Dynamic process modeling and simulation of electric arc furnaces

The adverse conditions at the electric arc furnace make experimental investigations and parameter variations during the melting process difficult and to some extend are also associated with high costs. For these reasons a dynamic process model is used at the IOB for theoretical investigations and for the optimization of the electric arc furnace process. In contrast to CFD and FEM simulation methods and due to simplifications and a holistic view on the process the dynamic process model delivers results faster with less time required for computing. It also offers a high degree of application versatility:

  • Analysis of different process operation modes
  • Optimization of process control parameters
  • Investigation of alternative EAF equipement and EAF designs
  • Soft sensing
  • Operator training

The analytical process model is implemented using MATLAB and is based on fundamental thermodynamic and physical equations. The model published by Logar, Dovžan und Škrjanc (2012) forms the basis and has been further developed, especially with regard to the gas phase.

The process model consists of separate modules in which the energy distribution and heat transfer as well as relevant chemical reactions and mass transfers are calculated. By means of first order differential equations mass and temperature changes of the single phases (scrap, melt, slag, …) are calculated observing the laws of conservation of energy and mass.

On average the process simulation is carried out within one to three minutes depending on the complexity of the mode of operation. Due to the implementation of the model for parallel computing, depending on the number of physical CPU cores available, multiple melts can be simulated at once.

The time dependent results of the simulation provide the temporal development of the temperature of all phases and zones of the model, masses and chemical compositions as well as heat flows during the melting process.

The process model has been validated using process data of two industrial electric arc furnaces. In its next stage of development the model can be used to investigate alternative modes of operation. The simulation will be adapted in way, that within given boundaries of mass and energy inputs an automatic control of the process by the simulation itself will be possible. Due to parallel computing it will be possible to simulate and evaluate different modes of operation and to optimize the melting process within a short period.

Meier, T.; Gandt, K.; Hay, T.; Echterhof, T.: Process Modeling and Simulation of the Radiation in the Electric Arc Furnace, steel research international, 89 (2018), Nr. 4, 1700487

Meier, T.; Gandt, K.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.: Modeling and Simulation of the Off-gas in an Electric Arc Furnace, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, 48 (2017), Nr. 6, S. 3329-3344

Meier, T.; Hay, T.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.; Rekersdrees, T.; Schlinge, L.; Elsabagh, S.; Schliephake, H.: Process Modeling and Simulation of Biochar Usage in an Electric Arc Furnace as a Substitute for Fossil Coal, steel research international, 88 (2017), Nr. 9, 1600458

Meier, T.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.: Investigating the Use of Biomass and Oxygen in Electric Steelmaking by Simulations Based on a Dynamic Process Model, 2nd ISIJ-VDEh-Jernkontoret Joint Symposium, 12.-13. Juni 2017, Stockholm, Schweden, S. 81-93

Meier, T.; Hassannia Kolagar, A.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.: Dynamic Process Modelling and Simulation of an Electric Arc Furnace and its Dedusting System, stahl und eisen, 137 (2017), Nr. 5, S. 53-60

Meier, T.; Hassannia Kolagar, A.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.: Process modeling and simulation of an Electric Arc Furnace for comprehensive calculation of energy and mass transfers in combination with a model of the dedusting system, 11th European Electric Steelmaking Conference & Expo, 25.-27. Mai 2016, Venedig, Italien

Meier, T.; Logar, V.; Echterhof, T.; Skrjanc, I.; Pfeifer, H.: Modelling and Simulation of the Melting Process in Electric Arc Furnaces – Influence of Numerical Solution Methods, steel research international, 87 (2016), Nr. 5, S. 581-588

Meier, T.; Hassannia Kolagar, A.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.: Gas Phase Modeling and Simulation in an Electric Arc Furnace Process Model for Detailed Off-Gas Calculations in the dedusting system, STEELSIM 2015 – 6th International Conference on Modelling and Simulation of Metallurgical Processes in Steelmaking, 23. – 25 September 2015, Bardolino, Italien

Meier, T.; Hassannia Kolagar, A.; Echterhof, T.; Pfeifer, H.; Logar, V.; Skrjanc, I.: Modelling and Simulation of the transient Electric Arc Furnace process, 1st European Steel Technology & Application Days (ESTAD) & 31st Journées Sidérurgiques Internationales (JSI), 7.-8. April 2014, Paris, Frankreich