Induction furnace tech has advantages if done right, steel firms say

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    The Philippine Induction Smelting Industry Association (PISIA) said induction furnace (IF) technology for steel-making has its advantages if applied properly.

    Benjamin Co of PISIA member Wan Chiong Steel Corp., in his presentation to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), clarified misconceptions on the use of IF in the manufacture of steel.

    He said equipment from closed IF plants in China cannot be used in the Philippines because these are not compatible with the existing power infrastructure in the country.

    Co said Philippine power lines require 60 hertz of frequency while China power lines require 50 hertz frequency.

    Co cited the advantages of using IF for steel-making in terms of equipment performance, energy consumption, production cost, environmental protection, and pollution prevention and control.

    IF is used for melting iron, steel, copper, aluminum and other precious metals through heating an electrically inducting object, in this case a furnace, by electromagnetic induction.

    Due to the absence of electric arcs or electrical breakdown of gas in the heating and melting process, IF is able to produce steel and alloy that are low in carbon and occluded gases, without affecting the quality.

    Once molten, the high frequency magnetic field can be used to stir the hot metal thereby making the process clean and free of contamination.

    The presentation to the DTI, made last November 25 in Makati City, will be part of the technical papers that will be studied and validated by the agency in aid of decision-making and policy formulation relative to the IF technology.

    The DTI said it is studying the steel-making industry, including all technologies at hand.

    PISIA members include Chuangxing Steel Inc., Davao Mighty Steel Corp., Keim Hing Steel Corp., Lian Sheng Manufacturing Corp., Melters Steel Corp., Metrodragon Steel, Phil. Koktai Metal Inc., South Luzon Steel Industrial Corp. and Wan Chiong Steel Corp.