Technology Committees


Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee Activities

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.
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.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) met on 11–12 October 2011 in Merrillville, Ind., for their fall meeting. The group gathered at ArcelorMittal Steel USA Indiana Harbor No. 3 Steel Producing for their plant tour on 11 October. Nenad Radoja, manager — steelmaking, greeted the delegation, reviewed the expected safety requirements for the tour, and provided a summary of the equipment and production capabilities of No. 3 Steel Producing. Following the tour and an appreciation plaque presentation to Mr. Radoja, the delegation returned to Merrillville, Ind., to attend the AIST Midwest Chapter kickoff dinner that evening. On the morning of 12 October, the OSTC held their business meeting and technical discussion. As with every OSTC meeting, the attendees reported on any safety items occurring at their facility. Discussed were such topics as fall protection, employee awareness to safety, improved equipment designs to reduce safety hazards and the innovative application of electronic tablets to promote a safe work environment. The committee then began a discussion on the proposed Oxygen Steelmaking technical sessions for AISTech 2012. The committee will once again be promoting a BOF Benchmarking Panel Discussion at AISTech, as well as other sessions focused on sustainability in BOF steelmaking, process control, process modeling, and advancements in equipment maintenance and technology. A select group of members volunteered to review the best BOF papers from 2011 for the Charles Herty award, which will be determined during the winter meeting. The committee will also continue to promote Ralf Lamm as an OSTC nominee for the Thadeus Sendzimir Award.

BOF benchmarking was then discussed. The 2010 BOF data had only two facilities that did not contribute data to date. The AIST Process Benchmarking system was also discussed. It was noted that the prototype for the Ironmaking Technology Committee was almost complete and that Oxygen Steelmaking would be the next module developed. Members were identified to determine precision and minimum and maximum values for numerical values. During the meeting’s lunch, a summary of the AIST OSTC Brazil Study Tour was provided by the representatives from the study tour in attendance at the meeting. A summary of the study tour was featured in the December issue of Iron & Steel Technology magazine. Future Study Tour locations being considered are: Austria (2012), Korea and Japan (2013), and Eastern Europe (tentative 2014). The meeting concluded with a technical discussion on tap-to-tap improvement times and yield improvement/slopping control programs throughout the BOF industry. Dr. Jürgen Cappel presented his information on “Adaptation of Blow Patterns and Processing to Silicon Content in Hot Metal,” and Diancai Gao discussed ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s program for controlling slopping. A roundtable discussion followed. The next meeting for the OSTC will be in Pittsburgh, Pa. The meeting will include a technical discussion and a plant tour of U. S. Steel – Edgar Thomson Works.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held a luncheon meeting on Tuesday, 3 May 2011 at AISTech 2011 in Indianapolis, Ind. Sixty-two members and guests from 10 countries were in attendance, and all were greeted and asked to introduce themselves to begin the meeting. Following the AIST Antitrust Guidelines and AIST staff announcements, the main agenda items were discussed. The first item of business was a roundtable discussion on industry safety. Next was the 2011 Charles Herty Award presentation to Yun Li of U. S. Steel Research & Development; Sid Misra, formerly of U. S. Steel Research & Development; and Robert Rote of Minco Systems, for their paper on the QuikTap System Performance at U. S. Steel – Gary QBOP. The election of 2011–2012 officers was then held. Kamal Ughadpaga was elected chair, Randy Stone was elected vice chair, Yun Li will perform the duties of papers chair and Jamie Lash was elected membership chair. The current OSTC mission statement was read and approved for the coming year. A lengthy discussion then began on the International Oxygen Steelmaking Benchmarking Program and the creation of the AIST Process Benchmarker (APB) system. The committee will continue to organize installation and operation ratio information via Excel spreadsheets until the APB will be available for members to directly upload their data to the system. Current participants in the program represent steelmakers from North America, Germany, Russia and Argentina. Representatives from Brazil and India will investigate their companies’ participation for the future. The balance of the European community will also be approached to participate. The final main agenda item was the OSTC Brazil Study Tour to be held in September 2011. The proposed agenda was presented, detailing potentially eight BOF facility tours and two roundtable discussions with Brazilian BOF operators — one in Belo Horizonte and one in Rio de Janeiro. A discussion ensued regarding the development of an AIST Brazil Member Chapter event in Belo Horizonte and also in Rio de Janeiro. A revised agenda will be created and distributed to the committee, at which time reservations will be taken for producers and suppliers to participate in the tour. The meeting concluded with the establishment of an AISTech 2012 OSTC papers meeting for the following day and the future locations for the committee meetings. In the fall of 2011, the committee will meet in Northwest Indiana and tour ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor No. 3 Steel Producing. In the winter of 2012, the committee will meet in Pittsburgh, Pa., and tour U. S. Steel – Edgar Thomson Works. The technical topics of the meetings will be determined by the tour hosts.

