
During the OSTC meeting on 3 October, Jamie Lash, OSTC vice chair, began an open discussion on safety, safety techniques and innovations. 
Butch Radoja, OSTC papers chair, provided an overview of the OSTC abstract selection for AISTech 2014. The paper subcommittee has organized five presentation sessions and one panel discussion. The panel discussion will focus on BOF operations during abnormal conditions. A discussion was held on how to encourage the European Community to provide information for the 2014 BOF Roundup, and two OSTC members volunteered to assist in obtaining information from the European BOF facilities. 
Nominations were taken for the Distinguished Member and Fellow Award and the AIST Tadeusz Sendzimir Memorial Medal. 
Brian Bliss  and Yun Li discussed the current status of the BOF parameters of the AIST Process Benchmarker®. Producers members were encouraged to enter data into the module to begin data accummulation. 
Representatives from U. S. Steel – Gary Works, Tenova Goodfellow, Nupro Corp., ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor and Danieli gave presentations, followed by an open discussion on general BOF slag practices. 

The OSTC held its winter meeting on 6–7 February 2013 in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. The meeting began with a plant tour of U. S. Steel Canada – Lake Erie Works’ steelmaking facility. Gerry Fitzgerald, department manager — steelmaking, greeted the OSTC members and provided them with an overview of Lake Erie Works and the steelmaking facilities. Following the presentation, the group toured the steelmaking operations, which included hot metal processing, the BOF converters, secondary metallurgy and continuous casting. The business and technical discussion occurred on 7 February 2013. Forty-four attendees participated in the meeting, which was called to order by Randy Stone, OSTC chair. First on the agenda was a review by the OSTC papers chair, Jamie Lash, concerning the current status of the OSTC sessions at AISTech 2013. The attendees then received an update concerning the OSTC award nominations. Diancai Guo, Darrell Swickard, Milan Alavanja and James Bradley will receive the 2012 Charles Herty Award for Best Oxygen Steelmaking Paper for their paper entitled, “Numerical Simulation of Heavy Scrap Melting in BOF Steelmaking.” Shank Balajee was honored by the committee for receiving the AIST Distinguished Member and Fellow Award, which he will receive at AISTech 2013. A review was then provided regarding the 2012 AIST OSTC European Study Tour, and a discussion followed regarding plans for a 2013 AIST OSTC Study Tour. Tentative plans include members of the OSTC visiting multiple facilities in the Ukraine. The meeting concluded with a technical discussion on BOF lance practices. Presenters included: Neal Pyke of ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc., Gerry Fitzgerald and Herbert Guevera of U. S. Steel Canada – Lake Erie Works, Trevor Shellhammer of Shellhammer Consulting, Louis Valentas of Berry Metal Co., Shank Balajee of ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, Mike Speranze of B.E. Speranza and Goran Dimitrijevik of A.H. Tallman Bronze. The next OSTC meeting will be held in Indiana in October 2013.

The AIST Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) met on 7 May 2012 during AISTech 2012 in Atlanta, Ga. There were 70 members in attendance, with 21 of the attendees coming from producer companies. Kamal Ughadpaga, Essar Steel Algoma and OSTC chair, opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to AISTech. Following introductions and AIST announcements, Yun Li, U. S. Steel Research & Technology, 2012 OSTC papers chair, provided an overview of the OSTC sessions at AISTech 2012. Five sessions were scheduled, which included the annual International BOF Benchmarking Panel Discussion held on Monday morning. Randy Stone, vice chair, presented Rajat Bathla, process modeler, ArcelorMittal Steel USA, with the 2012 Charles Herty Award for Best Oxygen Steelmaking Paper from AISTech 2011. Recognitions were also made for Yun Li, and Bob Rote, Minco, for their third-place finish for the 2012 AIST Hunt-Kelly Award; and to Bill Howanski, formerly of RG Steel – Sparrows Point, and original member of the current AIST Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee, for his dedication to developing the foundation for the OSTC and its activities.
The 2012–2013 officer elections were conducted and the committee approved the current OSTC mission statement. The AIST staff engineer provided an overview of the APB system and a description of the BOF module currently available for use by the OSTC producer members. Mike Strelbisky presented the preliminary agenda for the upcoming OSTC study tour, which will take place in November 2012 and will include visits to voestalpine GmbH, Siemens, SMS Siemag and ArcelorMittal Gent. The meeting concluded with recognition of the outgoing chair, Kamal Ughadpaga, for his service to the committee over the last year. The next OSTC meeting is scheduled for 3–4 October 2012.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) met on 1–2 February 2012 in Munhall, Pa., for its winter meeting. U. S. Steel – Mon Valley Works hosted the committee members for a tour of the steelmaking facilities at Edgar Thomson Works. Kurt Wilson, BOP area manager, welcomed the members and gave a brief history of the oldest continually operating steelmaking location within the United States Steel Corporation. Founded in 1875 and named after the railroad tycoon Edgar Thomson, the facility began producing rail but today produces high-quality automotive and appliance-grade steels. Two blast furnaces feed the two BOFs with molten iron. The steel from the BOF is refined in either the LMF or the RH-KTB degasser and continually cast through the caster. Any rolling and processing is handled by either of its sister facilities in Irvine, Pa., or Fairless, Pa. Wilson was assisted in the tour by Chip Mitchell and Bonnie Waddell, as the committee members had many questions regarding the overall process. On 2 February 2012, the OSTC gathered for its formal meeting and technical exchange. Following introductions, safety egress routes, a report of safety incidents and the AIST Antitrust Guidelines, the committee members paused for a moment of silence in rememberance of Gabe Rocha, BOF manager for ArcelorMittal USA, who had recently passed away. Yun Li, OSTC papers chair, reviewed the current status of the OSTC-sponsored sessions being organized for AISTech 2012. Out of the five sessions planned, the committee has secured papers for each open paper position, and the session chairs will begin contacting the authors to ensure their paper submittal and participation in the program. A call was made for anyone interested in making a nomination for the committee officers, who will be elected during the committee’s meeting on 8 May 2012. Randy Stone, vice chair, reviewed the candidates for the 2012 Herty Award, and then announced the winner of the award, who will receive the award at the 8 May meeting. A general discussion then occurred regarding the 2012 OSTC Study Tour. The committee is planning to visit the three most productive BOF operations in Europe: voestalpine Linz and Donawitz, and ArcelorMittal Ghent. Additionally, there will be a visit to the RHI manufacturing facility and a tour of the newly opened voestalpine steel museum in Linz. As with similar study tours of Europe, the OSTC delegation will again meet with their European BOF colleagues at the VDEh headquarters for a technical exchange meeting and then participate in the Stahl 2012 event hosted by the VDEh. An overview of the AIST Process Benchmarker system was given so that the OSTC producers could gain an understanding of the flexibility and power of the new system as the BOF module is nearing completion. The committee also reviewed the status of the BOF Roundup, which appears on page 170. The meeting concluded with technical presentations on ladle desulfurization and BOF flux practices. Six presentations in total were given. The presenters were: Jürgen Cappel, Larry Wolfe, Diancai Guo, Ron Baskerville, Rich Brelowski, Yun Li and Neal Pyke. The meeting following the AISTech 2012 meeting is being considered for 3–4 October 2012 at RG Steel Warren.