Steel Foundry Starts New Melt Shop Equipment

Supplier details ladle furnace, degasser installation at McConway & Torley


McConway & Torley, a Kutztown, PA, ferrous foundry that produces railroad couplings and similar products, is operating a new ladle furnace and vacuum degasser, according to information from one supplier of the new installation.

Ladle furnaces are used for batch refining of molten steel. Vacuum degassing is a process that uses a pressurized vessel to achieve specific metallurgical qualities, notably stainless steel grades. Edwards, the company that supplied the two-module dry pump steel degassing system, indicates McConway & Torley is expanding its product line to include railroad and industrial crane wheels, both of which require vacuum-degassed steel grades.

Edwards developed and manufactures oil-free vacuum pump technology for industrial, scientific, process, and R&D applications.

McConway & Torley’s new refining equipment was installed during the second quarter of this year and has been in operation for six months.

The new melt shop vessels were designed and installed by Tenova Core Furnace Systems, which subcontracted the vacuum system to Edwards. Edwards said this is the twenty-fifth order for one of its dry pumped steel degassing systems.

Each of the two modules features Edwards’ high-capacity vacuum booster pump, a high-compression booster pump, and a dry screw pump. The company said the installation is performing in line with projected process efficiencies and costs estimates.

Dry pump vacuum technology is said to deliver energy-cost savings of more than 90% versus steam-ejector systems, with less water effluent and CO 2 emissions to lower the environmental impact. Edwards also said the system optimizes steel quality by eliminating moisture contamination and establishing consistent vacuum quality. And, it’s said to increase process safety by eliminating the need for high-pressure steam and high-temperature fuel burner systems.

Maintenance costs reportedly are lower too, as are the disposal costs for the furnace dust.

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