dri direct equipments

direct reduction process - an overview | sciencedirect topics

In a DR process, iron ore pellets and/or lump iron ores are reduced by a reducing gas to produce DRI or hot briquetted iron (HBI). Depending on the generation of the reducing gas, two different DR processes are commercially available: gas-based and coal/oil-based. In the gas-based DR process, the reducing gas is produced by chemically reforming a mixture of natural gas and off-gas from the reducing furnace to produce a gas that is rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Typical examples of the gas-based DR process include MIDREX and HYL, which are often the preferred technology in countries where natural gas is abundant. However in the coal/oil-based DR process, the reducing gas is generated from hydrocarbons (primarily coal, but sometimes oil and natural gas) in the reduction zone of the furnace, which is typically a rotary kiln. Typical examples of the coal-based process include the SL/RN and ACCAR processes. The coal-based DR process is more popular in India and China. Different types of reactors, such as shaft furnaces, fluidized beds, rotary kilns, and rotary hearth furnaces, have been used in different variations of the processe to achieve the metallization required.

Based on statistics (Anon 3, 2014), India is the world leader in DRI production producing about 17.8Mt of DRI in 2013, approximately one-forth of world DRI production. The gas-based DR processes are producing almost 80% of the world's DRI. MIDREX is the key variant of the gas-based DR processes accounting for about 63.2% of world DRI production in 2013, followed by HYL (15.4%). Therefore, the following discussion focuses mainly on the MIDREX process.

Direct reduction (DR) processes have been in existence for several decades. The evolution of direct reduction technology to its present status has included more than 100 different DR process concepts, many of which have only been operated experimentally. Most were found to be economically or technically unfavorable and abandoned. However, several were successful and subsequently improved to develop into full-scale commercial operations. In some instances, the best features from different processes were combined to develop improved processes to eventually supplant the older ones.

Direct reduction processes may be classified, according to the type of the reducing agent used, to gas-based and coal-based processes. In 2000, DRI produced from the gas-based processes accounted for 93%, while the coal-based processes produced 7%. Gas-based processes have shaft furnaces for reducing. These furnaces can be either a moving bed or a fluidized bed. The two most dominant gas-based processes are MIDREX and HYL III, which combined to produce approximately 91% of the worlds DRI production. Fluid-bed processes, by contrast, have recently received attention, because of its ability to process fine iron ores. These processes are based either on natural gas or coal. A list of the processes together with their relevant characteristics is given in Table 1.2 (MIDREX, 2001).

The gaseous (or carbothermic) reduction of nickel oxide, obtained by dead roasting of nickel sulfide matte or concentrate, is an important intermediate step for nickel production. In the Mond process, crude nickel is obtained this way before undergoing refining by carbonylation. Crude nickel has sometimes been cast into anodes and electrolytically refined. Nickel laterite ores are reduced by carbon monoxide before an ammoniacal leach. Nickel oxide reduction reactions are simple one-step reactions, as follows:

Both reactions have negative Gibbs free energy values. For hydrogen reduction it is 7.2 and 10.3kcal/mol, respectively, at 600K and 1000K. For reduction by CO, the free energy values are 11.1kcal/mol at both 600K and 1000K. The thermodynamic data used here as well as below were obtained from Pankratz et al. (1984). The corresponding equilibrium ratio pH2/pH2O is 2.4103 and 5.6103, respectively, at 600K and 1000K, and the equilibrium ratio pCO2/pCO is 9.5105 and 3.7103, respectively, at the same temperatures. Therefore, the reactant gases are essentially completely consumed at equilibrium in both cases. These reduction reactions are mildly exothermic, the standard enthalpy of reaction (Hro) being 2 to 3kcal/mol for hydrogen reduction and 11.2 to 11.4kcal/mol for reduction by carbon monoxide.

Zinc occurs in nature predominantly as sphalerite (ZnS). The ZnS concentrate is typically roasted to zinc oxide (ZnO), before the latter is reduced to produce zinc metal by the following reactions (Hong et al., 2003):

The overall reaction is essentially irreversible (G=12.2kcal/mol at 1400K) and highly endothermic (H=+84.2kcal/mol at 1400K) and the gaseous product contains a very small amount of CO2 at temperatures above 1200K (Hong et al., 2003). It is also noted that this reaction is carried out above the boiling point of zinc (1180K), and thus zinc is produced as a vapor mixed with CO and the small amount of CO2 from the reaction. Zinc is recovered by condensation. Zinc vapor is readily oxidized by CO2 or H2O (produced when coal is used as the reducing agent) at lower temperatures. Thus, zinc condensation should be done as rapidly as possible, and the CO/CO2 ratio in the product gas must be kept as high as possible by the use of excess carbon in the reactor.

