Primetals’ Revamp of AOD Converter Shop ensures productivity improvements

by David Fleschen

Italian special stainless steel producer ASONEXT has tasked Primetals Technologies with the revamp of its 40-ton argon-oxygen decarburization (AOD) converter shop at its facilities in Brescia, Italy. Primetals Technologies previously executed a comprehensive study for ASONEXT on the existing AOD process. The study provided the steel producer with certain pieces of advice that are already resulting in a significant improvement to the production process. As part of the study, Primetals Technologies proposed the revamp of ASONEXT’s AOD converter, which is now about to be realized.

As the leading provider of AOD equipment, Primetals Technologies has supplied the majority of the world’s AOD plants. Tried-and-tested expertise related to the AOD process as well as the sound reference base were two reasons behind ASONEXT’s choice of supplier. The startup of the new converter is scheduled for the beginning of 2025. Primetals Technologies is responsible for the engineering, scope of supply of production equipment, and supervision of construction work and implementation.

ASONEXT is targeting small production lots of special stainless steel grades and alloys for high-tech applications. This niche poses a challenge to the production process, including the performance of the AOD converter. Primetals Technologies will design a new type of vessel geometry, resulting in a 30-percent increase of the inner vessel volume. This, in turn, ensures improved vessel lining performance and a 12-percent improvement of the reaction volume. Moreover, a new design of the detachable, reinforced top cone will result in a longer lifetime as well as smoother and more streamlined maintenance. A further benefit for ASONEXT is a productivity boost, which is a result of shorter treatment times.

Established in 1971, ASONEXT has an annual production capacity of 150,000 tons. The Italian producer serves several markets including the aerospace, ship building, and petrochemical industries.

Source and Photo: Primetals

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