Vesuvius' products are highly specialised ceramics, including shrouds, stoppers, nozzles, slide gates, lining refractories (monolithic and pre-cast) and fluxes for the steel production industry. The two product lines which comprise the Steel division are Steel Flow Control and Advanced Refractories. In addition, technical and application expertise is a significant part of the product offering.
Steel Flow Control
Steel Flow Control products supplied by Vesuvius include: the Viso™, isostatically pressed alumina graphite and VAPEX® extruded clay graphite product ranges, including ladle shrouds, stopper rods, submerged entry nozzles and shrouds to channel and control the flow of steel from ladle to tundish and from tundish to mould; slide-gate refractories, including nozzles, plates and speciality shapes for furnace, ladle and tundish slide gate systems; Accumetrix® temperature measurement and RADAR™ slag level detection, tundish and mould fluxes, purging systems and control devices to monitor and regulate steel flow into the mould. These products have been designed to resist extreme thermo-mechanical stresses and corrosive environments. They must withstand temperature changes from ambient to 1,600ºC in just a few minutes, while resisting liquid steel and slag corrosion for many hours. In addition, the ceramic parts in contact with the liquid steel must not in any way contaminate it. To bring all of these characteristics together in the same products, Vesuvius has designed composite parts combining a variety of special materials. The majority of these products are consumed during the process of making steel and some must be replaced frequently. Demand for Vesuvius' products is thus primarily linked to steel production volumes.
Products include specialist refractory materials for lining steelmaking vessels such as blast furnaces, ladles and tundishes. These are in the form of both monolithics and, to a lesser extent, refractory shapes (e.g. bricks, pads and dams). These linings have applications in coke ovens, hot blast stoves, blast furnaces, transfer ladles, basic oxygen furnaces, tundishes, reheating furnaces and electric arc furnaces.
Vesuvius is one of the world's largest manufacturers of monolithic refractory linings for vessels subject to extreme temperatures, corrosion and abrasion. Their outer shell needs to be protected, either by water cooling or by a layer of refractory material. The latter is more energy-efficient and therefore the most widespread solution.
Key success factors in the Advanced Refractories product line are installation technologies, products adapted to fit customers' processes and effective and efficient logistics services, these factors being successfully combined by Vesuvius' R&D centres, its knowledge of customers' processes and its project management capability.