If one was to comment as an historian, starting with blast furnaces (where ore is converted to a metal), one would conceivably have to choose some period, not just a few hundred years back, but perhaps two or more thousand years back to a period when cattle driven bellows provided the necessary “blast” for the furnace which, (as in some ways is now) produced iron. However, it did not then produce iron for the steel process, but only iron for the foundries.
Many industrial plants, such as steel making facilities, are designed to operate continuously on a 24/7 basis for many decades. This potentially introduces a problem where some components within the plant, not having been originally designed to last for decades, have since become obsolete in their design and are thus no longer available.
Coal supplied to coke oven batteries is most economically brought in freighters that, even in the mid 1970’s, were unloading coal at over 5,000 tons per hour. As, by choice, they bring different kinds of coals, they are first stored in separate piles from where they are eventually collected, blended and sized. (Even the particular underground stream from which the coal is mined can influence the final quality and economics.) It is very desirable to do extensive research and testing to obtain the most desired mixture. The steel plant owners often invest and pay particular attention to this research and lab work to determine which mixture and size gives them the most desirable results. For the volumes and economies, all this makes sense.
Many of the larger steel making plants, for example, Integrated Steel Plants, require large capital investments and thus are very expensive to replace in whole. As a natural consequence, the owners are forced to find ways to keep them operational, be it with good on-going maintenance, with periodic partial, or extensive rebuilds. Read more
Reducing the Requirement for Raw Materials Through Recycling at all Stages of Steel Manufacturing
Key Components and Fundamentals
Ferrous materials such as irons and steels are some of the few materials that are considered to be 100% recyclable. They can be infinitely remelted and made into new forms without losing its overall quality. Not only is steel scrap used in steel manufacturing to produce new plates and other structural members, it plays a key role in the foundry industry. The foundry industry makes use of pig iron from the steel manufacturer’s blast furnace, and scrap steel from a number of different sources to manufacture complex components that would otherwise be impossible to form. Read more