Elkem R&D center

Elkem R&D center's 50 dedicated staff have interdisciplinary expertise withcore competence in metallurgical high temperature processes and related areas of expertise. We offer customers and collaborating partners more than 10.000 square meters of advanced pilot testing facilities, laboratories and workshops. The unique combination of complementary pilot facilities and lab services enables increased flexibility and a complete range of services to the customer.

Innovative history

Throughout its more than 100 year history, Elkem has supplied and commissioned several hundred furnaces worldwide, and have extensive experience with: Metallurgical grade silicon, Silgrain, Metallurgical solar grade silicon,  Ferrosilicon, Ferrochromium, Ferromanganese, Silicomanganese, Aluminum, Ferronickel, Iron and steel, Slag processes, Ultra High Temperature Processing (>2000°), Melting and casting.

Projects and experiments carried out at Elkem Pilot Plant have been decisive for Elkem’s development and progress. The development of the Söderberg electrode technology is a good example of this. In the late 1940’s Elkem started testing the Söderberg Vertical Screwed Studs (VSS) technology for aluminum smelters at Elkem Research Station in Kristiansand (picture), which today is Elkem Pilot Plant. This was in competition with the pre-baked electrode technology, showing that VSS for Söderberg were superior at that time due to cost and operational advantages. Our daily work often consists of assignments lasting days or merely weeks. Regardless of extent, they are all executed with the same dedication and accuracy. Even though much of what we do involves smelting, some assignments involve research on raw material properties or process technology.


Elkem Pilot Plant’s pyrometallurgical equipment reserve consists of arc furnaces and induction furnaces scaled in size from 16 kW to 1 MW. Our system is therefore well-suited for industrial test runs, from small-scale to full-scale piloting. This means that any conceptual idea can be tested and developed using small scale furnaces, and if successful, be scaled up using larger furnaces to identify any possible scale-up differences and challenges. We also have equipment for raw material handling such as crushing, screening, agglomeration, drying, separating, pre-heating and pre-reduction.

Beyond existing equipment, our generous floor area, ability and knowledge allow us to tailor new equipment and develop associated procedures, both independently and in collaboration with the customer. Our lab facilities offer complementary expertise to suit customer demand.Our facilities also include available office space and meeting rooms equipped with modern technical equipment and means of communication at the disposal for clients and partners.


  • Process development and verification
  • Waste to resources
  • Raw materials testing and qualification
  • Equipment testing and verification
  • Hydro-metallurgical treatment and processes
  • Product testing
  • Material processing

Elkem Pilot Plant facilities also include a design group, mechanical-, electrical-, instrumentation- and graphite workshops, as well as fully equipped laboratories for chemical analysis and material characterization. We offer our assistance to customers in the areas of lab services, pilot services and technical services.

Elkem Technology Lab

Elkem Technology Lab is a part of Elkem Technology R&D center with core competencies in consulting and lab project services, analysis of raw material, environmental analysis, trace elements in silicon and quarts and materials characterisation. 

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Pilot services

Elkem Pilot Plant is an R&D center with core competence in metallurgical high temperature processes. We offer customers and collaborating partners more than 10.000 square meters with advanced testing facilities, laboratories and workshops.

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Technical services

Elkem R&D centers technical staff provide services related to building of prototypes, handling hot materials, measuring the physical properties of a process and much more.

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