Technology Committees

Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee Activities

The OSTC met 21–22 February 2024, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, USA
The OSTC met on 21 February 2024 for a tour of the oxygen steelmaking facilities at Cleveland-Cliffs – Cleveland East. Bobby Wong, division manager — No. 1 Steel Producing, greeted the group and provided an overview of the primary steelmaking facilities at Cleveland-Cliffs – Cleveland Works. Located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, No. 1 Steel Pro-ducing (formerly known as the “Republic” or east side) with its neighbor No. 2 Steel Producing (formerly known as the “J&L” or west side) have the capacity to produce over 4 mmtpy of steel from the two blast furnaces and two BOF facili-ties. No. 1 Steel Producing, alone, has the capacity to produce 2.3 mmtpy. The steelmaking facility contains two 265-ton BOFs, a ladle metallurgy furnace (LMF) and an RH degasser, which feed a slab caster that can produce 9-inch slabs anywhere from 34 to 73 inches wide. The tour included visits to the hot metal desulfurization area, the BOF operating pulpit and the LMF/RH degasser operating pulpit. 
On 22 February 2024, the business meeting was held where participation in the meeting was available in-person or virtu-ally as the OSTC has a strong European membership. A review of membership and OSTC leadership positions was held, as the committee is seeking volunteers from within the OSTC membership for the roles of membership chair and Young Professional chair. A roundtable discussion on safety practices and technologies was conducted. Attendees were given the opportunity to bring up ideas for improving safety within steelmaking. A technical discussion on vessel slopping control followed. 
Representatives from Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., United States Steel Corporation and Stelco Inc. presented the procedures used at their facilities to control vessel slopping incidents. ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. then provided a presentation on the robotic technology they use for boiler tube inspection in the KOBM hood system. The robotic technology saves them time and increases the coverage and efficiency in finding boiler tubes that are wearing thin. 
The meeting concluded with a discussion on the OSTC sessions planned for AISTech 2024. The OSTC has four ses-sions organized and a panel discussion on reducing CO2 in the BOF.  

Attendees listened to technical presentations during their 21–22 February meeting.
Marek Lukacin (left) and Brian Bliss (right) presented a plaque of appreciation to Marcel Novak (center) for hosting the OSTC’s tour of U. S. Steel Košice. 
The OSTC met at U. S. Steel Košice on 12–13 October 2023.

The OSTC met 12–13 October 2023, Košice, Slovakia.
With the international diversity of the OSTC, the meeting in Europe was arranged to provide the regional BOF steelmakers the opportunity to meet in a face-to-face environment with contributions from the Americas via a virtual platform. Fernando Guerra, membership chair, led the meeting as the chair attending in person. Sixteen steelmakers and steel industry professionals attended the meeting in person with another 13 attending virtually. A roundtable discussion on safety was held in which members could contribute new safety policies and new safety procedures implemented at their facilities. Technical presentations were then given on the subjects of procedures for changing raw material inputs and how these changes impact scrap availability and impurity elements such as [S], [P] and [Si] contents.

  “Stelco Procedures for Changing Raw Materials,” by Fernando Guerra, Stelco Inc.

  “Tata IJmuiden Changing Raw Material Issues,” by Hans Pronk, Tata Steel Europe.

  “TKSE Transformation Progress and Changes in Raw Material,” by Dominik Sobiech and Frank Umek, thyssenkrupp GmbH.

  “USSK Desulf Scrap FPC Lance Usage,” by Marek Lukacin, U. S. Steel Košice.

  “voestalpine Linz GmbH Phosphorus Program,” by Martin Egger.

Following the technical presentations and subsequent discussion, volunteers were taken for the 2024 Charles Herty Award evaluation. The committee then reviewed the AISTech 2024 OSTC technical sessions.

The meeting concluded with a tour of the two steelmaking shops at U. S. Steel Košice on 13 October 2023. A special note of appreciation goes to Marek Lukacin and Marcel Novak for hosting the committee attendees to a dinner in the old town of Košice on 12 October 2023.

