Metalwork - Materials - Electric Arc Furnace

The Electric Arc Furnace is heated by electricity, similar to Arc Welding, and so large amounts of electricity are needed. Because of this Electric Arc Furnaces are usually found close to cheap sources of electricity, such as a Hydroelectric Plant.

Parts of the Electric Arc Furnace

Carbon Electrodes

The Carbon Electrodes provide the current for the process. They are totally removable in an upward direction to allow the top of the Furnace to be removed.

Tapping Spout

The Tapping Spout is used at the end of the process to allow the Molten Steel to be poured from the Furnace. During the process it is sealed to keep the heat in.

Charge of Scrap Metal

The charge consists solely of scrap Steel and Iron.

Inspection Door

The Inspection Door has two purposes. Firstly, during the process of refining the Steel the Inspection Door is used to allow workers gain access to the Steel so that they can take samples in order to see if the Steel is of the appropriate grade. The second purpose of the Inspection Door is to allow the removal of the Slag at the end of the process

The Electric Arc Process

As with the Basic Oxygen Process there are 4 steps in the production of Steel through this method. They are shown below.


The charge consists solely of scrap Steel and Iron. The top of the Furnace swivels to the side to allow the charge to be entered. The top of the Furnace is then put back in place and the Electrodes are lowered close to the surface of the metal, and the electric current is allowed to pass through.


The heat from the Electrodes melts the scrap. To get rid of the impurities and to affect the composition of the Steel, Iron Oxide, Lime and Flurospar are added as deemed necessary. During the Refining Process samples are taken of the metal at regular intervals to test the composition.


The Slag is removed either by raking the surface of the molten metal, or by tilting the Furnace in order to pour the Slag off.


The molten Steel is then poured out of the Furnace by tilting the Furnace in the opposite direction to that for Slagging.