Steel industries in Japan have been making efforts to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions and improve process efficiency. And various technologies to resolve these problems have been developed especially in ironmaking process. These technologies and applications to contribute to accomplishment of sustainable society are introduced in this paper.
Volatile matter, which occupies more than 20 mass% in non-coking coal, is not utilized when the coal is fed directly into the smelting furnace. Its presence may even cause adverse effects in the operation. Therefore, the fundamental study on pre-reduction of iron oxide was carried out in order to investigate the conditions for efficient use of volatile matter in an iron bath smelting reduction total process. The final fractional reduction, F, was calculated from the loss in weight of pellets after reduction. Presence of combined water in coal affected F and caused a decrease in F at higher temperatures. However, when the combined water was removed from coal, F increased. In each coal, when the combined water was removed from volatile matter, F increased linearly from about 0.08 to 0.20 at the reduction temperatures from 773K up to 1073 K, beyond which F increased more than the linear relation, such as F about 0.30 at 1173 K and 0.40 at 1273 K. This may be due to caused by the contribution of hydrocarbons in the reduction reaction at high temperatures.
Biomass has a novel advantage, i.e., no CO2 emissions, because of carbon neutral. We proposed semi-charcoal composite iron oxide pellets in order to decrease reducing agent at blast furnace and CO2 emissions. Japanese cedar were carbonized partly at maximum carbonization temperatures (TC, max = 823, 1073 and 1273 K) in order to obtain semi-charcoal with residual volatile matter (V.M.). It was found that the semi-charcoal retained much V.M., mainly H2, at TC, max = 823 K and that the semi-charcoal with some residual V.M. could be prepared by controlling TC, max in the carbonization. Composite pellets using such semi-charcoal have been prepared and reduced at reduction temperature (TR) in N2 gas atmosphere. Fractional reductions F(%) of the semi-charcoal composite pellets at TC, max = 823, 1073 and 1273 K were 17 ∼ 24 % for 60 min at TR = 1073 K. Moreover, fractional reduction F(%) of the semi-charcoal composite pellet at TC, max = 823 K was 62 % for 60 min at TR = 1173 K and was higher than the pellet at TC, max = 1273 K by about 30 %. When TC, max was lower, namely the pellet had more residual V.M., the reduction of iron oxide was more accelerated at TR = 1073 and 1173 K. Fractional reductions F(%) of all the semi-charcoal composite pellets were about 100 % for 50 ∼ 60 min at TR = 1273 K. These reducibility of semi-charcoal composite pellets were higher than those of semi-coal-char composite pellets at TR = 1273 K.
In recycling of steel scraps, the accumulation of tramp element in steel has been one of serious problems. Because copper in steel causes hot-shortness, the copper content of steel scraps is strictly adjusted under the upper limiting value in steelmaking process. In addition, recycling of steel scrap is necessary for energy savings and to realize a recycling-oriented society. In the present study,it was found that addition of boron could separate a single liquid in Fe-Cu system into Fe-rich and Cu-rich phases. Equilibrium experiments in Fe-Cu-B ternary system at 1873 and 1523 K showed that the copper content in Fe-rich phase decreased to 4.3 mass%. Subsequently, equilibrium experiments in Fe-Cu-Ag-B system were carried out and the copper was observed to be distributed between Fe-B and Ag phases. The distribution ratio of [mass%Cu](in Ag) / [mass%Cu](in Fe) was about 6 at 1873 K, regardless of copper content. It was found that the copper content of iron could be decreased by using silver as the solvent.
A large amount of fly ash is exhausted from the thermal powder plant and it is a poisonous substance including the heavy metals and dioxin. The glass solidification is an effective method as one of the waste solidification technologies. Further, producing new materials by mixing together more than two kinds of raw materials is a more useful method. However, a number of trials are required in this method. We selected glass-ceramics with the crystal structure of an Anorthite (CaO·Al2O3·2SiO2), fly ash as inorganic wastes and concrete sludge for construction materials. It is necessary to clarify the optimum production method. Batches were prepared by mixing these raw materials with various weight ratios. Glass samples were produced by melting the batches at 1450°C and quenching. They were reheated in the region of 950-1100°C to make into glass-ceramic. The properties of obtained glass-ceramics were examined by XRD analysis, SEM observation, and some material tests for the strength, hardness, toughness, and so on. The XRD analysis and SEM observation showed that the crystallized phase of the produced glass-ceramics were identified as an Anorthite. The material tests showed that the Vickers hardness was very high, while the chemical resistance was relatively low.
An attempt has been made to develop a new gas carburizing furnace with the system that discharges H2 gas selectively from the atmosphere in the furnace. Polyimide hollow-fiber membrane filter on the market was selected as a filter that was expected to have good H2 gas permeability and selectivity. The results of the various gas permeability measurements of this filter showed that it had superior H2 gas permeability and selectivity. Using this gas filter module, a new industrial gas carburizing furnace that had ‘H2 gas selective discharging system’ was produced as a trial. Use of this furnace made possible to stabilize the gas carburizing atmosphere in the furnace under the lower carrier gas flow rate condition (below 25% of standard condition). It was confirmed that the carbon concentration profile of the steel carburized with the new carburizing furnace under lower carrier gas flow rate condition was comparable to that of the specimen carburized under standard carrier gas flow rate condition.
At present, various kinds of measures have been taken to solve the environmental problems. Among those measures there is a measure that the environment is evaluated by the sounds. In this paper we paid attention to a character that the sound travels well by way of any material and utilized the sound to measure stress. The effects of stress and temperature on ultrasonic velocities are studied experimentally in order to establish the acousto-elastic law applicable to thermo-elastic stress analysis. A specimen for uniaxial tensile test is prepared and the sing-around method is used to measure the round-trip time of ultrasonic waves incident normal to the specimen. Two kinds of experiments are carried out too. At first, velocities of longitudinal and transverse waves are measured by varying the temperature under several constant uniaxial stresses, and it is confirmed that the velocity change due to temperature depends linearly on stress.Then the velocities of three waves are measured by varying uni-axial stress under several constant temperatures and the velocity change due to stress is shown to be linearly dependent on temperature. From both results,the stress-temperature coefficients of velocities are determined together with the acousto-elastic constants and temperature coefficients of velocities. From the results, it will be useful method that the measuring residual stresses based on the stress-dependence of velocity change due to temperature.