On 16 October 2023, a small group of OSTC members traveled to voestalpine Linz to have a technical discussion and tour of the BOP facilities. Martin Egger and Magdalena Jetzinger welcomed the members for the tour, which included the hot metal area, LD operations pulpits, and secondary metallurgy facilities.

Fernando Guerra (left) presented a plaque of appreciation to Robert Toth (right) for hosting the OSTC’s tour of U. S. Steel Košice.
OSTC members presented Martin Egger with a plaque of appreciation for hosting a tour of voestalpine (left to right): Kazem Parsaeian, Fernando Guerra, Andreas Pfeiffer, Wolfgang Wichert, Aaron Strelbisky, Louis Valentas, Egger, Magdalena Jetzinger and Cristina Rauscher.

The OSTC met 9 May 2023, Detroit, MI, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Dominik Schöne - Dillinger Hüttenwerke AG

  • Vice Chair: Steve Gillgrass - RHI Magnesita

  • Papers Chair: Matthew Wilson - Cleveland-Cliffs Indiana Harbor

  • Membership Chair: Fernando Guerra - Stelco Inc.

Martin Egger of voestalpine gave a presentation during the OSTC’s meeting in September.

The OSTC met 26–27 September 2022, Dillingen, Germany.
The OSTC held the very first AIST Technology Committee meeting in Europe. The OSTC is the most internationally active Technology Committee, having initiated the AIST Study Tour program, as well as having all officers being located outside of the U.S. in 2021–2022.
In the planning of this particular meeting, the European OSTC members had asked that a committee meeting be held in Europe with the North American members connected virtually.
Dominik Schöne, manager meltshop at Dillinger Hüttenwerke and the OSTC vice chair, organized and hosted the OSTC meeting at the Dillinger Hüttenwerke Guest House in Dillingen, Germany. Sixteen members and guests from European steel producers and technology suppliers attended the meeting in person while another 18 members attended virtually. Schöne welcomed everyone who attended and thanked those who traveled from Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and Canada. Noting that the meeting was required to follow the AIST Antitrust Guidelines, the members began the meeting with a discussion on safety policies being used by members throughout the world.
The technical discussion of the meeting focused on safety procedures for scrap handling and safety procedures for recycling steel into the converter. SSAB Raahe, Dillinger and voestalpine all presented on their facilities’ procedures while U. S. Steel – Gary Works, Stelco, Rio Tinto and Ternium S.A. contributed their procedures via virtual connection. thyssenkrupp provided an overview of their contribution to climate neutrality.
Steve Gillgrass, OSTC paper chair, reviewed the abstracts selected for the OSTC sessions for AISTech 2023. Sessions are being organized on raw materials, process modeling, process metallurgy and blowing practices. Volunteers were taken for session chairs. Volunteers were also taken for the review of the Charles Herty Award nominations.
Günther Staudinger provided an update on the revisions to AIST Technical Report No. 32 and a discussion was held regarding potential regions for the next Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) Study Tour.
The 2023 BOF Roundup was discussed and members volunteered to expand the roundup to include Germany and Austria. An overview followed of the AIST project to road map the decarbonization of the iron and steel industry by 2050. Members were asked to provide feedback to the baseline being developed on current technologies being used.
The meeting concluded with a dinner hosted by Dillinger Hüttenwerke. The next day, the members toured the Dillinger BOF steelmaking facilities, the degasser area and a walking tour of the No. 6 Continuous Caster, which casts the world’s thickest slab at 600 mm.

OSTC members who toured the Dillinger Hüttenwerke Steelmaking Department are pictured standing between the first cast slabs (500 mm on left, 600 mm on right) from Continuous Caster No. 6. Dominik Schöne was presented with a plaque of appreciation for hosting the OSTC’s meeting and tour.

The OSTC met 17 May 2022, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Geoffrey Brooks  /  Swinburne University

  • of Technology

  • Vice Chair: Dominik Schone  /  Dillinger Hüttenwerke AG

  • Papers Chair: Steve Gillgrass  /  Tallman Technologies Inc.

