The Steel and Metal Producers' Fund has awarded a grant of 24 000 euros to Francis Gyakwaa

The Steel and Metal Producers' Fund, which operates under the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, has awarded a grant of 24 000 euros to Francis Gyakwaa for the study of non-metallic inclusions found in steel matrix and in situ high-temperature slag characterisation using Raman spectroscopy at Process Metallurgy Research Unit, University of Oulu during 2022.

This research project aims to explore characterisation technique for non-metallic inclusion study that is more efficient and time-saving such as Raman spectroscopy, to identify and estimate the inclusion phases. Additionally, the project will examine the application of Raman spectroscopy for in situ high-temperature analysis of slag structural properties.

The presence of non-metallic inclusions could be an essential concern during the steelmaking process and for assessing steel cleanliness. The inclusion composition and content found within the steel matrix can be detrimental to steel quality properties such as fatigue, toughness, impact on the microstructure, and other product defects. Therefore, Steelmakers and researchers continue to study ways of reducing or modifying potential harmful inclusions into less detrimental ones. The use of characterisation techniques can assist in understanding the formation and modification process for inclusion analyses towards the production of high-quality steel from steelmaking industries. The study will focus on Raman spectroscopy as a principal analytical instrument to characterise inclusions in steel samples and for in-situ high-temperature slag studies. The utilisation of Raman spectroscopy provides features such as an improved duration for sample preparation, relatively non-destructive to the samples, and fast result analysis is of high interest for inclusions and slag studies.

Slag composition and structural properties serve as an essential metallurgical monitoring parameter to achieve clean steel by conditioning it to absorb inclusions. Extensive research has been done to study slag matrix structural properties using Raman spectroscopy; however, the focus was mainly on quenched slag samples and measurements carried out at room temperature. The application of these studies could potentially encounter challenges in an actual industrial environment where extractive metallurgical operations that generate slags are carried out at higher temperatures. Consequently, there is the need for further studies need to understand better the structural properties of the slag at a higher temperature.

This project also will focus on secondary steelmaking slags and their properties because they are most important from a steel cleanness and inclusions removal point of view.

Last updated: 31.1.2022