High Carbon Ferro Chrome You May Not Know

High carbon ferro chrome occupies a pivotal position in the international market. The world cannot live without stainless steel, and the production of high-quality stainless steel cannot be separated from high-carbon ferrochrome. Today, let us learn more about high-carbon ferrochrome.

The Production Method of High Carbon Ferrochrome

The production methods of high carbon ferrochrome include electric furnace method, shaft furnace (blast furnace) method, plasma method and smelting reduction method. The shaft furnace method currently only produces low chromium alloys (Cr<30%), and the shaft furnace production process with higher chromium content (such as Cr>60%) is still in the research stage; the latter two methods are emerging processes that are being explored. Therefore, the vast majority of commercial high-carbon ferrochrome and reprocessed ferrochrome are produced using the electric furnace (submerged arc furnace) method.

High carbon ferro chrome lumps
high carbon ferro chrome powder for steelmaking for welding rod industry.

Electric furnace smelting has the following characteristics:

(1) Electric furnaces use electricity, the cleanest energy. Other energy sources such as coal, coke, crude oil, natural gas, etc. will inevitably bring associated impurity elements into the metallurgical process. Only electric furnaces can produce the cleanest alloys.

(2) Electricity is the only energy source that can obtain arbitrary high temperature conditions.

(3) The electric furnace can easily achieve the thermodynamic conditions such as oxygen partial pressure and nitrogen partial pressure required for various metallurgical reactions such as reduction, refining, and nitriding.

Ferro chrome production process

Raw Materials of High Carbon Ferro Chrome

The raw materials for smelting high-carbon ferrochrome are chromium ore, coke and silica. Coke and silica are used as reducing agents.

(1) Chromium ore

The world’s chromite deposits are mainly distributed in the East African Great Rift Valley mineral belt, the Eurasian Ural mineral belt, the Alpine-Himalayan mineral belt and the Pacific Rim mineral belt. The chromite resources in the nearly north-south fold belt account for more than 90% of the world’s total. Among them, South Africa, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe account for more than 85% of the world’s total proven chromite reserves and more than 90% of the reserve base. South Africa alone accounts for about 3/4 of the reserve base.

Mineral beneficiation principle: Chromium is the most versatile metal and ranks first among “strategic metals”. In today’s world, countries with chromium ore resources or countries lacking resources are stepping up research on chromium ore beneficiation.

the raw material of high carbon ferro chrome
medium carbon ferro chrome
low carbon ferro chrome

(2) Reducing agent

In alloy production, the most commonly used reducing agent is metallurgical coke “crumbs” (coke that has been screened out of blast furnace coke). Due to the different quality of coking coal and the conditions for coke production in coking plants, the quality of crushed coke blocks also varies. However, they have a common shortcoming, that is, low resistance, poor reaction performance, high ash, sulfur and phosphorus content, high moisture content, and instability.

The sulfur contained in coke is mainly organic sulfur and a large amount of sulfide, as well as a small amount of sulfate and a very small amount of elemental sulfur existing in a solid solution state in carbon.

Market Status of High Carbon Ferrochrome

Both the operating rate and output of high-carbon ferrochrome increased in March. Some factories that had been suspended in the early stage restarted production. The overall output increased this month. However, as iron prices continued to fall before the first ten days of the year, the resumption of production of individual factories continued to be postponed. Therefore, although the production capacity of high-carbon ferrochrome factories has increased, it is still at a low level.

The recent ex-factory price of high-carbon ferrochrome is between 8,950 yuan and 9,050 yuan, and the price of high-carbon ferrochrome continues to increase by 100 yuan/50 basis tons. The spot price of chrome ore ports in South Africa took the lead in rising by 2 yuan/ton, further consolidating the increase in iron prices.

In addition, customers with immediate needs and short positions for high-carbon ferrochrome have also begun to enter the market to make inquiries and purchases. Ferrochromium trading activity has picked up and factories are more confident in raising prices. However, the market acceptance of individual high-priced resources still needs to be improved.

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