Electric Arc Furnaces are used to convert scrap to usable steel. The furnace is charged, or loaded, with scrap metal. The removable cover is replaced and heating electrodes are inserted through the cover into the furnace. The electrodes produce the intense heat required for the conversion process. An efficient EAF can convert a load of scrap into usable steel in less than an hour.

The furnace requires cooling in order to prevent the external surfaces from reaching unsafe temperatures. Cooling water is continuously circulated through the outside of the furnace and, in some cases, through the removable cover.

As with the other types of furnaces, a constant source of clean cooling water is required. which inevitably contains solids.