The final process in tungsten production is the hydrogen reduction of the intermediate tungsten oxide (WO3 or W4O11) obtained through the various processes for treating tungsten ores. Because of the substantial volatility of the higher oxide, its reduction is carried out at a low temperature to obtain nonvolatile WO2. WO2 is then reduced to tungsten metal at a higher temperature (Habashi, 1986), as indicated below:

The reduction reaction is carried out at about 2200C and thus magnesium is produced as a vapor (B.P. = 1090C). Much like zinc vapor mentioned earlier, magnesium vapor is susceptible to oxidation and requires similar measures for its condensation and collection.

For other aspects of gaseous reduction of metal oxides, including reduction by carbon involving gaseous intermediates, the reader is referred to the literature (Alcock, 1976; Evans and Koo, 1979; Habashi, 1986).

Gas-based direct reduction processes are particularly suitable for installation in those areas where natural gas is available in abundance and at economical prices. The MIDREX process is a shaft-type direct reduction process where iron ore pellets, lump iron ore or a combination are reduced in a Vertical Shaft (reduction furnace) to metallic iron by means of a reduction gas (see Figure 1.1.39) [9].

The reducing gas is produced from a mixture of natural gas (usually methane) and recycled gas from the reduction furnace. The mixture flows through catalyst tubes where it is chemically converted into a gas containing hydrogen and carbon monoxide. The desired reducing-gas temperature is typically in the range of 900C. The gas ascends through the reduction shaft in the counter-current direction and removes oxygen from the iron carriers. The product, DRI, typically has the total iron content in the range of 9094% Fe. After the DRI exits from the bottom of the shaft, it can be compressed in the hot condition to HBI for safe storage and transportation. DRI or HBI are virgin iron sources free from tramp elements and are increasingly being used in EAF to dilute the contaminants present in the scrap.

The first commercial-scale MIDREX Direct Reduction Plant began operation in 1969 at Oregon Steel Mills in Portland, Oregon. There are now over 60 MIDREX Modules operating, under construction, or under contract in 20 countries. The scale of MIDREX plants continues to grow and today MIDREX has built the largest single module DR Plant in the world at Hadeed in Saudi Arabia, with a rated capacity of 1.76 milliontons/year. A more detailed description of direct reduction processes can be found in Chapter 1.2.

Natural gas-based DR processes account for about 92% of worldwide production of DRI. Natural gas consists primarily of methane (CH4), together with small amounts of other hydrocarbons, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Natural gas cannot be used directly in the reduction of iron ore because it decomposes to form soot at a temperature below that which iron oxide can be reduced. Natural gas is used in three main ways: first, as a feedstock for producing the reducing gas, second as a fuel for supplying the necessary heat in the furnace and gas reformer, and third as a coolant and carburizing agent for freshly-prepared DRI. A major constraint on the specification for natural gas is its sulfur content; if above 10ppm, it can deactivate some types of reformer catalyst. Techniques are available to remove sulfur if necessary.

The essence of any DR process is to reduce iron oxide to metallic iron to the greatest extent economically viable. By the nature of the chemistry involved (and customer needs), there is carbon pickup as well. The first step in determining the ratio of pellets to DRI is calculating the chemical changes due to loss of oxygen and gain of carbon. This is a straightforward calculation, requiring values for the iron content of the feed, metallization of the DRI, and DRI carbon content [115].

One example of these calculations can be seen in Figure 1.2.32. Here the desired ratio is plotted as a function of metallization and carbon content for a specific iron content (in this case, 67%, which is fairly common in the industry in 2012). The trends are as expected. The higher the metallization, the lower the weight of the product, which increases the relative weight of the feed. Adding carbon to the product increases its weight, thus reducing the relative amount of feed. Since this plot covers the typical range of DRI metallization and carbon content, it indicates that the pellet-to-DRI ratio is between 1.32 and 1.38. However, this is only the theoretical minimum, assuming feed pellets of exactly the right size distribution with no fines generation during shipping and handling. Unfortunately, this never occurs, and the amount of pellets purchased must always be greater than theoretical to overcome these yield losses.

Midrex is the most successful gas-based DR process; it is a continuous process. It is basically a countercurrent process where a hot and highly reducing gas (95vol.% of this gas mixture being hydrogen and carbon monoxide with a ratio of H2:CO varying from 1.5 to 1.6) reduces lump iron ore or pellets to metallic iron as the metallic charge descends through the top portion of the vessel. At the bottom third portion of the vessel, the metallic iron is cooled by an inert gas to a temperature below 50C before it is discharged from the furnace. The DRI product is unstable in air due to its higher surface area, thus it must be briquetted to decrease its surface area and make it more stable.

