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Steel

Introduction

The varied range of applications and processes within the steel sector create a variety of potentially dangerous levels of gases, including sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen depletion.  

With the release and presence of so many hazardous gases, alongside the dust and hot working conditions the steel sector is rife with gas related hazards, specifically in furnace areas, pits, and underground walkways.

In order to remain abreast of the toxic and explosive gases present in steel environments, gas detection equipment should be implemented to keep teams safe and aware of the dangers as they arise and fluctuate. Accurate monitoring can also help avoid detector contamination, false alarms, and reduce downtime. Reliable gas detection also ensures compliance with the required occupational exposure limits.

Applications

Sinter Plants
Blast furnaces
Coke plants
Casting
Secondary Steel and Concast Processing
Iron Production

Gas Hazards in Steel Industry

Hazards

Description

Confined Space Entry

Within the steel sector confined space entry is a considerable risk to workers, with individuals having to navigate crawl spaces, service hatches and inspection points which present serious hazards. Personal gas detectors and monitors are required as oxygen poses multiple dangers, especially if it is deficient. This is because when oxygen is enriched things combust more easily, and will burn hotter and more fiercely. As a result, extinguishing a flame in these types of environments can be almost impossible.

Oxygen Depletion

Within the secondary process of steel manufacture, oxygen depletion is again a risk, as is the release of toxic sulphur and carbon, nitrogen and argon. In small concentrations CO₂ is a natural part of the breathing air. In higher concentrations, it displaces the oxygen present in the environment and means spaces are no longer safe to work within.

Grainy ferrous dust

Grainy ferrous dust is generated through the grinding of metals and non-ferrous metals in steel production. This needs to be removed from the air as it can prevent the gas requiring detection from reaching the resident detector. Whenever any metal particles become present in the air, irrespective of how they are produced, it is a real hazard in terms of ensuring accurate gas detection. Utilising removable filters, that are able to be cleaned and replaced, will ensure that the gas has a clear path to the sensor.

Smelting Carbon Monoxide Production

One of the biggest risks within the steel sector is the risks posed through the production of carbon monoxide (CO). During the smelting process the gas mixture leaves the furnace at the temperature of 200 degrees celsius. 20% of this mixture is CO, and, even a few breaths of high concentrations of this gas can severely impact health, causing heart and nervous system damage. Therefore it is important for gas detection apparatus to be implemented within this environment.

Products for Oil and Gas Industry

Portable Monitors
Gas-Pro

A multi gas detector offering 5 gas support as well as a dedicated pre-entry check mode and optional pump feature

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Gasman

A compact and fully ruggedised single gas detector for the toughest of industrial environments

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T4x

Zone 0 approved personal protection solution for detecting the four most common gas hazards. Exclusively with long-life O2 and MPS sensor technologies.

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Detective+

Multi-gas monitor for temporary areas

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Tetra3

Compact, robust and easy-to-use diffusion based detector

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Fixed Monitors
Xgard

Fixed multi gas detector

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XgardIQ

Sil2 certified, versatile and transmitter compatible fixed detector available with alarm and fault relays

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TXgard Plus

Flameproof (Ex d), ATEX, IECEx certified toxic or oxygen gas detector

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Fgard IR3 Flame Detector

An explosion proof multi spectrum IR flame detector with heated optics for cleared results.

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IRMax

An ultra-compact infrared (IR) fixed gas monitor that delivers rapid, fail-safe detection of hydrocarbon gases and vapours.

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Xgard Bright

Addressable fixed head detector with OLED display

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Control Panels
Vortex

Our most flexible gas controller package

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Gasmonitor

A flexible 19″ rack-based microprocessor-controlled unit that can monitor up to 16 gas detection monitors or 32 fire zones per rack

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Gasmaster

Compact, versatile and powerful gas detection control panel

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Steel Standards and Certifications

In the US, the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are the agencies primarily responsible for regulating the iron and steel sector. 

The UK standards governing gas safety within this industry were established in 1998 and are entitled the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations.

The European Union standards EN 19694-2 Stationary Source Emissions, governs Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in energy-intensive industries, in which the second part relates to the iron and steel industry. The regulations offer guidance and best practice on calculating GHG emissions and performance in the sector, as well as provide standardised measuring, testing and quantifying methods, assessment levels and reporting processes for companies to adhere to. The standard focuses strongly on the direct and indirect CO2 emissions produced in steel facilities, which it measures through CO2 impact, so as to evaluate the total emission produced. 

 

Industry Insights

CASE STUDY
Alliance Steel

Malaysia’s largest steel company, Alliance Steel, has chosen Crowcon’s Xgard Bright gas detection solution to help protect employees from the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation.

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ARTICLE
Mitigate the risks of welding

All welding generates a range of gases and particulates, with different types of welding and different materials generating a variety of potential health hazards.

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WHITE PAPER
Safeguarding your team from explosive gases

Being fully aware of the environment your team is working within has never been more important. This paper will explore what constitutes an explosive atmosphere, the gases which come into this category, and the ways in which they can be measured and risk assessed.

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