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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#208 - Tenova Core Receives Order from Bilstein Group for Bell-Type Furnaces

Tenova Core has been contracted by Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel LP for the design and supply of HPH (high-performance hydrogen) bell-type furnaces for installation at its facility in Bowling Green, Ky. The furnaces will be used to anneal steel strip coils in a 100% hydrogen atmosphere. The project scope includes: HPH heating hoods, annealing bases and JET cooling hoods as well as associated equipment and process-control systems. 
A special high-performance recirculation system ensures effective gas circulation and superior temperature uniformity. The annealing-base design is optimized for obtaining the lowest dew point possible and can be used for annealing almost any grade of steel strip coil. It also provides many years of dependable operation while requiring minimal maintenance. JET cooling requires no cooling water and ensures homogeneous cooling of all coils.

A bell furnace is a batch-operated heat-treatment furnace in which products are heated under a movable dome. It is used for heat treatment of sheet and light-section rolled products in a controlled gaseous medium. Tenova’s HPH system uses hydrogen as the atmosphere gas and features high-convection technology. The advantages of hydrogen compared with nitrogen include lower density, higher thermal conductivity and improved reduction potential, resulting in enhanced strip cleanliness. As a result, this technology has established itself as a standard throughout the world.

Bell furnaces are classified according to use (treatment of coils of narrow strip, sheets, rods, and so on). The most common bell furnaces are the single-stack and multistack types used for annealing coils of cold-rolled steel strip. In multistack bell furnaces, three to eight stacks, each of which has its own muffle for protection against the effects of the hot air and products of combustion, are mounted on a rectangular stand under the heating dome. Each stack is 3–5 m high and contains three to five coils with a total weight of up to 180 tons.

The bell furnace dome is heated by gas or electrical resistance heaters. Upon completion of the heating process, the dome is transferred by crane to another stand and the products are left to cool under the muffles on the first stand. Heat exchange under the muffle is intensified by forced circulation of controlled gas. Cooling is accelerated by wetting the muffle with water or blowing cold air over it.

During treatment in a bell furnace the coils of strip are loose, with spaces between the coil loops so that the gas circulates between the loops and flows over the entire surface of the strip, which makes possible thermochemical treatment and acceleration of heating and cooling.

For more information, contact Tenova Core at:

Tenova Core
Cherrington Corporate Center
100 Corporate Center Drive
Coraopolis, PA 15108-3185
Phone: (412) 262-2240
Fax: (412) 262-2055

Plant photo of bell furnaces from Tenova Core.
Bell furnace diagram from Industrial Heating article The Annealing Process Revealed (Part Three: Annealing of Steel Coils) Some information from Tenova Core website and from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

#207 - Tenova Goodfellow to optimize twin shell EAFs at Steel Dynamics Inc.

Mississauga, 17 February 2015: Tenova Goodfellow receives PO for two (2) EFSOP holistic optimization® systems including water detection for both twin shell EAFs at Steel Dynamics Inc. Butler, IN.

In Post #205, we discussed the basic operation of an electric arc furnace (EAF). One of type EAF is known as ‘twin shell’. From Wikipedia:

The scrap basket is then taken to the melt shop, the roof is swung off the furnace, and the furnace is charged with scrap from the basket. Charging is one of the more dangerous operations for the EAF operators…In some twin-shell furnaces, the scrap is charged into the second shell while the first is being melted down, and pre-heated with off-gas from the active shell…After charging, the roof is swung back over the furnace and meltdown commences. The electrodes are lowered onto the scrap, an arc is struck and the electrodes are then set to bore into the layer of shred at the top of the furnace. Lower voltages are selected for this first part of the operation to protect the roof and walls from excessive heat and damage from the arcs. Once the electrodes have reached the heavy melt at the base of the furnace and the arcs are shielded by the scrap, the voltage can be increased and the electrodes raised slightly, lengthening the arcs and increasing power to the melt. This enables a molten pool to form more rapidly, reducing tap-to-tap times.

Tenova Goodfellow has significant expertise in making this and other types of EAF operate more efficiently and effectively.

Steel Dynamics Inc., has confirmed an order with Tenova Goodfellow for the supply and purchase of two (2) EFSOP holistic optimization® systems for both EAF batteries at their SDI, Butler, IN steelmaking facility. Tenova’s innovative technology and value proposition will provide full spectrum evaluation via upstream and downstream offgas analysis and water detection technology for all 4 EAF shells. The scope of supply will also include newly developed optical sensors for the measuring of off-gas velocity and temperature.

The order which was received in December 2014, included project work that was scheduled to begin immediately with the manufacturing of hardware & sensors at TGI’s Hamilton, ON production facility, Nova Analytical Systems. Installation and commissioning of the systems is scheduled to take place by April 2015.

