Sponge iron is also known as direct reduced iron as it is obtained by reduction of iron. It is a very useful type of iron that is used in steel making process. It has also become popular because of paucity of coking coal and steel scrap that goes into arc furnaces and induction furnaces. Iron ore is reduced to get metallic iron by making it react with carbon found in coal.

This reduction of iron ore takes place at a high temperature of about 1100 degrees Celsius. India has today become the world’s largest producer of sponge iron and supplies this vital constituent of steel making process to other countries of the world.

Manufacturing Process 

There is an abundance of iron ore in India but few manufactures of sponge iron. Galaxy Refractories has high quality iron products and supplies it to steel plants. The company makes this product in two ways. First method makes use of coal to reduce iron ore into metallic iron and the other method employs reducing gases for reduction of iron into sponge iron.

Sponge iron made using reducing gases is called hot briquette iron. The gases that help in reduction of iron ore are primarily hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Applications of Sponge Iron :

  •     Manufacture of D. I pipes and TMT bars
  •     Manufacture of high quality steel when sponge iron is used as a substitute for coking coal
  •     LD converters n integrated steel plants (as a coolant)