Medium Carbon Ferro Manganese
Manganese alloys are mostly used in steelmaking and foundry activities.
Some 30 % of the manganese used today in steelmaking is still used for its properties as a deoxidant and a sulphide former. In this last case it combines with sulphur avoiding the formation of iron sulphides, which sulphides are low melting point phases which become liquid at hot rolling temperatures and which, consequently, generate surface cracking.
The other 70% of the manganese is used purely as an alloying element. Steels usually contain from 0,2% to 2% manganese depending on grades as manganese is the cheapest alloying element among those which enhance some key mechanical properties like strength and toughness. In the specific case of stainless steel it can substitute expensive nickel in some austenitic grades called 200 series.
There are two families of manganese alloys called ferro-manganese (FeMn) and silico-manganese (SiMn). Silicomanganese adds additional silicon which is a stronger deoxidant. Nitrogen, boron, titanium, phosphorus are elements which can be controlled depending on requested specification. A very specific application of refined manganese alloys is a constituent in the coating of welding electrodes.
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Ferromanganese, a ferroalloy with high content of manganese, is made by heating a mixture of the oxides MnO2 and Fe2O3, with carbon, usually as coal and coke, in either a blast furnace or an electric arc furnace-type system, called a submerged arc furnace. The oxides undergo carbothermal reduction in the furnaces, producing the ferromanganese. Ferromanganese is used as a deoxidizer for steel.