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Ferrosilicon is used as a source of silicon to reduce metals from their oxides and to deoxidize steeland other ferrous alloys. This prevents the loss of carbon from the molten steel (so called blocking the heat); ferromanganese, spiegeleisen, silicides of calcium, and many other materials are used for the same purpose. It can be used to make other ferroalloys. Ferrosilicon is also used for manufacture of silicon, corrosion-resistant and high-temperature resistant ferrous silicon alloys, and silicon steel for electromotors and transformer cores. In the manufacture of cast iron, ferrosilicon is used for inoculation of the iron to accelerate graphitization. In arc welding, ferrosilicon can be found in some electrode coatings.
Ferrosilicon is a basis for manufacture of prealloys like magnesium ferrosilicon (MgFeSi), used for production of ductile iron. MgFeSi contains 3 C42% magnesium and small amounts of rare earth metals. Ferrosilicon is also important as an additive to cast irons for controlling the initial content of silicon.
Magnesium ferrosilicon is instrumental in the formation of nodules, which give ductile iron its flexible property. Unlike gray cast iron, which forms graphite flakes, ductile iron contains graphite nodules, or pores, which make cracking more difficult.
Ferrosilicon is also used in the Pidgeon process to make magnesium from dolomite. Treatment of high-silicon ferrosilicon with hydrogen chloride is the basis of the industrial synthesis of trichlorosilane.