About SDI Steel Dynamics, Inc. - one of the largest domestic steel producers and metals recyclers in the United States based on estimated annual steelmaking and metals recycling capability, with annual sales of $7.4 billion in 2013, over 7,400 employees, and manufacturing facilities primarily located throughout the United States (including six steel mills, six steel processing facilities, two iron production facilities, over 90 metals recycling locations and six steel fabrication plants).

About Tenova Goodfellow - part of the Metals Division of Tenova and is a leader in the design and supply of process control technology for the EAF and BOF markets. Tenova is a worldwide supplier of advanced technologies, products and engineering services for the iron & steel and mining industries providing innovative, integrated solutions for complete process areas. Tenova's network companies operate in 26 countries on 5 continents with more than 4,900 people.

For more information on EAF optimization, please contact:

Tenova Goodfellow Inc.
6711 Mississauga Road, Suite 200
Mississauga, ON
L5N 2W3 - Canada
Phone +1 905 567 3030
Fax +1 905 567 3899

Thursday, February 12, 2015

#206 - Heart and Soul takes over 270 Sherman

We saw this article about the arts side of our facility in today’s paper:

Thursday, February 12, 2015
Hamilton Spectator
By Saira Peesker 
Arts and wellness festival beginning of ‘larger conversation’ about living sustainably
The Cotton Factory, an artist loft complex at 270 Sherman Ave. N., is like a city unto itself, several converted factory buildings teeming with art studios, workshops and businesses big and small. This weekend, its largest room — the size of a small arena — will hold a city of its own, as two-day arts and wellness festival Heart and Soul takes over.
"I see this as a park or a city block and we'll build a little city in this block," explained Annette Paiement, the event's founder, as she walked through the cavernous space, pointing out which sections would have vendor booths and which would have workshops.
Her vision is for an outdoor festival, but inside — a break from the solitude that comes with winter. The room is certainly big enough.
"I'm asking people to bring their lawn chairs and blankets."
The event starts each day with 11 a.m. yoga, followed by a suite of workshops, talks and performances. Session titles include Mindfulness: Coping with Stress; Heartbeats and Native Storytelling; Elysium Tribal Dance Presentation; and Sustainable Food and You. Admission to the event is free, but some of the workshops charge a fee.
TriciaCook courtesy Natalie Clewley
Hamilton Aerial Group performs
La Nuit de Couer Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
"A lot of people will be set up to do mini-massages or other mini-treatments," she added. 
The event serves as a launch for the Centre for Artistic Sustainable Lifestyles, a co-working space being built in the west end of the massive room. Paiement is CASL's executive director and envisions a communal office for people working in alternative wellness, non-profit ventures and the arts.
"Heart and Soul is like a soft launch for the kinds of things we want taking place at CASL year round," she said.
Paiement also plans to expand the event to other cities. She sees the event — and the co-working space — as ways to bring people together to change the world.
"I think about sustainability and the state of the world right now, and we are at a crossroads," she said. "The only thing that is going to save us is each person on an individual level being responsible for themselves. Looking at how they do everything: how they shop, how they cook, how they make money.
"It all has to inform the larger conversation."

A lot more goes on here than just analytical technology.
NOVA Analytical Systems
270 Sherman Ave North


Thursday, January 29, 2015

#205 - What is iEAF?

In Post #194, we asked the question - What is iBOF? In this post we will discuss iEAF.

To begin, it will be helpful to describe EAF. The acronym stands for Electric Arc Furnace and is used to describe a method of steelmaking that heats the charged material using a powerful electric arc originating from large graphite electrodes.

From Wikipedia: 
An electric arc furnace used for steelmaking consists of a refractory-lined vessel, usually water-cooled in larger sizes, covered with a retractable roof, and through which one or more graphite electrodes enter the furnace. The furnace is primarily split into three sections:
  • the shell, which consists of the sidewalls and lower steel "bowl";
  • the hearth, which consists of the refractory that lines the lower bowl;
  • the roof, which may be refractory-lined or water-cooled, and can be shaped as a section of a sphere, or as a frustum (conical section). The roof also supports the refractory delta in its centre, through which one or more graphite electrodes enter.
The hearth may be hemispherical in shape, or in an eccentric bottom tapping furnace, the hearth has the shape of a halved egg. In modern meltshops, the furnace is often raised off the ground floor, so that ladles and slag pots can easily be maneuvered under either end of the furnace. Separate from the furnace structure is the electrode support and electrical system, and the tilting platform on which the furnace rests. Two configurations are possible: the electrode supports and the roof tilt with the furnace, or are fixed to the raised platform.

iEAF stands for “intelligent Electric Arc Furnace” and is a trademark of Tenova Goodfellow Inc. The iEAF system is a progressive, modular technology package designed to provide sustainable long-term cost savings to steelmakers. The system uses dynamic control and holistic optimization of the EAF process.

iEAF® enabling technology can be applied to all variations of the EAF process including: 
  • top charge melting furnaces (bucket and/or shaft) using scrap, DRI and/or pig iron;
  • the Consteel® process (iConsteel®) with or without hot metal;
  • continuous DRI fed furnaces (iDRI®).

While the basic structure remains constant, the automation hardware, software and communication modules can be customized according to the individual customer’s existing automation system and network.

The iEAF technology package is comprised of well-defined modules which each focus on a specific aspect of the EAF process. 
  • MODULE 1 - Dynamic Chemical Energy Control & Optimization (EFSOP)
  • MODULE 2 - Dynamic Melting Control
  • MODULE 3 - Dynamic End-Point Control

While the iEAF® can be easily integrated with any existing automation and process control system, the cornerstone and necessary first step in the iEAF® technology program is EFSOP® off-gas analysis; other off-gas analysis methods which cannot provide complete analysis of CO, CO2, H2 and O2 lack a necessary prerequisite for determining an online Mass & Energy Balance which is critical for efficient energy utilization and effective dynamic control of the melting and refining processes.

• Dynamic Control & Optimization of the Melting & Refining Process
• Electrical Energy Savings
• Fuel Savings
• Reduced Power-On Time
• Increased Yield
• Reduced Tap Additions
• Electrode, Delta & Refractory Savings
• Reduced Tap-to-Tap Time
• Reduced Emissions

There are other add-on technologies that are available under the iEAF umbrella. We’ll elaborate on those in a future post.

For more information, contact:

Tenova Goodfellow Inc.
6711 Mississauga Road, Suite 200
Mississauga, ON
L5N 2W3 - Canada
Phone +1 905 567 3030
Fax +1 905 567 3899


Thursday, January 22, 2015

#204 - Zamboni engine exhaust

Canada’s 2014 gold victory at the IIHF World Juniors was great fun for Canadians especially. But in general, the speed of play and puck handling during the World Junior tournaments is always a marvel to watch.


And we found this fun pic
for the Habs fans on Pinterest.

Explanations of the physical mechanics of ice skating have evolved over the years. From Wikipedia
A skate can slide over ice because the ice molecules at the surface cannot properly bond with the molecules of the mass of ice beneath and thus are free to move like molecules of liquid water. These molecules remain in a semi-liquid state, providing lubrication. 
It had long been believed that ice is slippery because the pressure of an object in contact with it causes a thin layer to melt. The hypothesis was that the blade of an ice skate, exerting pressure on the ice, melts a thin layer, providing lubrication between the ice and the blade. This explanation, called "pressure melting", originated in the 19th century. This, however, did not account for skating on ice temperatures lower than −3.5 °C, whereas skaters often skate on lower-temperature ice. In the 20th century, an alternative explanation, called "friction heating", was proposed, whereby friction of the material was causing the ice layer melting. However, this theory also failed to explain skating at low temperature. In fact, neither explanation explained why ice is slippery when standing still even at below-zero temperatures.

Professor Gabor Somorjai of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has studied the mechanics of skating and has found that an ice skate blade actually glides on vertically vibrating ice molecules that behave in a ‘liquid-like’ manner without actually melting and turning into liquid.

Many hockey players and coaches agree that good skating is a combination of strength and technique. But smooth skating and puck-handling are also enabled by a device that is usually activated when no skaters are on the ice. A resurfacing machine is used to wash the ice, shave the surface, and leave behind a layer of water that will freeze to form a fresh layer of ice. One of the most well-known examples in North America of an ice resurfacing machine is the Zamboni.

In 1949, Mr. Frank Zamboni developed the world’s first ice resurfacing machine. Based on a Jeep chassis, this machine automatically and quickly provided all of the necessary operations required for pristine skating ice. It also had built-in reservoirs to collect the old shaved ice and distribute the new ice-making water.

Newer Zamboni models are available with electric power supplied by rechargeable batteries. However, many of the Zamboni engines are powered by gas, propane, or CNG (compressed natural gas), similar to fork lift trucks. With an internal combustion engine, there will be an exhaust gas flow. Because these vehicles function indoors in a populated environment, it is important to keep the engines in good repair to minimize impact on indoor air quality.

Nova has various gas analysis capabilities including the gases that typically make up engine exhaust. Our 7460 Series Portable Engine Exhaust Analyzers are available in various combinations including O2, CO, CO2, HC, & NOx. Our customers have used this analyzer on diesel, gasoline, propane, or natural gas powered 2 and 4 cycle engines.

