Ferrochrome is an alloy of chromium and iron containing 50-70% chromium by weight and is produced through a carbothermic reduction process taking place at high temperatures (2,800 deg Celsius) where chrome ore is reduced to form Ferrochrome alloy by smelting in electric arc furnaces using coke as reducing agent.
Ferrochrome is mainly classified into three types based on level of carbon in the alloy – (i) high-carbon (HC) ferrochrome (C>4%); (ii) low and medium-carbon ferrochrome (C<1%); and (iii) ferrochrome-silico-chrome (FeSiCr).
Ferrochrome production is a power intensive process with charge-grade ferrochrome requiring 4,000 KWH of electric energy per metric ton of product.
Ferrochrome – Demand
Ferrochrome is used as a raw material for manufacturing stainless steel with ~77% of annual production of Ferrochrome being consumed by stainless steel manufacturers across the world.
Typically ferro-chrome makes up 16-18% of the chemical composition of stainless steel and provides corrosion resistance and shiny appearance properties to stainless steel.
Ferrochrome is also used in other ferrous materials such as carbon steels, full alloy steels, bearing and high speed steels, highstrength low-alloy steels and tool steels, and in some cast irons, super alloys and welding materials.