What is ferrosilicon?
Premium ferrosilicon for precision steelmaking.
Ferrosilicon (FeSi) is an alloy of iron and silicon that is principally used in steelmaking for deoxidation and as an alloying component. Elkem is one of the largest suppliers of premium-grade ferrosilicon ferroalloys worldwide, and we’re ready to help you identify the best product for your application.
How is ferrosilicon made?
Ferrosilicon, commonly abbreviated FeSi, is an iron–silicon alloy that also contains smaller proportions of other elements. The most popular grade of ferrosilicon contains 75 wt% silicon (‘FeSi75’), but the amount can range from 15–90 wt% depending on the application.
The highest-quality ferrosilicon is made in an electric arc furnace by reducing silica with coke in the presence of iron (usually derived steel scrap or iron ore). The ferrosilicon usually takes the form of shiny, metallic-grey lumps, but is also available as pre-formed briquettes.
The role of ferrosilicon in steelmaking
In steelmaking, ferrosilicon is used for:
- Product performance – Ferrosilicon is a convenient way of adding silicon as an alloying element, to improve various properties of the final steel.
- Slag reduction – In the manufacture of stainless steels, the presence of silicon reduces chromium oxides in the melt, improving recovery of metallic chromium.
- Deoxidation – Ferrosilicon provides quick-acting removal of oxygen from the melt, so avoiding the presence of inclusion-forming oxides and avoiding loss of desirable elements.
- Fuel – Some steel mills add ferrosilicon to the melt so that it can be burnt off to get heat into the furnace, and so reduce energy costs.
What are the types of ferrosilicon?
Ferrosilicon is often categorized according to the levels of various minor components, depending on the application requirements. These categories include:
- Low-carbon ferrosilicon and ultra-low-carbon ferrosilicon – Used to avoid re-introducing carbon during the manufacture of stainless steel and electrical steel.
- Low-titanium (high-purity) ferrosilicon – Used to avoid TiN and TiC inclusions in electrical steel and some special steels.
- Low-aluminium ferrosilicon – Used to avoid the formation of hard Al2O3 and Al2O3–CaO inclusions in a range of steel types.
- Special ferrosilicon – A general term that covers a range of tailor-made products containing other alloying elements.
Ferrosilicon from Elkem
Ferrosilicon for all steel applications
As well as providing STD 75, STD 50 ferrosilicon and ferrosilicon briquettes, we offer a range of premium ferrosilicon compositions that provide optimum results for high-performance steel grades. We’d be delighted to talk about your requirements and find the best product for you.
- Electrical steel – Our ELEKSIL™ ferrosilicon is available in a range of grades tailored to the needs of electrical steel manufacture, with inherently low levels of carbon and titanium, and precisely-defined proportions of minor elements.
- Stainless steel – Our STAINSIL™ ferrosilicon portfolio include low-carbon and ultra-low-carbon grades.
- Special steel – Our PURISIL™ ferrosilicon products provide reliably low levels of trace elements such as aluminium, making them perfect for manufacturing a range of special steels.
Clean, consistent ferrosilicon
Ferrosilicon from Elkem is among the cleanest available anywhere, helping you to meet the demands of exacting steel compositions while streamlining production and reducing energy costs.
Thanks to our strong quality management, our ferrosilicon is highly consistent in purity and size grading from batch to batch. This means that you can eliminate worries about shifting performance, unpredictable dissolution times, or variable downstream alloying requirements.
Unbeatable expert support
In contrast to other suppliers, we take care to ensure that the ferrosilicon we provide will give you the best possible results.
So whatever you want to ask us about – from the optimum way of introducing our ferrosilicon into the melt, to trialling a new grade in your steel mill – then we’re ready to listen to you.
Timely and reliable delivery
With a global presence and regional knowledge, we can supply ferrosilicon to all major steel-producing areas, as quickly as you need it. So whatever grade of ferrosilicon you need, if you need it delivered urgently, then we won’t let you down.
The Elkem advantage
Sustainability in mind
The production of silicon ferroalloys uses carbon to remove the oxygen from silica, releasing carbon dioxide in the process. The high temperatures needed in our furnaces also consume a lot of energy. But we’re committed to doing what we can to reduce this CO₂ footprint, by increasing the proportion of renewably-sourced carbon we use, moving to renewable power sources, or embarking on an ambitious project for carbon capture and storage. You can read more about our plans in our global climate roadmap.
With you at every step
We’re more than just a manufacturer – buying ferrosilicon from us is a collaboration. We’ll listen carefully to your product requirements, work out the ferrosilicon specification that will deliver maximum product quality and cost-effectiveness for you, and offer expert guidance and insight at every stage of the production process.