Vacuum Solutions for Steel Degassing Presented at International Vacuum Science & Engineering Application Conference

Busch Vacuum Pumps and Systems recently presented our latest solutions at the 13th International Vacuum Science & Engineering Application Conference, held on 13-16 August 2017 at the Northeastern University in the city of Shenyang (Liaoning Province).

The 13th International Vacuum Science & Engineering Application Conference, as with its predecessor the International Vacuum Metallurgy & Surface Engineering Academic Conference, plays an important role in the field of vacuum science and technology. This conference is jointly organized by the Institute of Vacuum Metallurgy, Vacuum of Specialized Committee, Vacuum Consultation Committee, Vacuum Engineering Technology, and Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics every two years and has a high level of academic influence.

High on the agenda was how to achieve efficiency, safety, environmental sustainability and reduced energy consumption using COBRA dry screw vacuum technology in degassing applications.

Traditionally, multi-stage steam ejector systems have been widely used in degassing due to their high pumping speed and low investment in the short term. Steel manufacturers are now turning to dry mechanical vacuum systems for steel degassing. There are several very good reasons for doing so.

One reason is operating costs. Although the initial investment on a mechanical vacuum system for steel degassing is generally higher than that for multi-stage ejection systems (without taking into account auxiliary plants), operating costs for mechanical vacuum systems are significantly lower, while achieving the same high pumping speed. Once operating costs are factored in, the return on investment is therefore higher with a dry vacuum pump system.

Another consideration is auxiliary plant costs. Steam ejection systems demand various auxiliary facilities, such as a boiler, water make-up plant (to prepare the water for use), and water make-up plants for waste water, all of which need to be maintained. These add to operating and investment costs.

Environmental sustainability is another consideration. As the term suggests, steam ejection systems work by using motive steam to create the necessary vacuum for the degassing process. As a consequence, the process gas is mixed with steam and the condenser water. The mixture of dust, process gases and steam produces a slurry that must be disposed of in accordance with local environmental standards. As steel manufacturers know, it is easier and less expensive to safely dispose of dust than of a slurry. Mechanical vacuum systems for degassing are dry systems and therefore have the advantage of doing away with costly slurries.

Energy consumption and carbon footprint are further advantages of dry mechanical vacuum systems over steam ejection. Steel plants are high energy consumers. Boilers for steam ejector pump systems usually need to be kept running constantly, even when steel is not being degassed. Mechanical vacuum pump systems are a push-button alternative, operating and consuming energy only during degassing.

Call us to find out more about our mechanical solutions in steel degassing applications.

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