  • Membership Chair: Matt Wilson  /  Cleveland-Cliffs Indiana Harbor

The OSTC met 2 March 2022, virtual meeting.
The OSTC held their winter meeting virtually, with 25 members from around the world in attendance. Lewyn Valladares, OSTC chair, welcomed the attendees and opened the meeting. Following introductions and general announcements, the members held a discussion on safety incidents and safety practices at their facilities.
A roundtable technical discussion ensued on the subject of reblows and reblow practices. Each steel-producing member noted their reblow percentages, the primary reasons for reblows and how they have implemented improvements to mitigate reblows. Temperature was the most common reason for reblows, followed by phosphorous. Optimized sensing equipment and improved blow programs were cited as the best solutions to lower reblow rates.
Dominik Schone, OSTC papers chair, reviewed the OSTC’s technical sessions for AISTech 2022 and emphasized the responsibilities of session chairs.
Next, the committee heard an update on the revision progress for AIST Technical Report No. 32: Design and Construction of BOF Vessels.
The meeting concluded with a review of the 2022 BOF Roundup, which was published in the April 2022 issue of Iron & Steel Technology.

The DRITC, EUTC, IMTC and OSTC met jointly 28–30 September 2021, Toledo, Ohio, USA.
The DRITC, EUTC, IMTC and OSTC met for a day of presentations, a networking reception and a tour of Cleveland-Cliffs IronUnits LLC, in addition to each committee’s respective business meeting. The committees wish to thank Joe Greco for his help in organizing and conducting the tour.
David Marshall kicked off a full day of decarbonization presentations on 29 September by describing the achievements already accomplished and future pathway, including the Strategic Plan of AIST’s decarbonization subcommittee for technology development and resources within AIST. Energy & Utilities Technology Committee chair Larry Fabina gave a detailed look at the work inside the Energy & Utilities Technology Committee and their decarbonization activity, as well as the focus the DRITC, IMTC and OSTC has put on the subject.

  • “Getting Started Down the Decarbonization Path — Developing a Road Map, Timeline and Budget,” by David Mysko, Hatch.

  • “The Spectrum Decarbonization Possibilities With Current Technology,” by Chris Pistorius, Carnegie Mellon University.

  • “Decarbonization Strategies in Steel,” by Abhijit Sarkar, Dastur.

  • “Decarbonization With Oxy-Fuel Combustion,” by Pravin Mathur, Linde.

  • “Injecting Plastics Instead of PCI,” by Dale Heinz, International Recycling.

  • “ArcelorMittal Efforts to Reduce Carbon Footprint,” by Keith Whitely, ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P.

  • “Green Primary Steelmaking and Green Electrical Steelmaking,” by Karim Alshurafa, SMS group Inc.

  • “Iron-Air Batteries — The Catalyst for Steelmaking Decarbonization,” by Vincent Chevrier, Form Energy.

Direct Reduced Iron Technology Committee (DRITC)
Meeting Highlights:
The group had their business meeting on Tuesday, 28 September, led by Megha Jampani, Linde. They discussed their AISTech session development, safety, and the potential for DRI, hydrogen, or raw materials-based webinars.

Energy & Utilities Technology Committee (EUTC)
Meeting Highlights:
EUTC chair Larry Fabina covered a long list of energy-related topics and business items and then dedicated the remaining portion of the committee meeting to focus on the work by subcommittee members who are actively planning the Energy and Utilities — a Road Map to the Energy-
Efficient, Sustainable and Decarbonized Steel Industry conference, which will take place in March 2022.
Committee vice chair Anand Makwana is coordinating the selection process for the 2022 Energy Achievement Award.

Ironmaking Technology Committee (IMTC)
Meeting Highlights:
The IMTC meeting began with a safety discussion focused on the latest steel industry fatalities. The group had a hybrid meeting, allowing a number of people to attend that otherwise would not have been able to.
Felix Firsbach gave a detailed update with the current ironmaking paper selections for AISTech 2022. The group also requested volunteers for session chairs. The committee has also begun their award selection for this coming year.

Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee (OSTC)
Meeting Highlights:
The OSTC held its business meeting on 30 September 2021. Discussed during the business meeting was industry safety practices, the OSTC sessions for AISTech 2022, the committee’s text for the AISTech Call for Papers, an update on the revision of Technical Report No. 32 and plans for future in-person OSTC meetings.

The OSTC met June 2021, Nashville, TN USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Lewyn Valladares, Stelco Inc.

  • Vice Chair: Geoffrey Brooks, Swinburne University of Technology

  • Papers Chair: Dominik Schone, Dillinger Hüttenwerke AG

  • Membership Chair: Steve Gillgrass, Tallman Technologies Inc.

The OSTC held a virtual meeting, 16 June 2021.
The OSTC held their spring meeting on 16 June in advance of AISTech 2021. The meeting was conducted virtually as many of the active members reside outside the U.S. and would be unable to attend the committee’s in-person meeting at AISTech. A total of 52 members participated in the meeting. Ashraf Hanna, OSTC chair, opened the meeting by providing the attendees with an overview of the international steel industry, including regional production and consumption.
Following a review of the OSTC membership, Geoffrey Brooks, OSTC papers chair, reviewed the AISTech 2021 oxygen steelmaking technical program. It was noted that three presentations were to be delivered virtually and seven presentations would be delivered in person. Session chairs were also reconfirmed.
A roundtable discussion was held whereby each facility provided an overview of the current COVID-19 status in their region. Also presented by each facility was a brief overview of the latest technology and equipment upgrades performed at their facility in the last year. Despite the pandemic, many facilities took the opportunity to implement new practices, new procedures and new equipment to increase safety and productivity. The OSTC then elected their 2021–2022 officers.
The OSTC mission statement was updated to reflect the increased focus on environmental sustainability as well as to note that the OSTC will continue to include all industry professionals of all disciplines and backgrounds.
Stephanie Holko provided a progress report on revisions to AIST Technical Report No. 32. It is hoped to have the revisions completed by the end of 2021 as the subcommittee meets on a regular basis.
Mike Strelbisky updated the OSTC on activities related to the Bottom Blown Subcommittee and the technical discussions held during those meetings. The meeting concluded with a discussion to hold the next OSTC meeting as a joint meeting with the Energy & Utilities, Ironmaking and Direct Reduced Iron Technology Committees during the week of 27 September 2021.

Members of the Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee from across the globe met virtually on 16 June 2021.

The OSTC held a virtual meeting 11 February 2021.
Ashraf Hanna,
OSTC chair, opened the meeting and provided a brief overview of current steel production and demand. Membership growth in the committee was noted as the OSTC member roster has more than 50% of its membership residing outside of the U.S., making it the most internationally represented AIST Technology Committee. Increasing value to the international basic oxygen furnace (BOF) community has been a priority to the OSTC membership since they began the AIST Study Tour program in 2007, and multiple international producers were in attendance at the virtual meeting.
The members next held a safety roundtable on various COVID-19 restrictions per country and other safety-related observations.
Because of the diverse international attendance, the committee began the technical discussion as the initial agenda discussion. Attendees heard five presentations on the topic of hydrogen ironmaking for oxygen steelmaking.

  • “Hydrogen Ironmaking for Oxygen Steelmaking,” by Jurgen Cappel, Cappel Stahl Consulting, provided an overview of the discussion held during the 2020 AIST European Steel Forum on how European companies are transitioning to hydrogen-based steel production.

  • “Strategies for Lowering the Carbon Footprint for Oxygen Steelmaking,” by Geoffrey Brooks, Swinburne University of Technology, presented the various methods for replacing carbon in steelmaking but also the impacts of those changes.

  • “The Transformation of Steel Production — DR Plant With BOF Meltshop,” by Frank Ahrenhold,thyssenkrupp, served as an ancillary presentation to Cappel’s presentation and described how a European company is making the move to hydrogen-based steelmaking.

  • “Processing of Low-Quality DRI,” by Gerald Wimmer, Primetals Technologies, described how to handle direct reduced iron (DRI) made from lower-grade irons.

  • “H2 — From Its Generation to the Integration Inside Integrated Steelmaking,” by Ingo Both, Paul Wurth/SMS group, showed how to obtain the necessary hydrogen for steel production and how to integrate hydrogen-based ironmaking with oxygen steelmaking.

