Worner established in the 60s that highly refined steel could be produced continuously from iron in an integrated smelting and refining furnace. Whilst this work demonstrated the potential of continuous steelmaking, the technology was never built beyond pilot scale. Of particular concern was tbe perceived low productivity of the process and the related concern, that increasing productivity through such a furnace would result in decreasing the refining capability of the process. This balance between productivity and refining has been the subject of recent studies at the University of Wollongong, using cold modelling techniques to evaluate the effect of mixing on dispersion in a refining launder. These studies have shown that there should be no impediment to achieving high intensity with a high degree of refining. Recent research has been directed at examining the possibility of marrying a high intensity melting zone with a less stirred refining zone.
Proceedings of the 80th Steelmaking Conference, Chicago, Illinois, United States, 13-16 April 1997,