On 7–12 November 2010, the AIST Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee held their second International Study Tour. Conducted mainly in Germany, the study tour included visits to three integrated steel production facilities in Germany and The Netherlands, a technical exchange with the VDEh Oxygen Steelmaking Committee, participation in the 150th Anniversary Celebration of StahlTag and a visit to a heavy equipment manufacturer in Germany.

The first steel plant visit was on 8 November 2011 at the Salzgitter AG facility in Salzgitter, Germany. The attendees were greeted by Andreas Berghofer, steel plant manager; Christian Schluter, manager — secondary metallurgy and ladle refractory; and Ralf Kromarek, manager — scrap logistic, hot metal desulfurization and converter shop, and given an overview of the facility. Salzgitter AG was established in 1938 and contains three divisions, including Salzgitter Flachstahl, the steelmaking facility. The steelmaking facility has a hot metal mixer, desulfurization station and three 220 mt basic oxygen furnaces (BOFs). Secondary metal treatment is handled by three ladle metallurgy stations, three vacuum tank degassers or five alloying stations. The steel is then cast in one of four continuous casters. The casters at Salzgitter are a single-slab vertical caster, a twin-strand bow caster, a single-strand bow caster or a thick (up to 350 mm) slab caster. Production at Salzgitter reached a peak of 4.65 million tons in 2006 and stood at 3.25 million tons in 2010. High-strength sheet steel is the primary product at Salzgitter, but they also make high-carbon sheet, ultralow carbon, normalized and some specialized grades.
Following the Salzgitter AG tour, the delegation traveled to IJmuiden, The Netherlands, for a dinner event with representatives from Tata Steel Strip Products. On 9 November 2011, Jan Brockoff, senior metallurgist – BOS Plant 2, greeted the group at the steel plant. After an overview of the facility and equipment, the group was given a tour that included the BOFs, LMF, degasser and casters. As one of the largest steelmaking facilities in Europe, Tata Steel Strip Products produces more than 7 million tons of steel a year with two blast furnaces, three BOF vessels and two continuous casters. The BOFs tap 320 tons of steel per heat, which goes to either the RH-OB and slab caster or to the LMF and the direct strip production (DSP) caster. To achieve the tonnage produced at the facility, the BOF utilizes an automated control system for the oxygen blow. A sublance determines the proper lance height and end point to reach the aim tap temperature and carbon content. An audio meter is also used to control any slopping during the blow to maximize production time. Following the visit to Tata Steel Strip Products, the delegation traveled to Düsseldorf, Germany. The evening of 9 November 2011 included a dinner at the Schumacher Restaurant in the Altstadt sponsored by Praxair Inc.
The delegates traveled to ArcelorMittal Steel Ruhrort on 10 November 2011 and were greeted by Dr. Hans Rosenstock, CEO of ArcelorMittal Ruhrort, who presented information on ArcelorMittal, the Ruhrort facility and the future improvements planned for the facility. Dieter Kirsch, steel plant manager, presented information on the BOF facility and the casting facilities at ArcelorMittal Ruhrort. While steel has been made on-site for 150 years, the facility didn’t begin production via BOF until 1962. In 1969, the facility converted from ingot casting to slab casting, at which time the RH degasser was installed. An LMF and a second degasser were installed in 1991; and in 1998, the slab caster had been converted into a 6-strand billet caster. By 2010, the facility was producing 2.7 million tons of bar products for applications such as tire cord, rail, roller bearings and valve spring wire, among others.

