Ferrosilicon is a master alloy for the production of steel and cast iron , it is also a precursor for the production of trichlorosilane and thus a precursor for the production of high-purity silicon for the photovoltaic and semiconductor market .
Ferrosilicon is widely used in ferrous metallurgy. Like calcium silicon , it is used in steel production as a deoxidizer (reducing agent) because of the high affinity of silicon for oxygen. It is also used for metal extraction (e.g. for ferrochrome ) and for silicothermal processes. It is also used as an alloy for the production of electrical sheets and heat-resistant steel.
Ferrosilicon is even more important in cast iron metallurgy. Here it is used for the production of master alloys for the treatment (modification) of melts for cast iron with spheroidal graphite . These master alloys contain 3 to 40% magnesium and other additives from the rare earth family of metals . Ferrosilicon is also the basis for the production of inoculants , which are used to control the solidification process by increasing the number of germs in the melt.
In addition, ferrosilicon is used as a reducing agent for the extraction of metals, e.g. B. Magnesium , used from their oxides.
Ferrosilicon is a derivative product from the electro-melting process of normal corundum . Another by-product is microsilica for the construction industry, for example high-strength concrete . Ferrosilicon with a silicon content of 9% to 16% is produced in a blast furnace from iron ore and quartz . Ferrosilicon with a higher silicon content is obtained from quartz, steel scrap and coke or charcoal in an electric low-shaft furnace . Commercially available ferrosilicon grades contain approximately 15%, 45%, 75% or 90% silicon, the rest is iron.
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