As part of ArcelorMittal’s 2016 Continuous improvement challenge, the Processes/Steelworks R&D team at Esch-sur-Alzette, in collaboration with the Differdange plant, put forward a project to strengthen control of scrap metal quality, the main raw material used in the electric arc furnaces. The scrap metal market is fragmented and suppliers are numerous. The quality varies, sometimes quite significantly, impacting the efficiency of the steel-production process. The nonferrous content of the scrap metal, also referred to as ‘sterile’, affects the material yield, i.e. the proportion of tonnes of liquid steel cast comparing to the tonnes of scrap metal fed into the electric arc furnace. The density of the scrap and the way it is fed into the furnace have an impact on the fusion process and thus the energy required.

  • Controlling the density and quality of scrap metal at Differdange reduces energy consumption by 8% to 10% and increases productivity.

  • Analysing deliveries of scrap metals and their density more closely enables to classify their copper content more accurately and thus adjust the quality and properties desired in relation to steel end-use

In 2014, a project was launched to develop laser scanner systems to systematically control scrap metal deliveries by lorry and train. The quality and density of these materials are evaluated on a supplier basis. The data will guide ArcelorMittal’s procurement policy.

Jana Meisser

Head of steel plant - ArcelorMittal Differdange

Introduced at the Differdange site, the project can be rolled out at the group’s other electric arc furnace plants given the importance of this recycled raw material.