Metals Production

For many years, engineers have relied on process mass spectrometers to analyze, calculate and control various steel and aluminum manufacturing processes. Metal production and processing applications such as Basic Oxygen Process (BOP)Blast Furnace analysis, Gas Mixing stations, Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization (VOD) batch processing, Heat Treating processes and Metal Coating processes benefit from the accuracy and speed of online process analyzers. Today, Extrel’s MAX300-IG™ Industrial Gas Analyzers are in use in steel production and aluminum processing plants worldwide.

A few of the advantages of our systems include:

  • Real-time fast analysis of gas compositions at multiple points
  • Analysis enabling precise air control, optimizing ore reduction
  • Allows the user to calculate and control the amount of carbon remaining in a product
  • Allows the user to calculate the rate of decarburization and identify the endpoint of the VOD processes
  • Detection levels for contaminant compounds in coating and specialty metal processes at the parts per million (ppm) level

Extrel has been producing quadrupole mass spectrometers for over 45 years. We work closely with our customers to understand their obstacles involving their applications. Our expertise in developing the specific products our customers need has established our reputation as the world’s leading supplier of gas analysis systems, mass spectrometers and components.

Extrel supports a variety of industry standards and communications including Ethernet, Bi-directional Modbus, RTU or TCP/IP, OPC, Analog and Digital outputs and custom communications.

Metals Production Applications

Basic Oxygen Process (BOP)

Process mass spectrometry has been used for decades to improve the Basic Oxygen Process (BOP) and successfully produce high quality stainless steel. Process Engineers rely on the BOP to calculate and control the amount of carbon that remains in the liquid metal batch. The BOP uses oxygen to burn excess carbon, converting it to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The percentage of eliminated carbon is calculated using measured concentrations of the carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and the gas flow rates. Since the gas flows extremely fast, calculations need to be made as quickly as possible.

Extrel’s MAX300-IG™ Industrial Gas Analyzer has the speed and precision to deliver the required data measuring the full stream composition of the exhaust gas stream within 1.5 seconds.

For nearly 35 years, Extrel has produced process mass spectrometers for industrial applications with the reliability and performance needed for demanding applications in the toughest environments.

Blast Furnace

The Blast Furnace remains an important part of today’s steel production industry, and Extrel’s MAX300-IG™ blast-furnaceIndustrial Gas Analyzer continues to provide the analytical information today’s process engineers need for optimum process control.

Extrel’s MAX300 Series is relied on for a multitude of measurements, such as:

  • Analysis of the reducing gas at several different levels within the blast furnace
  • Fast analysis of the gas composition at several points to allow for precise air control
  • Analysis results that allow plant operators to increase or decrease the flow rate of incoming air

Fast, real-time analysis provides engineers with more control over their processes and is the key feature driving the market for the MAX300 Series. Data provided from these quadrupole mass spectrometer systems can be used to significantly optimize ore reduction processing times, and can lower energy costs.

In addition to its use for Top Gas analysis in the blast furnace, the MAX300-IG Industrial Gas Analyzer is also often used for analysis during blowdown and quench operations. Along with monitoring the combustion products to indicate the progress of the blowdown and the appropriate quench, hydrogen can be monitored to ensure that explosive levels can be avoided. Analysis during this process results in:

  • Faster turnaround due to accurate endpoint detection
  • Increased safety through monitoring hydrogen
  • Reduced risk of damage to furnace components

For nearly 35 years, Extrel has produced process mass spectrometers for industrial applications with the reliability and performance needed for demanding applications in the toughest environments.

Gas Mixing Stations

Today’s steel manufacturing plants produce more than just steel; they have the ability to create usable fuel gas for their processes. During many of the steel processing phases, the spent gas streams containing various levels of combustible gases can be burned to create usable fuel. However, to ensure a quality fuel gas, it is important to know more than just the BTU value. The exact composition of the combustible components is crucial for process control.

Because these streams are recycled process streams, compositions vary greatly. Various waste streams and makeup gases are mixed at a Gas Mixing Station to ensure a good quality fuel. Because the Extrel Mass Spectrometer determines the exact component composition, engineers have come to rely on Extrel’s MAX300 Series Mass Spectrometers in the gas mixing application. The Extrel MAX300-IG™ Industrial Gas Analyzer has advanced software capabilities such as derived values that perform the basic calculation for the fuel streams.

Since the gas throughput at the gas mixing station is very high, a full composition analysis in just a few seconds is critical. The MAX300 Series are capable of analyzing multiple streams with an analysis time of less than 10 seconds per stream. Extrel’s next generation designs of the inlet, ionizer and filament assembly extend the filament life and reduce system downtime and analyzer maintenance.

Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization (VOD)

VOD, a manufacturing process that ensures the quality of stainless steel, relies heavily on fast and precise measurements of stream compositions during various stages of the process. The speed and accuracy provided by the MAX300-IG™ Industrial Gas Analyzer meets the VOD application’s fast analysis requirement. The real-time analysis provided by this analyzer system enables VOD processes to be optimized for efficiency and product quality.

The MAX300-IG Industrial Gas Analyzer has been designed to:

  • Analyze all 7 components of the full exhaust in less than 3 seconds
  • Display the rapid changes in component concentrations during each phase of the process

This allows the control system to:

  • Maximize oxygen flow to allow the remaining carbon in the steel to be converted to carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
  • Terminate the oxygen flow and increase vacuum for the removal of dissolved gases from liquid steel at the correct time

Extrel’s MAX300-IG Industrial Gas Analyzer quickly identifies the end of each VOD phase without sacrificing the accuracy of the analysis. Optional differentially pumped inlets produce rapid and consistent sampling. To extend filament life, decrease maintenance and reduce system downtime, the MAX300-IG system implements Extrel’s next generation design for inlets, ionizers and filament assemblies. Extrel supports a variety of industry standard communications, and supplies this product to steel processing plants worldwide.

For nearly 35 years, Extrel has produced process mass spectrometers for industrial applications with the reliability and performance needed for demanding applications in the toughest environments.