Oxygen and Steels

Oxygen and Steels  Oxygen (O) (atomic number 8 and atomic weight 15.999) has density of 1.429 gm/litre at standard temperature and pressure. Melting point of oxygen is -218.79 deg C and boiling point is – 182.96 deg C. It is a colourless gas but the colour of liquid oxygen is pale blue. The phase diagram of the Fe-O binary system is at Fig 1. Fig 1 Fe- O binary phase diagram  There is a very strong relationship between oxygen  and steel. Oxygen is first used in the steel making process which is a controlled oxidation process. Excess oxygen going to steel during steel  making process,  if not properly taken care of, is source of many steel defects like porosity, inclusions etc. Oxygen is used in the processes of cutting, lancing, scarfing and welding of steels. Oxygen is also the cause of steel destruction by the processes of rusting, scaling and corrosion. Further transport of oxygen takes place in cylinders, tanks and pipelines made of steel. Oxygen is also used (oxy-fuel process) for heating of the steel. During steel making process, the main sources of oxygen in steel are as follows. Oxygen used for blowing in the steel making process Use of oxidizing slags and oxidizing materials ( ores, sinter etc.) during steel making processes Atmospheric oxygen dissolves in the liquid steel during steel tapping and casting operations Oxidizing refractories used in various vessels for holding liquid steel in the process of steel making Rusted and wet scrap Solubility of oxygen in liquid steel is 0.23 % at the steel making temperatures ( 1600 – 1700 deg C). However it decreases during cooling down and then drops sharply during solidification of steel reaching a level of 0.003 % in solid steel. Solubility of oxygen in steel...