Metallothermic Production of Boron-containing Silicon Barium


Silicon barium is an effective modifier for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. In Kazakhstan, it is produced at the Aksu Ferroalloy Plant, but its smelting volumes are significantly lower than those of traditional ferroalloys, moreover, it is melted only to order. To improve the consumer properties of silicon barium, we proposed to introduce boron to it, possessing a high effect of a positive impact on the quality of metals at low (0.001– 0.003%) concentrations. The core of the proposed technology is reduced to pouring out silicon barium from the ore-smelting furnace into a ladle with boron-containing oxide material. Silicon and barium of the molten metal were assumed to reduce boron from B2O3 in accordance with such reactions, for instance: 4Si + 2B2O3 = B4Si + 3SiO2 and 10Ba + 3B2O3 = BaB6 + 9BaO. We have carried out a complete thermodynamic analysis of the proposed technology using the TERRA software package, having enriched its database with the compounds anticipated in the products of smelting. A possibility of fulfilling the technology in principle has been established. It has been found that a share of barium participation in the recovery processes increases with increasing its concentration in the metal being poured off from the furnace. The experiments using an industrial sample of ferrosilicobarium have been carried out in a high-temperature laboratory furnace. The recovery of boron was within the limits of 48–71%, showing its progressive fall while attempting to obtain a metal with a higher boron content. Judging by the weight loss of reducing agents in the metal being poured off, barium is the main participant in the process. Based on thermodynamic and physical simulation, we have made a conclusion on the possibility to obtain a boron-containing silicobarium by the metallothermic method in a ladle and necessity to carry out industrial testing.

Keywords: modification, silicon barium, boron, ladle

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