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A Brief History of the Development of Graphite Electrodes(Part 2)

Jul. 24, 2020

At the end of the 19th century, the Frenchman P.L.T.Heroult invented the direct electric arc furnace and began to be used for smelting calcium carbide and ferroalloy production. It was first used for steelmaking in 1899. The electric arc furnace required a certain number of high-temperature conductive electrodes. Although Acheson Graphite Co. sold connectable electrodes around 1900, only small-sized graphite electrodes could be produced at this time.

In the early 20th century, electric furnace steelmaking mainly used carbon electrodes with anthracite as raw material or natural graphite electrodes with natural graphite as raw material. The process of producing carbon electrodes or natural graphite electrodes is relatively simple,

Carbon electrodes with a diameter of 610mm have been supplied to the market in 1910. However, due to the excellent performance of graphite electrodes and the continuous improvement of manufacturing processes, the mass production and selling prices of large-size graphite electrodes continue to decline, and the electric furnace steelmaking industry has gradually switched to graphite electrodes, and the use of carbon electrodes or natural graphite electrodes has gradually decreased.

Graphite Electrode

After the 1960s, most electric arc steelmaking furnaces used graphite electrodes.

The maximum diameter of graphite electrodes made from 1914 to 1918 was only 356mm.

The production of graphite electrodes with a diameter of 406mm began in 1924. In 1930, it was expanded to 457mm and then increased to 508mm in 1937. Soon afterward, large-scale graphite electrodes with diameters of 559mm, 610mm, 660mm, 711mm, and 762mm were produced.

In the 1980s, the world's largest electric arc steelmaking furnace used graphite electrodes with a diameter of 813mm. After the Second World War, the quality of raw materials, equipment, and manufacturing process for the production of graphite electrodes have been continuously improved. With the continuous increase of the input power of electric furnace steelmaking, high-power and ultra-high-power graphite was successfully developed in the 1960s and 1970s. electrode.

Due to the continuous improvement of the quality of graphite electrodes and the improvement of the electric furnace steelmaking process, the consumption of graphite electrodes per ton of electric furnace steel has been reduced from 6-8kg in the 70s to 4-6kg (ordinary power electric furnaces) in the 1980s. Ultra-high power graphite electrodes are used. The electrode consumption per ton of steel in the large-scale electric furnace has been reduced to about 2.5kg, and the graphite electrode consumption per ton of steel in the ultra-high-power DC electric arc furnace (only 1 graphite electrode) can be reduced to about 1.5kg. At the end of the 1980s, the tonnage of most electric furnaces in the electric furnace steelmaking industry in developed countries in the world had increased to 80-200t, so high-power or ultra-high-power graphite electrodes with a diameter of 550-750mm were used in large quantities.

The above information is provided by fine-graphite rod supplier.



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