Increased carbon content is needed in a variety of metals. One of the most effective ways to increase carbon content is by using a recarburizer that acts as a carbon charge during the smelting process.

What Is Charge Carbon?

Charge carbon is an additive for ductile and austempered ductile iron that increases the carbon content of iron. Charge carbon may be referred to as a recarburizer, carbon additive or a carbon raiser.

When making ferrous metals, multiple factors can cause the carbon content of the metal produced to decrease. This often negatively impacts the quality of the finished metal, reducing its strength and longevity.

To counteract the loss of carbon, foundries commonly add charge carbon during metal production. The charge carbon replaces the lost carbon and can even increase the carbon content higher. Thus, it restores the properties that would otherwise be diminished due to carbon loss.

What Benefits Does Using Charge Carbon Provide?

Depending on what qualities a metal needs, charge carbon may be added to create several desirable characteristics. Charge carbon can be used to:

Recover More Carbon: The main purpose of charge carbon is to raise carbon levels. When carbon recovery in melt is too low, charge carbon offers an affordable way to raise carbon levels.

Improve Time Efficiency: Dissolution can be one of the more time-intensive processes and sometimes increases the cost of metal production substantially. Charge carbon reduces dissolution time and efficiency as a result.

Reduce Scrap Rate: Quality issues can create porosity defects that increase scrap rates. High-quality charge carbon that has low nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen levels will prevent porosity issues by greatly reducing unwanted compounds in the finished metal.

Are There Alternatives to Charge Carbon?

Charge carbon isn’t the only substrate that may be added to the lade during production. Calcined petroleum coke (CPC), graphite petroleum coke (GPC), anthracite and scrap may all be used. Of the various options, though, charge carbon has multiple benefits.

Compared to the alternatives, charge carbon has no dust, low ash, low sulfur and low gas levels. These low levels make for rapid dissolution and minimize impurities that are added to the melt. The result is improved efficiencies due to the time saved and less loss due to scrap.

High-quality charge carbon also has low moisture and volatile content levels, which reduces spattering, popping and noxious fumes. All of these considerations improve the safety of melt personnel.

What Metals Is Charge Carbon Used to Improve?

Charge carbon is primarily used in three main settings. It’s used for steel production, iron production and melt cover.

In steel production, charge carbon is used to increase the carbon content of the produced steel. Metallurgies use it to improve heavy plate, tire wire, bearing, rail and other types of steel. It’s sometimes also used as a final trim addition for low- and medium-carbon steels.

Ferrous foundries use charge carbon to directly improve both ductile and gray iron. It may also help reduce the chill depth of gray cast iron and be a pretreatment for ductile iron.

As a melt cover, charge carbon can effectively cover pure copper, bronze or brass to prevent oxidation and the formation of oxide slag. Because of the charge carbon’s crystalline graphitic structure, it doesn’t oxidize as quickly as charcoal or coke.

Get High-Quality Charge Carbon

If you need high-quality charge carbon, contact us to find out more about Desulco® recarburizer. Desulco® is specially developed to function well in all of these charge carbon applications.

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