In order to carry out investigations of one of the most advantageous direct reduction processes, the fluidized bed reactors, computational tools need to be utilized. One such tool is the Computational Fluid Dynamics - Discrete Element Method (CFD-DEM) method. In this work, two of the most common types of models that represent the reactions between solid particles and fluids are implemented into the CFD-DEM library. Levenspiel (1999) describes these models as the Shrinking Particle Model (SPM), where the solid particle reacts with the fluid and changes its size, and the Unreacted Shrinking Core Model (USCM), where after reacting a product layer is formed around the layer that impedes the reaction rate. The SPM is used to verify communication between the CFD and DEM sides, whereas the USCM is used to represent the reduction of iron-ore.

The USCM is validated with a case that considers only a single iron-ore particle that reacts with a gas mixture of CO and N2. The results are then compared with available experimental data that uses the ISO 4695 conditions at 950 C and 50 Nl/min. We investigate possible parameters that influence the reduction process such as the particle porosity and pore diameter. Also, the reaction parameters such as the frequency factor, activation energy and the equilibrium constants are investigated by comparing the fractional reduction rates of simulations with experiments. These outcomes give us insight about the total reduction process.

In the co-production of iron and syngas (for conversion to methanol) according to Table 1, the total annual fuel requirement for producing 0.50 million tons iron and 0.408 million tons methanol would be 19.5 million GJ. The separate production of Fe in efficient modern plants by the direct reduction process (DRI, operated below the melting point of iron) requires 12.8 GJ per ton of iron [9]. In this case, the production of 0.50 million tons Fe would require 6.4 million GJ. The total fuel consumption of methanol synthesis by conventional steam-methane reforming is 44.5 GJ/ton methanol [10a], For the production of 0.408 million ton methanol, the total fuel requirement would be 18.16 million GJ. Thus, the separate conventional production of the above amounts of Fe and methanol would require 24.6 million GJ. The fuel saving by the proposed co-production vs. the separate production is therefore 20.6 %.

An oxygen BF with top gas recycling using the CCS technology (carbon capture and storage), which is one of the options for reducing gas injection presented in Figure 17.24, is being developing. This technology includes, along with reducing gas, coinjection of PC (Figure 17.30); the calculated coke/HRG replacement ratio, which is the ratio of the amount of coke saved to the amount of injected reducing gas, kr0.200.25kg/m3, for HRG with low content of oxidizing components CO2+H2O; and its achieved value at the experimental BF kr0.17kg/m3 (Hirsch et al., 2012).

Smelting and direct reduction technologies are being typically indicated as alternatives to the BF; in the future, these processes might be complementary. For example, a process scheme for HRG injection based on the coupling of Corex and BF was suggested (Figure 17.31). In this technology, the Corex export gas after the removing of CO2 is heated up and then injected into the BF (Wiesinger et al., 2001).

Looking at direct reduction processes, not only off-gases but also sponge iron in form of DRI or LRI might be used in the BF. Figure 17.32 shows a proposed and tested laboratory-scale operation modus of the Circofer process (a coal-based direct reduction process using a CFBcirculating fluidized bed reactor), in which products DRI/LRI and char are used in the BF, for example, by means of injection via tuyeres (Born et al., 2012).

Further developments should target at a hydrogen-rich BF, where minimum coke amount will only be required as the burden supporter and perhaps carburizer. The crucial point thereby is the mass hydrogen production at a reasonable price. Therefore, aside from hydrogen generation using electrolysis, water steam reforming, partial oxidation of hydrocarbons, fermentation or photosynthesis, and available sources like NG or COG should be considered (Babich and Senk, 2013b).

The existing BF design makes an operation without coke impossible. Chernov suggested in 1940s to separate in the BF zone of solid-phase reduction and zone of melting without excess of solid carbon and developed a coke-less BF design (Chernov, 1950). Further iron-making development took the other way of alternative to the BF direct and smelting reduction processes. Later on, Tovarovsky developed further the Chernov's coke-less BF considering already the Corex experience (Tovarovsky, 1994). In this BF, said the shaft-hearth aggregate, the iron oxides are reduced in solid phase up to metallization degree of 7585% in shaft and bosh by reducing gas, introduced in shaft at t<900C (Figure 17.33). Hot reducing gas from the tuyere zones 5 is mixed with cold reducing gas injected via tuyeres in shaft 6 to get the temperature of about 900C.

Figure 17.33. Expected material distribution and motion in the shaft-hearth aggregate (the upper part, which is not shown here, is the same as that the conventional BF): 1shaft, 2bosh, 3hearth, 4arch, 5, 6tuyeres (Tovarovsky and Ljaljuk, 2001).

Steel is commonly used in modern society and is probably the most important construction material of today (Fig.12.1). This chapter deals with coal use and ways for increasing its efficiency in ironmaking, steelmaking, secondary or ladle metallurgy and continuous casting by different steel production routes.

More attention is paid to ironmaking as the most energy consuming segment of the process chain. For example, blast furnace ironmaking including sintering and coking plants consumes about 65-75% of the entire energy at an integrated steelworks (ca. 1112 GJ/t hot metal) (Babich, 2009). Both direct and indirect coal use, e.g. in the form of coke, is presented. Use of coal and coke breeze for sintering is out of the scope of this contribution.