On the afternoon of 10 November 2011, the joint meeting of the AIST Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee and the VDEh Oxygen Steelmaking Committee was held at the VDEh headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany. Thirty-nine representatives from 15 steel mills located in eight countries attended the joint meeting to discuss hot metal practices and refractory lining philosophies of the BOF facilities.

Presenters during the meeting were:

  • Reinhard Fandrich, VDEh

  • Shank Balajee, ArcelorMittal Steel USA Indiana Harbor No. 4 Steel Producing

  • Jan Brockhoff, Tata Steel Strip Products IJmuiden

  • Ron Baskerville, Severstal NA Dearborn

  • Wolfgang Hofer, voestalpine Stahl GmbH

  • Jorgelina Perez and Walter Balante, Ternium Siderar

  • Chris Lindner, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG

  • Kamal Ughadpaga, Essar Steel Algoma Inc.

  • Sven Schnabel, Saarstahl AG

  • Ralf Bruckhaus, AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke

  • Nenad Radoja, ArcelorMittal Steel USA Indiana Harbor No. 3 Steel Producing

  • Yun Li, United States Steel Corporation Research & Technology

  • Franz Votsch, ArcelorMittal Ruhrort GmbH

  • Brian Bliss, AIST

The evening concluded with dinner at Im Fuchschen, sponsored by SMS Siemag AG. Attendees at the dinner included the AIST delegation as well as representatives from the VDEh Oxygen Steelmaking Committee.
Stahl 2010 began on Thursday, 11 November 2011, and was entitled, “Progress Is Tradition,” to highlight the long history of the StahlTag event and the progress that steel production has experienced in the 150 years of the StahlTag. The symposia and presentations of Stahl 2010 examined the latest developments and future prospects in the areas of metallurgy, forming techniques and plant technology, and also looked at the potential of steel in serving the emerging industry of energy conservation. The annual Steel Get-together took place on the evening of 11 November, with a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of the StahlTag. On Friday, 12 November 2011, the event continued with a town hall event, with political, business and science representatives discussing the strengths of Germany and Europe to serve the international community in industry and innovation. The final event of the 2010 OSTC Study Tour was a facility tour of TML Technik GmbH in Monheim, Germany. Christoff Mikat, president, greeted the delegation during lunch and presented the capabilities of TML Technik in producing heavy industrial mobile equipment suitable for steel mill utilization. The facility designs, fabricates and manufactures telescopic excavators from start to finish, including BOF vessel cleaning/debricking machines, BOF taphole removal equipment and BOF refractory spraying equipment commonly found in steel production facilities throughout the world.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held their 2011 winter meeting in Fairfield, Ala., on 25–26 Jan 2011. The members met at U. S. Steel – Fairfield Works for a plant tour on 25 Jan. The members were greeted by Jeremy Forsythe, Chuck Thomazin, Ken Clark and Roy Reed of the Fairfield Works QBOP Dept. An overview of the QBOP steelmaking facilities was given. U. S. Steel – Fairfield Works’ QBOP facility contains three vessels. These vessels were constructed on the old open hearth production floor, and much of the same equipment used during the time of the open hearth operation is still being used today. The facility contains two hot metal mixers, each with a desulfurization facility. Scrap is charged into one of the 200-ton vessels with a rubber-tired carrier, followed by two 90-ton hot metal charges. Twelve tuyeres per vessel provide the oxygen and nitrogen blow during the processing of the heat. Upon tap, the heat of steel is processed at either the ladle metallurgy facility or the vacuum tank degasser. Final product is cast via a slab caster or a round caster. Typical products from U. S. Steel–Fairfield Works range from low-carbon, high-silicon steel strip for motor laminations to high-strength seamless pipe. The members met in the evening for an informal dinner to continue networking with fellow steel industry professionals. On 26 Jan, the OSTC held their business and technical meeting. After introductions, AIST staff announcements and a review of the AIST Anti-Trust Guidelines, a roundtable discussion was held on safety incidents in the industry, as well as any new installations or upgrades in the BOF community. The OSTC papers chair reviewed the current status of the oxygen steelmaking technical sessions for AISTech 2011. Session organizers were reminded to contact the authors within their session to remind them to provide a paper to AIST and to register for AISTech 2011. Sessions were consolidated, and any open presentation slots were filled. A summary of the 2010 AIST European Study Tour was then given.

