Steam Ageing

GSW has been undertaking the steam agening of steel slag at Tata Steel Kalinganagar, Odhisa.

Solid waste management has gained importance in the steel industry in view of rising environmental concerns and scarcity of raw materials. In spite of significant developments in reducing waste generation and development of recycling technologies, steel slag is still a concern for the industry as most of it is dumped. Steel slag is similar to stone aggregates in strength, but its volumetric instability in contact with water hinders its application as aggregates in construction. A part of steel slag is normally exposed to rain and sun for natural aging and stabilization for months before use. The natural aging process is slow and time-consuming, and thus restricts its usage. The steelmaking slag can be put to effective use as coarse aggregates if quickly aged and stabilized by pre-reacting the free expansive phases. In the present work, a new process has been developed to accelerate the steel slag aging process using steam in a 30 T pilot scale facility. The setup has controlled steam injection, distribution, and process control system for steam, temperature, flow, and pressure. Steam percolates through the minute pores in the slag lumps and hydrates the expansive free lime and MgO phases, making it stable. The aged slag expansion properties were tested using an in-house developed expansion testing apparatus. The process is capable of reducing the expansion of steel slag from 3.5% to < 1.5% (standard requirement) in 7 days. The aged steel slag is currently being used in roads.