Incorporation of CCRA & Facility Changes – the 1980’s

CCRA was incorporated under The Canadian Corporations Act on July 16, 1981, as a non-for-profit research association. Letters patent set out the organizational structure with each member company putting forward a representative for election to the Board of Directors, and Active members appointing each a Technical Committee member.

The administration of CCRA is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to whom the Officers and other appointed positions report. The objectives of CCRA are set out in the Letters patent:

  • To conduct Research and Development of importance to the coal and carbonization industries in Canada,
  • To co-ordinate and support Canadian carbonization Research in and related to steel, foundry, smelting and coal industries,
  • To affiliate with national and international organizations or associations having similar objectives, for the benefit of Canada.

In the early 1980’s, new research studies centered around the correlation of coke and processing conditions from pilot ovens with that from industrial ovens.  Gas and wall pressure measurements in pilot and industrial coke ovens were emphasized.

This area of study included a unique study which took place at Algoma Steel’s battery number 6, which was scheduled to be demolished.

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The study used the battery to carbonize very high pressure coking blends to determine what the high coking wall pressures would do to an oven and if it could even cause wall failure.

One of the Technical highlights of CCRA has to be the CCRA/NKK Technical Exchanges that took place, in Canada and Japan.  Four Technical Exchanges took place where both sides presented papers on their research work.  The delegations generally involved 12 to 15 representatives from each country and was highly successful.

The fourth exchange took place, in Tokyo Japan in 1983 with about 20 CCRA representatives participating in the technical meetings and the tours of the Japanese steel mills that followed.

By the latter part of the 1980’s the international energy crisis had subsided, coal and steel prices were dropping, and both industries were entering a period of highly competitive markets.  Coal injection into the blast furnace was introduced in Europe and Japan.  Many new projects were initiated by the Technical Committee in this period, one of which was the upgrading of coking quality of Canadian coals through wash plant control, while others included CSR and carbon texture, vertical temperature distribution in a coke oven, effect of partial oxidation of a component coal on coke quality, to mention a few.

A project to study coal injection into a blast furnace was approved and a special facility was built at Bells Corners. CCRA and Canadian Steel Industries Research Association co-sponsored a study “Strategic Ironmaking Study “ with CANMET to review where ironmaking technology might go over the following 20 years.  This study was completed in 1990 and became the road map for the steel industry for many years.