At the steel mill

New binding agent concept from Budenheim ensuring better working conditions and more efficient results

Solutions for a better life can also involve highly specialised and highly technical applications for instance in steelmaking. In this area, Budenheim has developed a new binding agent concept which improves working conditions at steel mills and helps optimising steel quality. Innovation & Application Development Manager Stefan Barlag explains what this is all about.

Until now, the binding agent concept used in steelmaking includes some components which are hazardous to human health. Apart from boric acid, it also contains organic components like phenolic resin. They develop toxic gases and strong odours when heated during start-up. This leads to more difficult working conditions for the steelworkers, and exposes them to strong health challenges. Moreover, steel quality is also affected by these components.

More than 1600 degrees centigrade

To produce wires or sheet metal, you need steel which has specific properties. This steel is made in so-called continuous steel casting plants which create an endless strand of steel. Later on, this strand is cut to pieces of a suitable size, and rolled to sheet metal or extruded to form wires.


But before it can be cast in endless strands, the steel must first be introduced into a distribution system which delivers steel equally to various steel strands. This tundish is a wide and open vessel with one or more holes in its bottom which allow the liquid steel melt to flow out at a temperature that exceeds 1600 degrees centigrade.

To make it resistant against these extremely high temperatures, the tundish must have a lining made of refractory materials.

The crucial fourth layer

The lining setup used for the tundish consists of four different layers:

  1. The outermost layer is formed by a steel jacket which defines tundish geometry.
  2. This is followed by an insulating layer applied as a thin coating made of ceramic and mineral wool.
  3. On top of this, a refractory layer is applied which consists of highly resistant insulating concrete that creates a permanent safety lining which remains in the tundish for several cycles.
  4. But the decisive layer is approximately 10 cm thick and is called the wear lining. This lining consists of magnesium oxide or magnesium silicate, and is regularly replaced after some time.


"Our new binding agent concept enables us to provide our customers with new opportunities for making steel production more efficient while reducing the health hazards involved. This is one of many Budenheim solutions we are proud of."

Stefan Barlag,
Innovation & Application Development Manager at Budenheim

Budenheim's focus is on the binding system used for the fourth layer. For the binding agent concept, we have developed a new recipe which is able to withstand the extreme conditions existing at a temperature of more than 1600 degrees centigrade. The recipe is also free from any substance that would be harmful to human health. Apart from the positive health aspect, steelmakers also benefit from an improved product quality achieved by reducing impurities in the steel.