Furthermore, alternatives to coal materials and energy sources such as biomass or waste plastics are discussed, which are of great importance in the course of efforts to recycle secondary sources and to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions due to the global climate change challenge.

There are four main steel production routes in modern ferrous metallurgy: blast furnace-basic oxygen converter (BF-BOF), smelting reduction converter (SR-BOF), direct reduction-electric arc furnace (DR-EAF), and scrap-electric arc furnace (Fig.12.2) (Steel Institute VDEh, 2008). In the first route, hot metal is produced in the BF which is then refined in the BOF to produce liquid crude steel. In the second route, liquid metal is produced in the melter-gasifier without cokemaking and sintering, which is also refined in the converter to produce liquid crude steel. In the third route, sponge iron instead of hot metal is produced and then this directly reduced iron is melted in the EAF. In the fourth route, only scrap is used as solid metallic input to produce liquid crude steel in the EAF.

The BF has existed for over 700 years and remains the main aggregate for reduction of iron ores. It has demonstrated flexibility and adaptability to changing conditions and today produces up to 10 00013 000 tons of hot metal a day. Besides coke and auxiliary fossil reducing agents such as coal, oil and natural gas, further renewable and secondary sources can be used to perform both chemical reduction work and necessary heat generation. The liquid products hot metal and slag can be effectively separated from each other. Pre-treatment of the hot metal enables reduction of the levels of tramp elements prior to the refining process (Steel Institute VDEh, 2008).

The direct reduction processes in combination with the melting of directly reduced iron to produce steel in the EAF offer an alternative to the BF-BOF route. The basis of the direct reduction process is that solid sponge iron is produced by removing oxygen from the ore in a shaft furnace, rotary kiln furnace or fluidised bed. Sponge iron can be produced in the form of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI), Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) and Cold Briquetted Iron (CBI); also Low Reduced Iron (LRI), which is pre-reduced iron ore with a reduction and metallisation degree lower than that for common DRI, can be produced. The direct reduction processes can be divided into gas reduction and coal reduction processes depending on the type of reducing agent used (see Section12.5). DRI and HBI are predominantly processed in the EAF, and predominantly for the production of steel grades of long products. Compared to scrap, the advantage of DRI/HBI is low content of trace elements; however, the disadvantage is higher cost (Steel Institute VDEh, 2008). Furthermore, DRI/LRI can also be applied as pre-reduced material for the BF.

The smelting reduction processes are characterised by the production of hot metal from iron ores without an agglomeration step and almost without coke. Classification and examples of SR processes are given in Section12.7. The advantages of this technology are low demand on coke and increased energy utilisation efficiency as a result of post-combustion of CO (Steel Institute VDEh, 2008).

In the year 2011, 1490.1 million ton (Mt) of crude steel, 1082.7 Mt of blast furnace hot metal and 63.5 Mt of DRI were produced worldwide (World steel association, 2011). The ratios of oxygen steel and electric steel were 69.6% and 29.2%, respectively; the worldwide metallic charge was 1690 Mt, and the major part of it was hot metal from blast furnace (64.7%), the rest was mainly steel scrap (30.6%); the share of DRI/HBI and hot metal from smelting reduction (Corex/Finex) was 4.3% and 0.4%, respectively (Peters and Schmoele, 2012). According to the analysis, an increase in world steel production is expected until 20202025 (Harada and Tanaka, 2011).

Carbon is a major reducing agent and heat source to convert iron ores to iron and steel. The required amount of carbon is determined by thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. Carbon in the steel industry is used mainly in the form of coal and the product of its thermal treatment coke but can also be used in the forms of biomass, hydrocarbons (natural gas) and C-H compounds like oil or plastics.

Contrary to the almost pure iron of meteoric origin, manufactured iron (pig iron or hot metal) and steel are ferrous alloys of iron with carbon and further impurities (Fig.12.3). Carbon lowers the melting point of iron from 1538C in pure iron to 1147C in the eutectic with 4.3% C. Carbon content in steel is up to 2.14% that corresponds to maximum dissolubility of carbon in -iron (usually C-content in steel does not exceed 1.5%). Carbon content in hot metal makes up more than 2.5% (typically 45%); ferromanganese may contain up to 6.06.5% C. Alloys with carbon content from 2% to 2.5% have no technical application. The properties of pig iron and steel depend significantly on their carbon content.

