In the steel industry, where precision and quality are paramount, the role of humidity and temperature monitoring cannot be overstated. This article explores why these factors are crucial for ensuring the integrity of steel products and the safety of industrial workers.
Humidity is an important factor affecting steel in the industrial environment. As the temperature fluctuates, humidity levels follow suit, leading to changes in the corrosion activity of steel. Notably during the cooling phase of steel production, when steel surfaces dip below the ambient temperature, condensation occurs, inviting moisture-induced corrosion. Nighttime cooling followed by the morning sun exacerbates this issue, causing moisture to condense on cold metal surfaces. Throughout these processes, temperature and humidity variations influence the chemical reactions and crystal structure of steel, ultimately impacting its strength, durability, and overall quality. To quote an industry expert, ‘Steelmaking facilities require continuous temperature measurements throughout the manufacturing process, to ensure consistent product quality and high productivity.’ (1)
What can extreme humidity and temperature lead to?
The mechanical industry and steel mills demand meticulous control of thermoregulation. Even slight temperature differences can lead to significant variations in component functionality. Consequently, heating and cooling cycles are rigorously orchestrated during steel production to achieve the desired technical and physical properties in the final product.
Ensuring the safety and well-being of steel industry workers is paramount. The extreme temperatures encountered during steel production, ranging from -180 to +1700 degrees Celsius, pose significant health risks. Sources such as coke ovens, blast furnaces, SMS systems, continuous casting, foundries, rolling mills, and cryogenic oxygen plants generate intense heat. This heat exposure can result in thermal stress, particularly on hot summer days. So, workers may experience elevated body temperatures, excessive sweating, extreme thirst, fatigue, and muscular discomfort. Monitoring temperature is essential for safeguarding worker safety. As the saying goes, “Nothing is more important than the safety and health of people who work in the steel industry.” (2)
Why temperature monitoring is the solution?
In conclusion, the steel industry must diligently control and monitor temperature and humidity levels to ensure that finished products meet the required standards and regulations. Temperature monitoring is not only essential for worker safety but also for maintaining efficient production processes. As stated by experts, “A measurement system would be helpful in achieving safe and cost-effective steelmaking with good product quality and high productivity.” (3) This importance extends beyond the steel industry to encircle various industrial settings, where temperature monitoring guarantees worker safety and product quality. For comprehensive solutions that can transmit data across long distances and in challenging environmental conditions, explore the wired and wireless solutions offered by Next Industries.
- Roman, M., Balogun, D., Zhuang, Y., Gerald, R. E., Bartlett, L., J., R., & Huang, J. A Spatially Distributed Fiber-Optic Temperature Sensor for Applications in the Steel Industry.Sensors, 20(14), 3900. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20143900
- World Steel Association 2020, Safety and Health in the Steel Industry, Belgium, https://worldsteel.org/wp-content/uploads/Safety-and-health-in-the-steel-industry.pdf
- India Ministry of Steel 2019, 25 Safety Guidelines for Iron & Steel Sector, https://steel.gov.in/sites/default/files/Framework%20Document%20for%20Safety%20Guidelines.pdf