The 7460 Series is a portable analyzer that uses infrared and electrochemical sensors / detectors. Here it is in our on-line catalog.

We aren’t engine mechanics. However, we do build these analyzers to meet Bar 97 and ISO 3930/OIML R99, Class O specifications. Therefore, many mechanics have effectively used this analyzer for reliable engine tuning and emissions reduction. We have noticed that this analyzer is also popular among equipment mechanics who work on forklifts and other non-road vehicles such as Zambonis.

Added March 2013 - We have noticed that our fork-lift customers frequently print on the analyzer cabinet the target gas readings for a properly tuned engine. For example, we have a couple of units in the Nova lab right now being calibrated for one of our customers. They have printed the following target gas readings on the analyzer:

O2: 0.8 % to 2.0 %
CO: 0.1% to 0.8 %
CO2: more than 11.0 %
HC's: less than 200ppm

If you are in the business of tuning engines and require analysis of engine exhaust, ask Mike or Dave for help with the 7460 Series Gas Analyzers.

If you're a Leafs fan, there may not be anything we can do to help you.

sales at nova-gas dot com
websales at nova-gas dot com

Zamboni pics from Zamboni website.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#203 - Nova Analyzers from the Field – Episode 10 – Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Analysis

Measuring hydrogen (H2) is something we do a lot of here at Nova. We can measure it in a mixed background of other gases, or in a binary mixture of H2 in one other gas such as O2, N2, Ar, etc.

One application that generally requires H2 analysis in a binary mixture with N2 is fuel cell operation and development. We were sent some pics a while back from a fuel cell manufacturer. They use Nova instruments to measure H2.

From Wikipedia, a general description of fuel cell operation is as follows:
Fuel cells come in many varieties; however, they all work in the same general manner. They are made up of three adjacent segments: the anode, the electrolyte, and the cathode. Two chemical reactions occur at the interfaces of the three different segments. The net result of the two reactions is that fuel is consumed, water or carbon dioxide is created, and an electric current is created, which can be used to power electrical devices, normally referred to as the load.

At the anode a catalyst oxidizes the fuel, usually hydrogen, turning the fuel into a positively charged ion and a negatively charged electron. The electrolyte is a substance specifically designed so ions can pass through it, but the electrons cannot. The freed electrons travel through a wire creating the electric current. The ions travel through the electrolyte to the cathode. Once reaching the cathode, the ions are reunited with the electrons and the two react with a third chemical, usually oxygen, to create water or carbon dioxide.
The most important design features in a fuel cell are:
  • The electrolyte substance. The electrolyte substance usually defines the type of fuel cell.
  • The fuel that is used. The most common fuel is hydrogen.
  • The anode catalyst breaks down the fuel into electrons and ions. The anode catalyst is usually made up of very fine platinum powder.
  • The cathode catalyst turns the ions into the waste chemicals like water or carbon dioxide. The cathode catalyst is often made up of nickel but it can also be a nanomaterial-based catalyst.

In the specific project from which the field pictures were taken, the requirement was for measurement of 0-100.0 % H2. The sample is typically 70-90% H2 in balance N2, and is obtained at the anode portion of the fuel cell. Measuring the H2 here is useful in evaluating what the cell’s power output will be.

The sample itself is clean and basically dry, with the possibility of occasional moisture in some operation conditions. The gas analyzer has a condensate collection system and a liquid block membrane to avoid water infiltration to the detector. The sample gas is under pressure up to 1.2 barg (17psig). The analyzer has a built-in regulator. The fuel cell manufacturer uses a peristaltic pump to push the sample that is vented out of the analyzer back into the process to maintain the system gas composition.

Connection to the analyzer itself is quite simple, as shown in this picture.

One potential safety concern is related to the possibility of a gas leak occurring inside the analyzer cabinet. We can offer an ex-proof leak detector that is mounted in the cabinet which will de-power the analyzer in the event of a leak. To actively dilute a potential leak, we can also arrange a continuous vent flow through the analyzer using a fan. This is only suitable in clean environments with stable warm temperatures.

On this project, the fuel cell manufacturer and end-user have been very happy with the Nova units. They have since ordered a few spare filters in anticipation of normal maintenance.

For information on these and other gas analyzer systems, give Mike or Dave at Nova a call, or send us an e-mail.

If you have any Nova instruments at your plant or lab and want to share a couple of photos, feel free to send them to us along with a brief explanation of your application.

sales at nova-gas dot com
websales at nova-gas dot com

*Fuel cell diagrams from Wikipedia, in public domain.