Reducing CO2 emissions is the biggest challenge facing the steel industry. The CO2 emission from the BF-BOF route is approximately 2 tons per ton of crude steel (Riley et al., 2010); for the DR-EAF route this value is 33% lower (using the Midrex-EAF process (Ameling et al., 2011). Noncarbon metallurgy based on hydrogen, plasma or electricity is still far away from industrial application. In the short and medium terms, CO2 emissions should be mitigated by significant increase in carbon efficiency, using renewable energy sources like biomass or products of their processing charcoals, semi-charcoals or torrefied materials, and development and introduction of CCS technologies for blast furnace ironmaking, direct and smelting reduction processes as well as processing of CO2 into chemical products.

softball equipment list

Softball is a sport played by two teams competing against one another to score more runs than the other. On offense, the team is working on hitting pitches, running bases, and earning runs. On defense, the team is working to stop the other team from earning any runs. Teams are required to play both offense and defense during every inning, which means softball players need more equipment than some other sports.

Below is a list of all softball equipment you will need to play. We will cover each piece of equipment individually and describe what is used for when playing softball. The list of equipment is organized alphabetically.

Accessories are important to all athletes, but baseball and softball players are especially known for their accessories. Popular softball accessories include chains or necklaces, arm sleeves, eye black, and bracelets. Depending on the league, certain accessories are or are not allowed. In bigger softball leagues almost all players wear some kind of necklace or chain, often with a pendant. When buying an accessory consider what you would wear on a daily basis.

Ankle guards shield a softball player's ankle from foul balls. Ankle guards fit on the front of your ankle and the top of your foot. Many companies make ankle guards including Mizuno, Rawlings, and Nike. Another well-known ankle guard company is Evoshield which makes protective equipment that molds and hardens around your ankles to fit you perfectly. You don't absolutely need an ankle guard to play softball but it can make you feel safer while you play. An ankle guard will cost $15 to $30.

A traditional arm guard is an elbow guard, but advancements have included arm guards that also cover your tricep and forearm. Other arm guards include wrist guards. Wrist guards usually have hard plastic inside of a wrist band. Arm guards are mostly only worn while hitting. They can protect you from an off target pitch and can make you more confident at the plate. A wrist guard or another forearm guard is often softer and is recommended for catcher's especially, though some infielders also wear one. Arm guards vary depending on the kind but they cost between $20 and $60.

Bat bags are exactly what they sound like, bags that hold your bats. Bat bags can be a backpack with side pockets for bats. These bags can help to carry other pieces of equipment as well. Other bat bags are just long bags that carry only bats. Teams will use those bags for travel because they make it easier to carry multiple bats. For younger players a bag that has bat pockets is important. A personal bat bag will cost around $40 to $50.

Batting gloves have gained lots of popularity in softball in recent years. Up until the mid 1950s, no players in either softball or baseball wore batting gloves. Nowadays, a majority of softball players wear batting gloves to protect their hands when hitting. Softball players wear batting glove brands like Nike, Rawlings, and Franklin. Buying batting gloves is not necessary but highly recommended by most softball players. Batting gloves will cost $20 to $30.

Batting helmets are one of the few necessary pieces of protective equipment in softball. When hitting, a batting helmet is required. In some leagues with younger athletes, a face mask is required as part of a batting helmet, though higher level softball is moving away from that. It is important to research safety standards before buying a batting helmet. Some teams provide batting helmets that are shared so it is not necessary to buy one. If you buy a helmet, though, it'll cost $40 to $60.

Batting tees are one of the fundamental, and most useful, softball tools. The concept of a batting tee is simple; they are essentially ball holders. A tee is an important tool for young players to purchase. A batting tee can drastically improve your swing. You do not need a fancy batting tee, a simple rubber one will suffice. A good batting tee will cost $50 to $70.

Catcher's equipment, which is also referred to as catcher's gear, are the essential pieces of protective equipment that a catcher wears. Catcher's equipment includes the catcher's chest protector, glove, helmet, and other stuff like wrist protectors and leg guards. Catcher's equipment is crucial for anyone playing the position. However, it can be very expensive and a lot to carry around so you should be positive that you want to be a catcher before investing in catcher's equipment. A full set of catcher's equipment will be $200 to $300.

A catcher's chest protector is an important part of a catcher's equipment. The chest protector protects the catcher's chest, both from foul balls and from pitches in the dirt. For anyone who wants to become a catcher, buying a good chest protector that will last a long time is very important, as is getting it fitted specifically for the player so that they will be comfortable. Good brands include Nike, All Star and Mizuno. A good chest protector sold by itself will cost you $60 to $100.

For a catcher the glove is the most important piece of equipment that you can have. A catcher's glove is a wider, more padded glove. The glove is rounder than normal gloves and is specially designed to withstand multiple high speed pitches. A catcher's glove is also good for picking up balls in the dirt. Buying a good catcher's glove and taking care of it is important. A good catcher's glove will cost $100 to $200.

A catcher's helmet is the most important piece of protective equipment. The helmet covers the head and face. In softball the catcher's helmets are "hockey style" helmets. This is a single piece that protects the entire head and face and is easy to peel off quickly when fielding a bunt or pop-up. A good catcher's helmet is key to protect you from concussion and other injuries. Buying a catcher's helmet separate from a set will cost $75 to $150.

Catcher's leg guards are another significant part of catcher's gear. They are two separate pieces, one per leg, made up of a combination of soft leather and hard plastic. It is important that the leg guards are flexible so they can bend as the catcher squats and throws and blocks and moves around. Leg guards usually come with a set of the gear. If you buy them separate from a set, they will cost $50 to $100 for a pair.

A compression shirt is an undergarment that is often worn by softball players under regular uniforms. Compression shirts can be long sleeved, short sleeved or even sleeveless. These shirts help you by increasing blood flow and keeping the body warm and dry. There are various types of compression shirts, some that are warmer and some that are cooler. Most importantly, compression shirts are comfortable and prevent the thick uniform from rubbing directly on skin. You can buy a compression shirt for $10 to $20.

A softball elbow protector is a specific piece of protective equipment. Most elbow protectors are simple pieces of equipment that you strap on before you go to hit. Modern elbow protectors are adapting. Some elbow protectors are softer and fit on the arm, much like an arm sleeve. These can be worn in the field as well as in hitting. An elbow protector is not necessary but can be useful for gaining confidence when you hit. A good elbow protector will cost $30 to $40.

Energy bars are food that softball players will sometimes eat in order to help them gain energy to play softball. In long tournaments or games, players sometimes do not have time to eat full meals in between games or before games. Energy bars are important and a good source of protein and energy for players. Some brands include Cliff bars, Gatorade bars, and Luna bars. These are completely up to player preference, they are in no means necessary but highly recommended. You can get one energy bar for $1 or packs for $5 to $10 to have in your softball bag.

Eye black is an accessory that many baseball, softball, and other athletes have started to wear more in recent years. Aside from looking good, eye black protects you from the glare of the sun. The little black strips are either painted or taped onto your cheeks in order to soak in the glare of the sun that would bounce into your eyes. Softball players get really fancy with their eyeblack, drawing big lines and designs on their face. Eye black will only cost $3 to $5.

A fastpitch bat is a bat used in fastpitch softball. It is one of the key pieces of equipment that you should purchase before playing any softball. The bat is much like a baseball bat but it is thinner on the barrel. Buying at a store is important in order to ensure proper sizing. Fastpitch bats will cost you anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the brand and the quality.

A fielder's face guard is an important piece of protective equipment for fielders. First and third basemen stand very close to the batter, where balls can fly off the bat at nearly a hundred miles per hour. Fielder's face guards are important to protect your face from balls that could do a lot of damage. Pitchers can also wear face guards. It is important to learn the information of a league as some require face guards for certain positions. You can buy a face mask for $30 to $40.

If there is a singular piece of equipment that you should buy for yourself it is a glove, also known as a mitt. Every other piece of equipment is either not necessary or can be provided by a team or league. A glove is personal to every softball player. For many a softball glove is like a child, they will protect it at any cost. Good softball glove companies include Rawlings, Mizuno, Easton and Nike. You can buy a glove for anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on the customization and quality.

Grip tape is the tape that goes on softball bats in order to improve your grip when you swing. Since softball bats are metal and almost all of them come with some grip tape already on the bat. However, the grip tape can wear out or get dirty and that is when replacement grip tape can come in handy. One popular brand of grip tape is Lizard Skin grip tape. This is tape that can be bought at any sports store and can be taped on your own bat. A single roll of grip tape will cost $3 to $5.

Knee savers are a piece of catcher's equipment that are not necessary but can be a great help for catchers during a long season. Knee savers are little foam blocks that are tied to leg guards that catchers will wear. When tied properly, the foam blocks will sit between the catchers upper thighs and their calves, almost mimicking the sensation of sitting down. This can make it easier to survive long seasons by lessening the strain on your knees. Knee savers cost $15 to $30.

A mouth guard is another piece of protective equipment that many softball players choose to wear. The mouth guard protects your teeth from other players or a ball. Mouth guards are common in other sports like football and basketball. In softball, some players, namely corner infielders, will wear mouth guards. Some youth leagues enforce certain players wearing mouth guards so before buying one it is important to research the rules. You can buy a mouthguard at any sportswear store for $2 to $10.

Pitching machines are an insanely useful practice tool for softball teams to use to improve their hitting. Pitching machines are essentially big spinning wheels with the size of a softball in between them. This allows space for the ball to be threaded through before it is shot out of the machine. Pitching machines can have different effects, like drop balls or rise balls. Balls can shoot out at over seventy miles per hour. If you plan to buy a pitching machine, make sure that you first have a lot of space for hitting. If you do have the space for it, a pitching machine will cost $200 to $400.