Following the technical presentations, OSTC papers chair Geoffrey Brooks provided an overview of the committee’s sessions scheduled for AISTech 2021.
The group then heard a progress update on the AIST Technical Report No. 32 revision. The subcommittee is currently revising the section on post-weld heat treatment procedures for BOF fabrication and repair, with only two remaining sections to be revised prior to ballot draft and publication.
A review of the 2021 AIST Basic Oxygen Furnace Roundup was provided. The 2021 edition, published in the April 2021 issue of Iron & Steel Technology, features new information on BOF facilities in Taiwan and Slovakia, bringing the total countries represented to 18. The committee will look to include the remainder of the European facilities in future roundups.

The OSTC held a virtual meeting 20 October 2020.
Ashraf Hanna,
OSTC chair, opened the meeting and welcomed the 47 attendees. It was noted that representation at this meeting included Australia, South Korea, Germany, Finland, India, Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the U.S., showcasing the international diversity of the active OSTC membership. An opportunity was given to those from different regions to relay their country’s COVID-19 status and governmental policies as they affect the public and business.
Geoffrey Brooks, OSTC papers chair, reviewed the current abstract opportunities for the AISTech 2021 OSTC sessions. The session titles were reviewed and session chairs were identified. The Oxygen Steelmaking Panel Discussion topic will be “The Future of the LD Process.”
The meeting concluded with technical presentations by Geoffrey Brooks and Jürgen Cappel. Brooks spoke on mass and energy balances in the basic oxygen furnace. He described a system of simplified graphs to determine the amount of flux and scrap required based on the heat loss expected for a particular heat. Cappel discussed post-combustion theory and how to utilize a post-combustion lance to add energy, decrease carbon footprint, and control lance skulling and mouth/cone buildup.
A roundtable discussion followed with the steel producers present relaying their use of post-combustion lances.

The OSTC held a virtual meeting 6 May 2020.
The OSTC held a virtual meeting with 35 attendees, which included strong representation from the international steel community. Fourteen attendees represented steel companies from the U.S., Canada, India, Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Finland.
The meeting began with a review the BOF Operations and Management During COVID-19 webinar held on 29 April 2020. It was agreed that the committee would seek to do additional webinars on basic oxygen furnace (BOF) maintenance, BOF digitalization systems, research topics in BOF steelmaking and remote project/equipment commissioning practices during COVID-19. Roundtable discussions were held on new procedures for returning workers, overcoming issues resulting from limited production, sanitization practices for operator pulpits and equipment, and dealing with interruptions in the supply of raw materials. The international diversity of the attendees provided the discussion with a broad range of practices and opinions as to how the BOF industry is overcoming the obstacles of COVID-19.
The following committee officers were elected for the 2020–2021 term:

  • Chair: Ashraf Hanna, RHI Magnesita.

  • Vice chair: Lewyn Valladares, Stelco Inc.

  • Papers chair: Geoffrey Brooks, Swinburne University of Technology.

  • Membership chair: Matt Wilson, ArcelorMittal.

The OSTC met 11–12 February 2020, Merrillville, Ind., USA.
The meeting began with a plant tour of the basic oxygen furnace (BOF), refining facilities and casting facilities at ArcelorMittal #3 Steel Producing. Love Kalra, senior engineer and AIST Board of Directors representative, provided an overview of the facility.
Following the tour, the OSTC members attended the AIST Midwest Member Chapter dinner to support the Chapter.
The business meeting and technical discussion occurred on 12 February 2020. Following introductions and a review of AIST announcements, the members held a roundtable discussion on safety contacts.
Additional discussed topics included lance hoist safety requirements, procedures for the presence of water in a BOF vessel, and practices and procedures being implemented to provide short-term and long-term efficiency improvements to operations.
A review was conducted of the AISTech 2020 oxygen steelmaking sessions. Additional presenters and panelists were identified.
The OSTC also discussed the prospects of holding a joint technical discussion with the Ironmaking Technology Committee for its fall 2020 meeting. Technical topics being considered are the relationship and communication between ironmaking and steelmaking; and the impacts of chemistry, temperature and production schedules. 

