Elkem R&D center

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Elkem R&D center's 50 dedicated staff have interdiciplinary expertise and a core competence in metallurgical high temperature processes. We offer customers and collaborating partners more than 10.000 square meters with advanced pilot testing facilities, laboratories and workshops.


Throughout its more than 100 year history, Elkem has supplied and commisioned several hundred furnaces worldwide, and have extensive experience with:

       Metallurgical grade silicon


       Metallurgical solar grade silicon







       Iron and steel

       Slag prosesses

       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. As an example we can mention the development of the Söderberg electrode technology. 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-bake 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 extent, they are all executed with the same dedication and accuracy. Even though much of what we do involves smelting, some assignments just 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 very 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 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.

Core competence

Elkem Pilot Plant is a R&D center with core competence in metallurgical high temperature processes.


       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 servies.