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Why Are Graphite Electrodes Important For The Steel Industry?
Views: 42 Update date: Nov 16,2022

Graphite electrodes are a vital component in the steelmaking process. They are used to melt scrap steel and recycle it into new steel products. Graphite electrodes conduct electricity and generate heat, which makes them ideal for melting steel.

 

The steel industry is one of the largest consumers of graphite electrodes. In fact, over 50% of the world’s graphite electrode production is consumed by the steel industry. Graphite electrodes are also used in other industries, such as aluminum production and glassmaking.

 

Graphite electrodes are made from petroleum coke and needle coke, which are calcined to remove impurities. The calcined coke is then formed into shape and baked to create the finished electrode. Graphite electrodes can be either natural or synthetic.

 

Types of Graphite Electrodes

 

There are three types of graphite electrodes:

 

Regular Power Graphite Electrodes

Regular power graphite electrodes have a current density of 18-24 A/cm². They are used for electric arc furnaces with a capacity of 30-100 tons.

The high current density enables the electrode to conduct large amounts of current, which is essential for melting metals in the furnace.

The electrode is made from carbon, which is a good conductor of electricity and heat. The carbon also helps to protect the metal from oxidation.

 

High Power Graphite Electrodes

High-power graphite electrodes have a current density of 24-36 A/cm². They are used for electric arc furnaces with a capacity of 100-300 tons. In addition, the electrode is coated with a layer of graphite, which helps to improve its conductivity and extends its lifetime.

High-power graphite electrodes are a crucial part of electric arc furnaces and play an important role in the manufacturing process.

 

Ultra High Power Graphite Electrodes

Ultra-high power graphite electrodes have a current density of 36-48 A/cm². The furnace graphite electrodes are used for electric arc furnaces with a capacity of 300 tons or more.

The ultra-high power graphite electrode is made of natural flake graphite, which is made into a know by calcining, impregnating, compressing, and roasting.

The material is baked at high temperatures to oxidize carbonaceous substances to carbon dioxide and water vapor, which are discharged from the furnace through the gas channel so that the original structure of the flake is destroyed, and a new interlayer structure is generated.

 

Graphite electrode prices have been on the rise in recent years due to increased demand from China, which is the world’s largest producer and consumer of steel.

 

In 2018, China produced 928 million metric tons of crude steel, an increase of 6.3% from 2017. This increase in demand has caused graphite electrode prices to more than double since 2016.

 

Conclusion

Graphite electrodes play a vital role in the steelmaking process by conducting electricity and generating heat to melt scrap steel so that it can be recycled into new products.

The steel industry is the largest consumer of graphite electrodes, and demand is only expected to increase as China continues to produce more steel.

While prices for graphite electrodes have increased in recent years, they remain an essential part of the steelmaking process.





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