Ashraf Hanna (right), OSTC vice chair, presented a plaque of appreciation to Steve Keck (left) for hosting the OSTC’s tour of the ArcelorMittal USA #3 Steel Producing facility in East Chicago, Ind., USA.

The OSTC met 11–12 September 2019, Collinsville, Ill., USA.
The meeting began with a tour of U. S. Steel – Granite City Works’ BOF steelmaking department. Bill Jones, area manager, and Chris Park, BOF process manager, were the tour guides. The tour encompassed raw material storage and delivery, hot metal desulfurization, the BOF operating floor, the BOF operating pulpit and the ladle metallurgy facility.
The business meeting and technical discussion took place on 12 September. An overview of the AIST Member Portal was given to showcase all that is available to the AIST member on the AIST website. A lengthy discussion was held on the benefits of membership and how to engage Young Professionals in the industry, as well as the international membership of the committee. Producer members were encouraged to reach out to individuals new to BOF operation to get them engaged in the OSTC.
An additional discussion was held regarding the engagement of international members to OSTC meetings. The committee members debated rules of engagement for the use of virtual meeting technology for international members and how a virtual meeting could be conducted to include the members from Europe and South America. It was recognized that if a viable system could be implemented for participation of the international members, the strength of the technical discussion during the meetings could be enhanced.
An additional discussion was held on the creation of a Bottom-Blow Subcommittee whereby OSTC producer members who operate KOBMs, Q-BOPs or other converters utilizing bottom-blowing as a primary means of iron conversion to steel could interact and debate the unique technology of their converter systems.
The OSTC then reviewed the AISTech 2020 paper selections made by OSTC papers chair Geoffrey Brooks. Thirteen abstracts have been initially chosen. Additional papers were offered for consideration.
The theme for the Operator’s Panel Discussion at AISTech 2020 will be “Optimizing Metrics for Production Efficiency.” The Operator’s Panel Discussion showcases four or five BOF operators who discuss their operations and practices on a particular subject in short presentations as the moderator opens the floor for questions and debate. 
A committee was organized to review the 2020 Charles Herty Award nominees.
A preview was given for the 2019 Europe/Scandinavia BOF Study Tour, which was held on 6–12 October 2019. The tour included visits to Tata Steel IJmuiden, ArcelorMittal Gent, SSAB Raahe and Luleå, Swerim AB, and Luleå Technical Institute. 
The meeting concluded with a technical discussion on hot metal desulfurization practices. U. S. Steel – Granite City Works and Great Lakes Works, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor and Indiana Harbor, Algoma Steel Inc., and Stelco all provided overviews of their hot metal practices, procedures, equipment, skimming practices and challenges in a roundtable format. The members also discussed phosphorus control during the BOF steelmaking process.

The OSTC met 7 May 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
The following officers were elected:

Chair: Tyler Preall, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor

Vice chair: Ashraf Hanna, RHI Magnesita

Papers chair: Geoffrey Brooks, Swinburne University of Technology

Membership chair: Lewyn Valladares, Stelco Inc.

The OSTC met 30–31 January 2019, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA.
The OSTC met at Ellwood Mill Products (EMP), New Castle, Pa., USA, on 30 January 2019 for a tour of the forging operation. Marc Panaia, plant manager, EMP, greeted the group, provided them with an overview of the facility and Ellwood Group Inc., then led the tour of the forge shop, reheat furnaces, quench tanks and machining operations.  
On 31 January, the OSTC met at AIST headquarters in Warrendale, Pa., USA, for their business meeting and technical discussion. 
The meeting began with Neal Pyke, OSTC chair, asking for a moment of silence honoring 
Mark Borsody, OSTC vice chair, who passed away suddenly on 30 December 2018.  
The committee then reviewed its technical sessions lined up for AISTech 2019. Session chairs were provided additional instructions on their duties.  
The 2019 Charles Herty Award winners were selected. The award will be presented during the OSTC meeting at AISTech 2019. 
The Basic Oxygen Furnace Roundup was then reviewed for missing data. 
Stephanie Holko, Technical Report No. 32 subcommittee chair, provided an update on the progress of the technical report revisions and the desire to update the imagery of the figures to include color and current vessel designs.  
Mike Strelbisky discussed the proposals for a 2019 BOF Study Tour to the United Kingdom, Sweden and Fin-land. Included in the tour would be visits and technical discussions with British Steel, Tata Steel Europe and SSAB.  
The meeting concluded with technical presentations by ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P., SMS group, Arcelor­Mittal Burns Harbor and U. S. Steel – Great Lakes Works on their individual efforts to integrate digital technologies into their operations and maintenance programs.  