In November 2010, 22 members of the AIST OSTC visited Germany and The Netherlands to tour the steelmaking facilities at Salzgitter GmbH, Tata Steel Strip Products, ArcelorMittal Steel – Ruhrort GmbH, as well as TML Technick GmbH, a heavy equipment manufacturer for the steel industry. The committee also met with their colleagues from the Oxygen Steelmaking Committee of the VDEh on 10 Nov 2010 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The combined group provided presentations on “Optimizing Refractory Performance for BOFs and Ladles” and presentations on “Procedures for Low Hot Metal Availability.” Representatives from Russia, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, the United States and Argentina spoke on these subjects. On 11–12 Nov 2010, the OSTC members were the invited guests of the VDEh to StahlTag 2010 which marked the 150th anniversary of the conference. Included in the celebration was an afternoon dedicated to the advancements of steel production in Germany over the years and a morning panel discussion which included a presentation by the president of Germany and other noted panelists. A special thanks was given to Praxair Inc. and SMS Siemag GmbH for sponsoring meals during the Study Tour.

Following the 2010 Study Tour summary, technical presentations were given at the OSTC meeting. Severstal NA presented on their program to reduce mouth buildup in their BOF vessels by reducing oxygen flow, adding fluxes at a reduced rate and adjusting the blow practice based on hot metal silicon levels. ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor presented the mouth buildup reduction programs for their Nos. 2, 3 and 4 steel producing facilities. RHI Refractories presented a supplier’s perspective on how BOF mouth buildup can be reduced using refractory techniques. U. S. Steel wrapped up the technical discussion on mouth buildup with their procedures utilizing post-combustion lances and the advantages of QBOP vessels. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the proposed AIST 2011 OSTC Brazilian Study Tour, to be held in September 2011. The proposed schedule for the Study Tour will include six steel plant tours and two group discussions involving the AIST OSTC and the oxygen steelmaking operators in Brazil. The next OSTC meeting will occur during AISTech on Monday, 2 May 2011.

The AIST Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held their fall meeting in Hamilton, Ont., Canada, on 6–7 Oct 2010. The meeting began on Oct. 6 with a tour of the KOBM stream at ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. On the tour, the attendees were shown the KOBM operation, the KOBM auto-tap system, the ladle treatment facilities and the slab caster. Following the tour, the attendees participated in an informal dinner, which gave everyone the opportunity to ask the tour hosts additional questions regarding the KOBM operation, and provided networking time for the members. On 7 Oct 7 2010, the committee held their business meeting and technical discussion. Kamal Ughadpaga, OSTC vice chair, greeted those in attendance and asked for introductions. Following AIST announcements and the confirmation of the AIST Anti-Trust Guidelines, a roundtable discussion was held on recent safety-related incidents in the industry. Volunteers were solicited for the evaluation of the nominations for the 2011 Charles Herty Award for Best Oxygen Steelmaking paper from AISTech 2010. A discussion was also held regarding the AIST Association-Level Awards, and nominations were made for the Distinguished Member and Sendzimir Awards. The committee then discussed the current status of the OSTC BOF Benchmarking Program. The 2009 information has been compiled for most North American BOF steelmakers. The information will be exchanged with the BOF steelmakers from Germany who are also gathering the same BOF criteria for an equal comparison of equipment and processes. Randall Stone, the OSTC papers chair, then reviewed the status of the AISTech 2011 oxygen steelmaking technical sessions. The committee envisions five sessions focusing on: Operations and Productivity, Maintenance and Equipment, Technology Advancements, Blow Practice and End-Point Predictions, Spent Material Recycling and BOF Benchmarking. The business portion of the meeting concluded with an overview of the upcoming 2010 OSTC European Study Tour. Twenty-three attendees from the committee participated in the event on 7–12 Nov 2010. Over the six-day study tour, the attendees visited three steelmaking facilities and an OEM equipment manufacturer, attended the 150th anniversary of StahlTag 2010 and held a technical exchange with the European steelmakers at the Stahl-Institut. The meeting concluded with technical discussions in which members presented their latest success stories and unresolved issues. ArcelorMittal Dofasco presented their taphole improvement program and their unresolved ladle cracking issues. Essar Steel Algoma presented their unresolved issue of BOF slopping and the methods being used to control it. Dillingen Hüttenwerke presented their success story of a continuous temperature monitoring program for their BOF converter. The next AIST OSTC meeting will be in Birmingham, Ala., on 26–27 Jan 2011, with a tour of United States Steel Corporation’s Fairfield Works.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held a lunch meeting during AISTech 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pa., on 3 May. Forty-three members were in attendance representing the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Sweden and Turkey. Following introductions and a brief safety discussion, the OSTC honored Yun Li, Siddhartha Misra and Il Sohn by presenting them with the 2010 Charles Herty Award for best oxygen steelmaking paper from AISTech 2009. Their paper was entitled, “Hydrogen and Nitrogen Control in Steelmaking at U. S. Steel.” An election of officers was held. Al Bentz of Air Liquide accepted the role of chair; Kamal Ughadpaga of Essar Steel Algoma, vice chair; Randall Stone of Heraeus Electro-Nite, papers chair; and Yun Li of U. S. Steel, membership chair. Ralf Bruckhaus, AG Dillingen Hutte, asked the OSTC to consider participating in the VDEh Stahl Tag 2010 in Germany in November, as it will be the 150th anniversary of the event. Plant tours and a technical exchange with the VDEh Oxygen Steelmaking Committee would also be included. The OSTC also planned its future meetings. The next meeting will be 6–7 Oct 2010, in Hamilton, Ont., Canada, and will include a tour of the KOBM stream at ArcelorMittal Dofasco and a technical discussion on successes and concerns. The OSTC will then meet on 26–27 Jan 2011, in Birmingham, Ala., with a tour of U. S. Steel Fairfield Works. The OSTC is also in the process of coordinating a technical exchange in September 2011 in Brazil with Brazilian and German steel producers.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held their winter meeting on 3–4 Feb in Southgate, Mich. The event began with the attendees touring the BOF steelmaking facilities at Severstal NA Dearborn. Ron Baskerville, BOF melting operations area manager, Ted Maciejewski, operations technology manager, and Joe Ryan, manager — utilities, greeted the group and provided an introduction to the facility. Included in the introduction was information on the two BOF vessels, the ancillary equipment supporting the steelmaking process, and information on the upstream and downstream facilities. A tour of the facility included the charge floor area, operating pulpits, ladle make-up areas, desulfurization stations and the tap addition systems. During and after the tour, opportunities were provided for the attendees to ask questions regarding the specifics of the Dearborn BOF facility. After the tour, the group met for an informal dinner, where they could engage in additional networking.

On 4 Feb, the OSTC held a business meeting and technical exchange. A round table discussion on safety was held, where individuals could note safety incidents that have occurred recently and what corrective action was taken. The AIST Safety & Health Technology Committee Steel Industry Fatalities Report was also reviewed. The group then discussed the status of the AIST/VDEh BOF Benchmarking Project. The report generated by the VDEh and members of the OSTC was reviewed. The report had been sent to eight BOF facilities in North America for completion by 15 Mar. The summarized report will be presented at AISTech 2010, as will the VDEh summarized report, to provide information on how BOF facilities operate in North America and Europe. Further discussions on the criteria monitored by the BOF Benchmarking Project will take place during AISTech.