Practice balls are softballs that are used just for practice and not for games. There are multiple kinds of softballs for practice. Some of them are regular softballs that just happen to be used for practice. These tend to be more beat up and used than the usual clean and new softballs used in games. There are also batting practice balls, softballs that have little dents in them, designed for pitching machines. Having practice balls is important for any type of hitting practice. You can buy a bucket of practice balls for around $50.

Practice shirts are shirts that you will wear when you are at softball practice. These shirts can be compression shirts sometimes and other shirts can be just comfortable, athletic shirts made out of a good material. Dri-fit shirts for instance are very popular options. For younger, less organized teams, players usually wear their own practice shirts. Other teams have stricter practice uniforms. These will usually be uniform shirts that every player will wear and they will be different from the team uniform. You can use a $5 t-shirt as a practice shirt or spend up to $20 or more on fancy athletic shirts.

Practice uniforms are sometimes enforced by the teams. In this case, all of the softball players have specific clothing that they must wear to team practices. Usually this is made up of a singular practice shirt, practice pants and single colored socks. If the team has a practice uniform that they enforce, then the team will usually provide or sell it. However if there is no enforced practice uniform then any softball pants, sock, and practice shirt will usually do the job; nothing fancy is needed. You can pay $5 for a shirt, $20 for pants, $5 for a belt, and $5 for socks and that can be your practice uniform. However, if you want higher quality gear, you can pay more for nicer practice clothing.

A rebound net is a net that is used for softball training. Essentially, it is a big trampoline that shoots the ball off of it, back to where it was thrown or hit. The rebound net is best used for fielding practice; it can be angled so that you can throw a softball and then it will rebound as either a ground ball or fly ball. It can also be used for hitting as a backstop. It is not necessary to buy a rebound net but if you have the space it can be an efficient method to practice. A rebound net will cost $20 to $100.

Shoe laces serve the same purpose for softball players as they do for just about anyone else. Shoelaces help to tighten your shoes and ensure that the shoes stay on through all of the running and movement that you go through. Shoe laces are especially important in sports but they are needed in pretty much every walk of life as well. For softball most shoe laces will come with the pair of softball cleats that the player will buy. There is no need to buy shoelaces separately unless they rip or break, in which case they can be bought at a shoe store or online for $2 to $5.

Sliding shorts are another undergarment that are especially useful for baseball and softball, though they are used in other sports as well. Sliding shorts are compression shorts that are worn under softball pants. The shorts usually have little pads built into them so that you do not bruise or cut yourself when sliding. Some players wear sliding shorts, while others do not feel the need for them. However, if you are interested they can be bought at most sports stores and are good especially for young kids who are scared to slide. Sliding shorts will cost $20 to $30.

Softball bats are essentially the same thing as fastpitch bats, as the most popular type of softball is fastpitch softball. Softball bats are thin bats with bigger barrels than baseball bats. All softball bats are made out of metal, though the kind can vary. They can be made from alloy or composite. Teams will sometimes provide bats, but unless that is stated it is probably a good investment to get a softball bat. You can get a softball bat from $100 to $300.

Softball and baseball are one of the few sports that incorporate a belt as part of their wardrobe. Softball belts hold the softball pants up, though often they are not needed for that purpose. Other than that softball belts are a fashion statement, and they are usually color coded with the team uniform. Most teams will provide a belt as part of their uniform as it will be color specific, but it is good to have a few softball belts for practice uniforms. A softball belt will cost $5 to $10.

Softball cleats are the specific shoe worn by softball players on the field. Also called "spikes" by softball players, they are shoes with squared spikes on the bottom. These shoes give you better grip in the dirt and grass. The spikes can be made of metal or plastic, and this is usually up to personal preference. Metal is recommended for better grip but some people prefer plastic as it can be better for turf fields. Good cleats will cost $50 to $100.

A good part of being on an organized team or being a fan of a sports team is that there are deals you can take advantage of and spend less money on all of the softball gear that you buy. A lot of stores offer discount opportunities before softball season, in the spring, when players will be looking to buy more gear. Furthermore, some teams will have sponsorhips or partnerships where their players can buy gear at a discounted price. It is always good to ask a team or a league about the deals they offer before independently buying equipment.

One of the most unique aspects of clothing for a softball player are the softball pants that you wear. The pants are about three quarters of the way down the leg, paired with pulled up socks that are worn up to the mid shin. Softball pants are usually gray or white, or the same color as the uniform top. Having a pair of black, white, and gray pants is a good start for practices. You can buy a pair of softball pants for $20 to $40.

Softball socks are specific colored socks that are worn as part of the softball uniform. Different people wear their softball socks differently but for the most part the socks are pulled up to the mid shin to go with the three quarter length pants. For uniforms, the team will usually provide socks, but it is probably good to have a few pairs of softball socks for practice. A pair of softball socks should only cost $5 to $10.

