Outokumpu awarded in sustainability, new technology, and safety by the ISSF

The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) has on May 24th recognized Outokumpu with the 2018 gold-level Sustainability Award for applying a pelletizing method in its Sheffield melt shop to increase material efficiency and reduce environmental impact in stainless steel melting process. Outokumpu was also awarded in the categories of New Technologies and Safety.

Outokumpu’s stainless steel melt shop in Sheffield, UK wanted to find a way to increase the use of light scrap to realize its benefits. In 2016, a new pelletizing unit was installed at the site, to remove coolants and oils in the light scrap, and allow processing of the material into more efficiently usable pellets.

The new pelletizer has provided the ability to significantly increase the amount of light scrap used in the stainless steel melting process. Utilizing light stainless steel scrap has many benefits over heavy scrap: it can generally be melted more efficiently, it’s more cost efficient and often has a more precise elemental analysis, allowing steelmakers to better utilize these materials to match the grades of steel intended to be produced.

Despite its clear advantages, the use of light scrap has previously been limited since it takes up more space in the scrap basket, meaning the full capacity of the basket can’t be utilized. This results in an increasing number of basket charges per melt and thus extended tap-to-tap times. Light scrap also tends to have higher levels of oils and coolants on its surface, which can result in safety risks, flaring and furnace emissions.

As coolants and oil can now be removed during compaction, less organics are charged to the furnace, reducing emissions and increasing the energy efficiency and safety of the process.

Recognition in the fields of new technology and safety

Outokumpu was awarded a silver medal in the New Technology category for the weldable sandwich with a 3D profiled core - the first directly weldable steel-polymer compound structure (sandwich) for car body manufacture. Outokumpu’s efforts to train our personnel for better 24/7 safety awareness were recognized with a bronze medal.   

The 2018 ISSF Sustainability, Safety and New Application Awards recognize excellence in these areas and were presented at the ISSF Annual Conference in Shanghai on May 24, 2018. 

Published May 25, 2018