Structural / Processes
Technical Briefing

Guidance on making ferroniobium additions during ladle steelmaking

Niobium has an established niche in many types of steel products because of its unique ability to improve strength, toughness and weldability. About 15 percent of ferroniobium (FeNb) ends up in stainless steel production, which is an important growth sector, but the vast majority is currently consumed in the production of what we call high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels, often also referred to as microalloyed steels.

The successful production of all these steels requires careful control of the niobium level and, after casting, the niobium must be consistently present in a form, which during subsequent processing, will enable it to produce the desired metallurgical effects. It is important that steelmakers can confidently predict their final compositions and they need to be able to rely on a reproducible ‘yield’ of >95 percent. The principal purpose of this document is, therefore, to provide guidance regarding the optimum techniques for adding FeNb to steel, in order to maximize recovery and minimize any variability in niobium levels in the final product.
Technical Briefing (PDF 831.23 KB)