Softball, as with most other things, is susceptible to having trends. Most softball trends, as with many other sports, are related to the accessories and the wardrobe of softball. That is something that, despite the very literal uniformity, allows players to show their individuality. One trend that got very popular in softball were braided necklaces. Those replaced chains and other necklaces and were a mark of a softball player.

Softballs are the namesake of the very sport. Softballs are 3.5 inches in diameter and 11 inches of circumference. The biggest factor that differentiates a softball from other balls are the seams on the ball that help with grip in throwing it. For the most part softballs are a bright green color, though that is not necessarily a requirement. The seams of a softball are stitched on, often by hand, and give the ball a good grip. You can buy a bucket of softballs for $50 to $100.

Sports drinks are a popular drink amongst softball players in order to re-energize them and to help them feel good and regain liquids that they may have lost due to dehydration. Sports drinks are filled with electrolytes and sugars in order to help players with dehydration. Popular brands of sports drinks include Powerade and Gatorade. Most softball players have a flavor preference when it comes to their sports drink. A singular sports drink will be $2 to $3.

Sunglasses are another piece of softball equipment that may be overlooked but they can come in handy in many situations on the softball field. Sunglasses are worn mostly by outfielders, though all players on the field except for pitchers can wear them. Outfielders are most likely to need sunglasses because they catch fly balls and therefore are looking up at the sun and the sky. Sunglasses will help players to better locate the ball and block the sun. Any sunglasses work, though buying some sports sunglasses that stick to your face and will not fall off is probably a good idea. You can get sunglasses for $50 to $100.

Sunscreen is by no means specific to only softball but it is something that softball players should definitely wear. Softball players play outside, and their season is the spring and the summer. Because of this, you will find yourself in the sun for long periods of time, often in direct sunlight. Because of this, sunscreen is something that you need to wear to avoid burning and to take care of your skin. Something to be cautious of is that sunscreen can be slick so it is always good to wash hands or wipe all the sunscreen off of your hands after applying it. A bottle of sunscreen will cost $5 to $10.

Swing trainers are training tools that players can use in order to correct any problems in their swing while hitting and for younger players to learn how to best swing. A tee can be considered a swing trainer that you can use, as you can take hundreds of swings at a time to practice. Other swing trainers include a swing-away, which is like a tetherball for softball players. Others include the swing stick, which is a stick that a coach can hold for the player to hit. You can get a swing trainer for $20 to a few hundred dollars depending on the type of trainer.

Training balls are softballs, or other balls, that can be used to practice assorted softball skills. A training ball can be something as simple as a tennis ball thrown against a wall to practice fielding or even hitting. Small wiffle balls can be used for hitting practice, training the eye to hit something smaller than a softball before moving on to hitting the bigger softball. Heavy balls are another option for training, especially for catchers and fielders to train their muscles to catch balls with better strength. Weighted balls can cost upwards of $50 but tennis balls will be $10.

Many different things can be considered training equipment in softball. Training balls, swing trainers, and pitching machines can all be considered training equipment. Other training equipment include running ladders, weights, running parachutes, and more. This equipment can all be used to improve a softball player's strength, conditioning, and hand-eye coordination. Training equipment can be bought or even made in some cases; people can improvise and do their best.

Uniforms are the cornerstone of a softball player's attire. A uniform is made up of a jersey, pants, socks, a belt, and sometimes a visor or hat. There are many add-ons that are possible for a uniform but those are just the basics. Uniforms can be just one color or multiple colors; that is decided by the team organization or coaches. Uniforms are usually bought and paid for by the team. Each uniform usually has a number and a name on the back, specific to each player and often chosen by the players. Uniforms will usually cost $50 to $100 but it depends on the team.

If there is one thing that a softball player will find in the bottom of their bag it is a water bottle. Wattle bottles are carried by every softball player. Many use reusable water bottles that they can refill and drink from. Some of the water bottles are sealed where they hold the cold water and ensure that ice does not melt. Plastic water bottles are also used sometimes; they can be bought at concession stands at softball fields. Hydrating is insanely important to softball players. You can get a reusable water bottle for $5 to $50 depending on the quality of the bottle.

Softball equipment is unique because it is mostly used just for softball. For example, a softball bat can only be used to play softball; softball requires a lot of specialty items that only apply to the sport. The majority of sport equipment is designed to be unisex, but since women dominate the sport of softball, it is mostly made for women. But if a man wants to find a softball bat or helmet designed for men to use, he still can!

Softball equipment comes in a wide range of prices and quality. An excellent softball bat may cost up to $350, but will last a long time and provide every batter with more power and a better feel. A lower quality bat may only cost $20 and will serve you well, but it will not last you as long.

If you are looking to play softball recreationally, do not splurge on expensive items; the cheaper ones will be fine! If you are playing for a competitive team, spending more on your equipment will ensure it lasts longer.

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