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Foundry Products boosts export sales for Corus Process Engineering

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

With export sales of more than £1 million in 2006, The Foundry Products division of Corus Process Engineering, part of Corus UK Ltd, is continuing to add value and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the steel, iron and other metal processing industries.
Foundry Products has recently secured repeat orders for blast furnace Tuyeres from major steel manufacturers in Poland, France and Germany. These orders further strengthen the company’s dominant position in the global sales of water-cooled copper components for high temperature environments.
Keith Miller, Sales and Development Manager at Foundry Products comments: “Essentially, Foundry Products is a manufacturer of high conductivity copper castings. However, through long-term ownership by steelmaking companies – first National Steel, which became British Steel, then Corus UK Ltd – the business has built up considerable expertise in water-cooled copper products in very high temperature environments such as blast furnaces and BOS vessels. We are now using the technologies and expertise gathered over time from our steelmaking company heritage, to expand our business outside the UK.”
He continues: “The main focus of our business today is the design and manufacture of Tuyeres, which we currently export to 22 customers in 11 different countries across Europe. We also specialise in the supply of copper cooling staves, which are used to replace iron staves or for localised wall repair.”
Established in 1865 as Ogden & Lawson, Foundry Products has a long-term pedigree within the copper casting industry. For the iron making industry, the business develops and manufactures Tuyeres, Python copper staves, Tuyere coolers, cooling plates, cooling boxes and cigar coolers. For steelmaking, the business has the skills and expertise to design and manufacture a range of oxygen lance nozzles and sub lance tips.
Outside iron and steel making, Foundry Products uses its expertise and knowledge gained in these two sectors to provide a wide variety of components to other metals manufacturing customers, including mould tubes, water-cooled crucibles, water-cooled launders, fuel injection Tuyeres and heavy duty electrical transmission equipment. The company also supplies products to the zinc industry.
As Miller states: “Typically, I will visit a customer in the steel or iron making industries, look at what they have been using in their processes, assess the damage to Tuyeres, staves or lance nozzles, see whether there are any unusual signs of wear to these products, then decide what would work best for that company in the way of operational improvement. We then refine or modify our product designs accordingly. Obviously, a lot of our knowledge, expertise and development effort comes from Corus’ own steel making plants, as well as from the customers.”
“Generally, our foundry products provide customers with a longer working life for that component, compared to competing products currently on the market. This is possible because of our intimate, exclusive relationship with Corus UK and the process advancements that our products have helped to improve over the years. Our method of manufacture for oxygen lance nozzles, for example, is unique compared to competitor products.”
Unique method leads to 40% increase in working life
Oxygen lance nozzles are fabricated using a single piece, precision cast, high integrity, high conductivity copper lance head. Attachment details are made compatible with any existing lance body. Stringent quality assurance procedures are applied throughout the process, including minimum standards for electrical conductivity and weld integrity as assessed through radiographic examination.
“The nozzles are designed and constructed to resist erosion and distortion through a combination of water cooling and structural reinforcement. This includes Corus’ patented FlutedTM flow control system. This unique process works in combination with material quality and general cooling system design, to prolong the desired blowing characteristics for as long as possible,” adds Miller.
Clinical trials using a 300-tonne converter at Corus’ Scunthorpe plant – using a 355mm diameter, five-hole lance nozzle confirmed a 40% increase in working life when compared to a conventional nozzle.
Sub Lance Nozzles
Foundry Products has also improved the design of sub lance nozzles. The latest designs were developed in conjunction with Corus UK Research facilities, in order to counter a high incidence of probe connection failures caused by the continual build up of skulls on the lance head. This problem was solved following its introduction and this design is now standard throughout Corus UK. The system is fully compatible with standard lances, adapters and probes.
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