Ferroalloys

Ferroalloys are used as an additive to remove impurities such as oxygen, sulfur, etc. from iron melted in an electric arc furnace or converter in the production of steel, improving the strength, hardness, toughness, heat-resistance, and acid-resistance of the end product through the refining process. Chemical elements added in this process include manganese, silicon, chromium and nickel (the former two are used for deoxidation and desulfurization, while the others are used as additives for producing stainless steel and special steel). Alloys containing these elements and iron are called ferromanganese, silicomanganese, ferrosilicon, ferrochrome, and ferronickel, respectively; and ferroalloys, collectively.

Silicomanganese

Silicomanganese
Silicomanganese is a ferroalloy that contains manganese and silicon. It is used as agents to remove oxygen and sulfur from the molten steel and also to add manganese and silicon in steel-making. Among the different grades of silicomanganese, low carbon silicomanganese contains high silicon and low carbon content and is mainly used in the production of 200 series stainless steel. The principal producers of silicomanganese—India, Brazil, China, Ukraine, and others—have abundant reserves of the raw materials for this product, manganese ore and silica. We are committed to working together with our producers to ensure quality control.

Ferrosilicon

Ferrosilicon

Ferrosilicon is a compound of silicon and iron made from silica, reducing agents, and iron resources. By utilizing its powerful chemical affinity with oxygen, ferrosilicon is mainly used as a deoxidizer for iron and steel. It is also used as an additive and as a foundry inoculant to increase the strength of steel.

Due to reasons such as high production costs, ferrosilicon is not currently produced in Japan. Rather, it is mainly imported from China, Russia, Brazil, etc. Here at Marubeni Testsugen, we strive to supply consistently high quality and competitively priced materials that meet the needs of our customers through our international network.

Production Process

Production Process

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Ferronickel

Ferronickel

Ferronickel is a ferroalloy of iron and nickel. It is typically used in the production of stainless steel and special steel.

Because of its characteristically strong heat and corrosion resistance, nickel increases the hardness, strength, and toughness of steel and improves the quenching process. It is thus used for machine structural alloy steel, heat-resistant steel, alloy tool steel, etc.

Ferronickel is classified into high carbon and low carbon products based on their carbon content. The main producers of high carbon ferronickel are Japan and New Caledonia, while low carbon ferronickel is produced in countries including Colombia, Brazil, and New Caledonia.

Ferronickel is generally more competitively priced than nickel (Ni99.8%), which is listed on the London Metal Exchange (LME). In addition, its iron content means less pig iron or iron scrap is required for producing steel, which helps reduce the cost of raw materials

It is expected that the supply of ferronickel will tighten in the future due to the export ban on nickel ore, one of its raw materials, imposed by Indonesia from January 2014. However, in the Japanese market, we are the sole exclusive sales agents for the world’s leading producer in Brazil, which has its own mines. We aim to provide a continuous and steady supply of ferronickel to special steel makers in Japan.

Production Process

Production Process

Ferrochrome

Ferrochrome

Ferrochrome has the advantage of increasing resistance to corrosion and abrasion. Thus, it is used as a chrome additive for most special steel such as stainless steel, heat-resistant steel, structural steel (buildings, ships, etc.), and high strength steel (buildings, bridges, etc.).

According to its carbon content, ferrochrome is classified into the following three grades.

  1. ①High carbon ferrochrome
    Generally C 8.0% max or 9.0% max. Mainly used as a raw material for stainless steel.
  2. ②Medium carbon ferrochrome
    C 4.0% max. Mainly used as a raw material for stainless steel and special steel.
  3. ③Low carbon ferrochrome
    Generally C 0.15% max. Mainly used as a raw material for stainless steel and special steel.
    *2012 estimated production of medium and low carbon: about 800 KT

Annual stainless steel production in Japan has remained at the level of 3–3.5 million tons over the past twenty years. Alongside the year-by-year increase in Chinese production, international competition has intensified. However, thanks to their technology, Japanese producers have not lost their global market share.

Recently, every steel company has been trying to produce high quality products at low cost. As a result, they constantly try new combinations of raw materials in search of more competitive materials that can replace the traditional ones.

Under such conditions, we are always looking for competitive products around the world and working on proposals to accommodate customers’ needs. To this end, we send representatives to the ferrochrome producing countries of South Africa and India, and maintain daily contact with them with the goal of providing better suggestions for our customers.

Production Process

Production Process

Stainless steel production process

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Contact Information

Metals & Minerals Dept. I TEL:81-3-3513-1270
Metals & Minerals Dept. II TEL:81-3-3513-1282
Metals & Minerals Dept.(West Japan Branch) TEL:81-6-6347-3700
Metal Materials Dept.(Chubu Branch) TEL:81-52-202-6534