12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

Interview with Per Vesterberg, Sales Manager of UHT Uvan Hagfors Teknologi AB

UHT develops and provides innovative and sustainable solutions to the iron, steel, stainless steel and ferroalloy industries worldwide. Based on extensive metallurgical experience, forefront technology and cost-effective equipment, UHT is established as a reliable global supplier of equipment, advanced metallurgical processes and sophisticated process control systems.
Per Vesterberg: How technology could help the metal industry to overcome challenges ahead
----Interview with Per Vesterberg, Sales Manager of UHT Uvan Hagfors Teknologi AB

Asian Metal: Please briefly introduce UHT.

Per: UHT is an independent Swedish engineering company, prior to 2007 known as Uddeholm Technology. We develop, engineer, deliver and implement metallurgical processes for the iron, steel, stainless steel and the ferroalloy industry, namely the CLU converter refining and GRANSHOT metal granulation processes.

Asian Metal: Cost, expectations of improved quality and environmental issues are some of the major challenges ahead of the steel and metal industry. How can UHT helps on these fronts?

Per: We believe that our most important contribution to the industry will be to achieve ready-to-sell ferroalloy products and that they will have a refined or customer specific analysis.
Ready-to-sell products by GRANSHOT metal granulation will improve the yield and decrease handling cost of ferroalloys in the entire chain from furnace tap hole until use in the steelmaking by substituting crushed and screened products. Granulation lowers production cost and decreases the environmentally hazardous diffuse dusting which is caused by handling of crushed material.
Steel/stainless steel/special steel makers are in search of ferroalloys which will help them to further improve operational performance, such as process time, correct tap analysis and temperature, energy consumption, wear, emissions, etc. The CLU converter refining process can remove high amounts of silicon and carbon efficiently from high carbon ferroalloys with a good temperature control without having to add big amounts of metallic coolants.
As an example, the CLU process is extremely efficient, having low OPEX, in FeMn refining. Refined FeMn is an important alloy for high strength low alloy steels and it is also an alternative to electrolytic manganese in some stainless steel applications. In both these applications environmental advantages are substantial and the refined FeMn is also a much cheaper alternative than electrolytic manganese.

Asian Metal: Please outline and explain the Metal Granulation solution, GRANSHOT

Per: GRANSHOT is an industrial and high capacity metal granulation process which currently has a max capacity of 300 tonnes/hour. It delivers solid metal granules within 30 seconds after pouring of hot liquid metal into the plant.

Asian Metal: What industries can employ GRANSHOT?

Per: The ferroalloy industry was rapid to embrace the GRANSHOT process since it provided them with repeatable results, high process yield and a minimum of maintenance to rapidly make ready-to-sell products. Today it is possible to granulate FeNi, FeCr and FeSi. The high capacity output is interesting for pig iron producers who also want to simplify their logistical handling which can be completely automated when producing and using granulated pig iron, GPI. Other metals are also possible to granulate and GRANSHOT is also used within the metal recycling industry.

Asian Metal: How does GRANSHOT benefit the users and how well can GRANSHOT improve the products?

Per: The design and performance of the GRANSHOT unit ensures a low OPEX and high yield while producing a granulated metal that is clean and has an advantageous shape and size for automated logistics. The granules has excellent melting properties such as high bulk density, rapid melting and homogenous analysis, this makes them suitable for use in Cupola furnace, Induction furnace, EAF, AOD and BOF.

Asian Metal: How much does it cost to implement the GRANSHOT solution?

Per: UHT has delivered GRANSHOT units throughout the world; India, New Caledonia, South Africa, Brazil etc so we are able to find a solution and price level as to achieve our customers objectives.

Asian Metal: Could you name a few examples of successful GRANSHOT project?

Per: UHT and the GRANSHOT process is the market leader for in FeNi granulation. It is used by POSCO/SNNC in South Korea and by Anglo American in Brazil. Granulated Pig Iron, GPI is made at ESSAR Steel in India and at ARCELORMITTAL in South Africa. These two projects are milestones in achieving excellence in operational performance in integrated steel plants. It is also encouraging to see a growing market for granulation in the waste recycling industry where BOLIDEN and BEFESA are using the GRANSHOT process.

Asian Metal: Could you please tell us about the Converter Refining solutions, CLU and how does it help the users to achieve maximum yield?

Per: In the CLU converter refining process, superheated steam is substituting some of the argon and oxygen that is normally used in refining chrome and manganese rich alloys and stainless steels. High manganese metal is well known to be difficult to refine due to the low boiling point of manganese. The CLU is very efficient in controlling the manganese Per: vaporization and thus the yield is maximized. The use of steam is ideal for refining of ferroalloys and ferritic stainless steel where nitrogen gas cannot be used.

Asian Metal: How much does it cost to implement the CLU solution and how much can a client saved by implanting the solution?

Per: UHT has recently received orders for converters to India and China for which we have defined a technical solution and scope of supply that fits to the customer’s objectives and financing. The low OPEX costs stems from the fact that superheated steam will decrease the need for argon, oxygen and refractory. At the same time it improves the process yield and plant productivity.

Asian Metal: Apart from the ferroalloy industry, can the solution be used in other metal industries?

Per: Both CLU converter refining and GRANSHOT metal granulation have other application areas. CLU is used in stainless steel refining. ACERINOX Columbus Stainless in South Africa has two 110 tonnes CLU converters. GRANSHOT has as already indicated applications within the pig iron, waste recycling and base metal industry.

Asian Metal: Anything else you would like to add?

Per: We look forward to meet ferroalloy producers at INFACON XIII in Kazakhstan, the 9-13 June to discuss more about how to increase value and differentiating the offer of the ferroalloy product to the user market while decreasing production costs. UHT will be both presenting and exhibiting.