Neil Pyke (left), OSTC chair, presented a plaque of appreciation to Marc Panaia, plant manager, Ellwood Mill Products, for 
hosting the OSTC’s tour of the facility on 30 January.

The OSTC met 24–25 October 2018, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. The OSTC had the opportunity to visit the steelmaking facilities at Arcelor­Mittal Cleveland West. The facility operates two BOFs, a ladle furnace and a slab caster. While only operating 12 hours per day, the facility is mostly focused on producing advanced high-strength steel grades. Jim Cottrell, manager, and Pete Stacey, process engineer, hosted the OSTC, gave them an overview of the facility and provided information during the tour. 
During its 25 October 2018 business meeting and technical exchange, the OSTC began the meeting with a roundtable discussion of safety incidents and safety contacts. 
Tyler Preall, OSTC papers chair, reviewed the session structure and paper selections for AISTech 2019. There will be an Operators Panel Discussion again at AISTech 2019, where operators and producers will discuss their facilities’ automation technology as well as how they plan to implement further technology as the industry moves further into a digital transformation. 
The Oxygen Steelmaking section for the AISTech 2020 Call for Papers was approved. 
Volunteers were identified to review the nominations for the Charles Herty Award for best Oxygen Steelmaking paper from AISTech 2018. 
The meeting concluded with technical presentations by ArcelorMittal Dofasco on cone cooling, refractory repair practices, tapping and slagmaking practices; and by Algoma Steel on refractory maintenance practices. Representatives from AK Steel – Middletown Works and U. S. Steel – Great Lakes Works also contributed to the discussion. 

The OSTC toured the ArcelorMittal Cleveland West BOF facility during its meeting on 24 October 2018.
Karim Alshurafa was presented with the OSTC service plaque at AISTech 2018 (left to right): Tyler Preall, Neal Pyke, Alshurafa and Mark Borsody.

The OSTC met 8 May 2018, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Neal Pyke, ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P.

  • Vice chair: Mark Borsody, Ossola Industrials

  • Papers chair: Tyler Preall, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor

  • Membership chair: Ashraf Hanna, RHI Magnesita

The OSTC met 14–15 February 2018, Southgate, Mich., USA. On 14 February, the OSTC members in attendance had the opportunity to tour either the Fiat-Chrysler Sterling Stamping Plant or the Warren Stamping Plant. Included in the tours was a visit to the coil storage area, the blanking and stamping facilities, and the quality assurance laboratories.
On 15 February 2018, the OSTC held its business meeting followed by technical presentations on maintenance and reliability practices in the basic oxygen furnace.
The status of the OSTC’s AISTech 2018 technical sessions was reviewed, and an update was given on the revision to Technical Report No. 32, Design and Construction of BOF Vessels.
Nominations were taken for 2018–2019 OSTC officers.
The OSTC Korea/Taiwan BOF Study Tour was discussed, which was held in March 2018.
The first technical presentation was given by James Kelly, who discussed winterization of the BOF at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor. Kelly detailed the procedures and practices in securing the water lines during frigid temperatures.
Klaus Lazzaro of the SMS group presented advancements in gearing design and maintenance for BOF vessels, detailing how tapered sleeves with hydraulic mounting devices minimize issue in gear alignment during disassembly and reassembly.
Neal Pyke from ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. discussed how automation controls can have many benefits but, if not monitored, can create hidden failure modes.

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.