Thermal mass flow meters are used in steel production to save energy in applications such as combustion control and compressed air or nitrogen monitoring. Additionally, the thermal flow meter is ideal to monitor natural gas, nitrogen and argon to improve product quality and conservation.
Steel Production and Combustion Control
Steel processing uses vast amounts of energy. One of the most important ways to reduce energy consumption is to optimize the combustion control to the boilers and furnaces. By monitoring the air (or oxygen) and fuel rates to the burners, optimal air to fuel ratios is achieved. This results in significant reductions in energy costs of natural gas (or propane), and also improves process efficiency, as well as product quality and yields.
Thermal mass flow meters are ideal instruments for this application. They do not require separate temperature or pressure transmitters, have no moving parts, are highly accurate and repeatable, and have negligible pressure drop. Furthermore, thermal mass meters have extraordinary rangeability of at least 100 to 1, as well as fast response, all of which are critical features in optimizing combustion control.
Compressed Air or Nitrogen Flow Monitoring
Steel production also has many applications for compressed air flow monitoring. Additionally, some manufacturers prefer to use nitrogen in lieu of air, since air contains significant oxygen which reacts with steel at high temperatures and forms oxides. In either situation, thermal flow meters are ideal to monitor these gases.
Monitoring Nitrogen and Argon
In addition to the use of thermal mass flow meters for combustion, they are important elements in the actual process. Monitoring the nitrogen and argon flow rate for bottom stirring of molten steel helps to eliminate bubbles and other impurities. The proper mix of nitrogen and argon directly impacts the quality of the steel. The Sage Prime Thermal Mass Flow Meter, with dual range calibration, is a perfect solution for this important application.
Monitoring Natural Gas
Natural gas is used throughout steel production in various processes including heating the steel.