Elkem R&D center

Elkem R&D center's 50 dedicated staff have interdisciplinary expertise with core 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 has accumulated extensive experience with: Metallurgical grade silicon, Silgrain, Metallurgical solar grade silicon, Ferrosilicon, Ferrochrome (FeCr), 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, 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, but regardless of extent, they are all executed with the same dedication and accuracy. Even though much of what we do involves smelting, some assignments also involve research on raw material properties or process technology.

Facilities

Elkem Pilot Plant’s pyrometallurgical equipment reserve consists of Electric arc furnaces (EAF) 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 and the facilities also include available office space and meeting rooms equipped with modern technical equipment and means of communication at  clients and partners disposal. Elkem Pilot Plant and complementary department’s innovative history and successful project execution led to the establishment of Future Materials Norwegian Catapult Centre benefitting SME’s, scale-ups and other actors within the materials science space.

Examples of our services

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

Elkem Pilot Plant facilities 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.