The Materials Processing Institute was originally the process research centre for the UK steel industry and has over 70 years of expertise in the steel sector.
The Institute is equipped with a range of state of the art steelmaking and refining equipment together with ingot and continuous casting facilities.
The Normanton Plant has the capability to produce and supply ingots in standard and specialist grades in relatively small quantities.
This is achieved using a modern Electric Arc Furnace with melts capacity of up to 7 tonnes (minimum 3.5 tonnes) using high grade scrap plus precise alloying elements.
Secondary steelmaking is achieved in a Ladle Arc Furnace with vacuum degassing, argon purging and steam ejectors.
During melting, the samples are analysed in the Institute’s laboratories using an Optical Emission Spectrometer with computer-calculated adjustments made to alloy composition in the melt.
Ingot casting is achieved by bottom filling of the ingot moulds using a trumpet and runner arrangement into square or slab moulds. The trumpet and runner can be pre-purged and the ingot top shrouded with inert gas. Ingot weights of nominally 5 tonnes are standard although other weights can be produced. Continuous casting is provided by a vertical with bending caster producing square or rectangular cast.
Steel manufacture ranges from conventional carbon / manganese steel through the full range of engineering grades, to complex multi-alloy stainless steels.
With enclosed secondary steelmaking facilities including ladle furnace with vacuum degassing, the Normanton Plant has the capability to produce a wide range of grades.
The Plant can also be used to produce ingots or cast billets for:
To support melting activities, the Institute has a suite of laboratories and analytical facilities, including fully equipped metallurgical laboratories undertaking analysis of melts.