AMETEK Land to Launch Slag Detection System at AISTech 2018

7-10 May  | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Booth 2208

With over 70 years of steel industry application expertise, AMETEK Land offers the SDS-E Slag Detection System as a proven solution for accurate and timely detection of slag carryover in the steelmaking process.

“AISTech, the steel industry’s premier technology event, is the ideal platform for us to launch our SDS-E technology to individuals involved in the production and processing of iron and steel in the North American market,” comments Ben Wileman, Division Vice President of Sales and Marketing for AMETEK Land and AMETEK Surface Vision.

There are major benefits for steel producers to use this technology, as a fast slag detection response allows plants to significantly reduce slag carryover. That results in improved yields, higher-quality steel, and a reduction in costly downstream processing. There are additional benefits as well in reduced ladle refractory wear and improved operator safety,” he adds.

At the end of the tap, the levels of slag and steel rapidly reverse. Quick termination of the tap after an alarm has been triggered is necessary to prevent excessive levels of slag in the ladle. AMETEK Land’s SDS-E uses a high-resolution thermal imaging camera to detect the transition between steel and slag.

That dedicated thermal imaging camera is specifically designed to survive in the harsh operating conditions and utilizes a particular wavelength to reduce “blackouts” caused by smoke and fume. Data presented to operators in real time enables them to make informed decisions about the tapping process.

Use of the SDS-E has been demonstrated to improve operator response time and consistency at the end of each tap. This results in a typical reduction in slag depths of up to 25%, compared with traditional methods of stream monitoring.

The cost of additional downstream processing time and materials can be a significant burden on an operating plant.

By controlling slag carry-over, costly downstream processing can be reduced or eliminated, improving plant throughput and operating margins.

As the tap commences, application-dedicated software records it, using a stream identification algorithm, and produces a data log and graph for quality control.

A stream tracking mechanism is included to ensure reliable operation in typical installation conditions. When slag appears and exceeds an operator-defined amount, an alarm automatically triggers.

The system is designed to ensure accurate detection of steel/slag that is independent of charge weight and without operator intervention.

Suitable for operators of secondary steel making vessels (e.g. electric arc furnaces, basic oxygen furnaces) including stainless steel, AMETEK Land’s Slag Detection System is the definitive solution for monitoring and reducing slag carryover in steel production facilities.

It is proven to reduce slag carryover, save money and improve operator safety.

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AMETEK Land is a world-leading manufacturer of monitors and analysers for industrial infrared non-contact temperature measurement, combustion efficiency and environmental pollutant emissions.


Some readers may be interested to learn more about this type of special thermal imaging system, especially the selection of measuring infrared waveband to use. The main reason is that there has been, for 20 years, a choice of three different waveband, NIR (around 1 to 2 microns), MWIR (2 to 5 microns) and LWIR (8 to 14 microns).

In the late 1990s, Bethlehem Steel Corporation had a US Patent (US Patent No. 6197086, “System and method for minimizing slag carryover during the production of steel”) issued on a LWIR system that they had developed.

This new Ametek Land system appears to somewhat similar to the one that this editor developed while a Senior Staff Engineer at LTV Steel Company in 1999, at least in terms of wavebands used.

At the time there was a controversy among steel companies and instrument companies about the “optimal” waveband to use for this application due in great measure to the role of smoke and fumes in blocking thermal radiation emitted by the slag and steel.

No one organization, save Mikron Instruments (now a part of LumiSense Technology Inc.), were interested in using NIR imaging. Their NIR thermal imaging devices were tested, purchased and incorporated into two slag monitoring systems that were built and used at the Cleveland Works of LTV Steel.

Further, I wrote and presented a technical paper with a simple analysis of the system, considering the selection of optimal waveband choice.

That paper was presented at SPIE ThermoSense 2000 along with a similar article that described a MWIR system for the same use.

My article is in the SPIE digital library and may be purchased as a single item there.

It is also archived in PDF format and may be freely downloaded from my other website at:

Full Citation: G. Raymond Peacock, “Thermal imaging of liquid steel and slag in a pouring stream”, in Thermosense XXII, Dennis H. LeMieux; Ralph B. Dinwiddie, Editors, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 4020 (SPIE, Bellingham, WA 2000).

Subsequently, Laser Focus World magazine carried a synopsis of the paper in their December 2000 issue, “Near-IR thermal Imaging spots leftover liquid steel”.

It is still online and free at: