Technology Committees

Oxygen Steelmaking Technology Committee Activities

The OSTC had 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.