The committee also discussed the status of the other OSTC technical sessions to be held at AISTech 2010. Chairs for each session were identified, and additional papers were noted as needed. The technical discussion of the meeting included two presentations and a question-and-answer round table. Hank Wilson of Tube City IMS presented information on the global scrap industry and the factors affecting scrap availability. Some of the factors were supply and demand, freight, contract types, credit availability, currency valuations and emotion. He also highlighted some of the programs at Tube City IMS that help to maximize the efficiency of scrap usage for BOF steelmaking. The second presentation, entitled, “Maintaining Refractory Integrity During Reduced BOF Operations,” was provided by Bill Wagstaff, manager — iron and steelmaking, and Shyam Miglani, senior market manager, both of North American Refractories. Highlights of the presentation were tools and practices that a BOF manager could utilize to ensure that the BOF refractory and ladle refractory life are maximized when steel operations have been interrupted for extended periods of time. Following the presentations, a question-and-answer round table was held to discuss 10 questions posed by the steel producers on such items as hot metal chemistry, steel conditioning, hood design and maintenance, and emission control practices.
The next OSTC meeting will take place at AISTech 2010. The committee will then hold its fall meeting in Hamilton, Ont., Canada. A tour of ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc. is being arranged, and the technical discussion topic will focus on yield improvement.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) met on 4 May 2009, at AISTech. Following introductions, the committee welcomed the oxygen steelmaking delegation from Usiminas in Brazil. The committee reaffirmed their plans to organize a technology exchange with the oxygen steelmakers of Brazil, similar to the exchange that has been taking place with the oxygen steelmakers of Germany. A review was provided regarding the previous OSTC meeting, which occurred via Internet and conference call. The format was worthwhile, and technical ideas were exchanged as well as resolving committee business, but the OSTC members maintain that the best committee meetings include face-to-face meetings with tours, safety discussions and technical presentations. Officers were nominated and elected for 2009–2010, and the OSTC mission statement was reaffirmed by a positive vote. The meeting concluded with the presentation of the Charles Herty Award to the authors of the paper entitled, “Development of an Offgas/Model Technology to Replace Sublance Operation for KOBM Endpoint Carbon Control at Dofasco.” Dongsheng Liao and Stanley Sun of ArcelorMittal Dofasco received the award on behalf of all the authors. The next meeting will be held in September 2009 at AK Steel in Middletown, Ohio. Recent staffing and production experience in a reduced global economy will be the focus of the round table discussion, and energy efficiency and charge material flexibility will be the technical subject for the meeting.

The Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC) held a meeting on 17 Feb. The meeting, hosted by the U. S. Steel Research and Technology Center, was held via the Internet and conference call to increase member participation during the difficult economic times. Thirty-six members were involved in the meeting, many members getting together in centralized geographic locations to participate. After introductions, a review of the AIST Antitrust Guidelines and a brief discussion on safety incidents, the current status of the OSTC technical sessions for AISTech 2009 was reviewed. Papers were rearranged to coordinate session times, and additional session chairs were identified to assist in contacting authors. An e-mail was circulated to all session chairs as a model to send to the authors in their session, reminding the authors of their responsibilities for paper submittal and registration. The members then reviewed the OSTC topics for the AISTech 2010 Call for Papers. As a group, they agreed that a strong focus for next year’s BOF papers should be practices and procedures for shutting down and starting up BOF vessels for extended outages. The Benchmarking and Operations Reporting Database was then discussed. A small group of members will be reviewing the current BOF criteria for the database and adjusting the criteria according to industry needs. The business portion of the meeting concluded with a discussion regarding OSTC officer nominations. Elections for these positions will occur at the next OSTC meeting during AISTech 2009. The members then held their technical discussion on “How to Effectively Run Operations at Reduced Capacity.” ArcelorMittal Dofasco Inc., ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, Dillinger Hutte, AK Steel–Middletown, Severstal Dearborn and Severstal Warren, United States Steel Corporation and Essar Algoma all had questions and concerns regarding how each facility was handling reduced operations or extended outages at their faciltities. Many ideas were exchanged, and everyone hoped to weather the current economic conditions as best as possible. At the meeting’s conclusion, AK Steel–Middletown offered to host the September 2009 OSTC meeting in Middletown, Ohio, and the meeting would include a tour of both the AK Steel–Middletown facility and the Air Liquide oxygen separation facility.