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
Industries such as mining, forestry and construction require the use of heavy-duty machines that are often subject to intense working conditions resulting in extreme wear and tear. In many cases, equipment wear parts made with steel castings are responsible for extending machine operating life and reducing downtime. These types of castings, for example, provide mining wear parts for a wide range of equipment including crushers, chute liners, mine car wheels and pumps. When resistance to heat or corrosion is needed, wear parts produced with stainless steel provide the solution. Read more
Located in Queensland, Australia, Ernest Henry Mining is a Glencore company that first began operating in 1998 as an open pit mine. As the open pit’s economic life span was due to end in 2011, plans in 2009 were confirmed to invest $589 million and transform the mine to underground shaft mining. By early 2012, a 5 km decline had been established to enable the trucking of ore from underground to the surface. Rates of production with this method were approximately three million tonnes annually resulting in about 25,000 tonnes of copper concentrate and 35,000 ounces of gold concentrate per year. By moving to shaft hoisting, 2015 production was forecast to double to six million tonnes of ore. That rate is projected to be achieved on an annual basis over the extended lifespan of the mine to 2026. Read more
Underground mining requires a number of different transportation systems. To effectively move miners and their equipment, for example, a dependable mine shaft cage is necessary. A mine’s success relies on the efficient operation of this component. If a serious problem occurs with the cage, conveyance activities must be suspended to ensure the safety of the miners and, when that happens, production is impeded. Read more
Mining operations greatly rely on machinery and conveyances. The right equipment has to be in place so that extracting and transporting of ore can be accomplished as efficiently as possible. Mining cars are one type of underground conveyance equipment that greatly influences the activities at a mine site. They make it possible to move ore towards hoisting areas for transport to the surface. Mine cars also serve as a transport for tools, equipment, and even workers. Read more
The mining process is tough on the production equipment used in today’s modern mines. The stress, heat and corrosion that components such as crusher linings, cutting heads and buckets are subject to can take its toll on even the most durable mining wear parts. Given the hazardous conditions under which miners work, it is imperative that every piece of mining equipment functions safely, efficiently and smoothly under the harshest of conditions. Read more