The Finery & Chafery Iron Making Process
Iron Making by Blast Furnace
How the tower of the first Blast Furnace was developed may never be known but the associated process of iron making increase the volume of iron that could be smelted while also reducing the price. The first record of a Blast Furnace in the U.K. is in 1496.Early furnaces were best located on sloping ground, close to a reliable stream. Water was used todrive the early bellow to create the drought, while the slope helped to provide a near levelroadway onto the top of the furnace.The key to the process is the removal of the oxygen from the iron ore at the same time asseparating as many of the other impurities as possible.A blast furnace works on a continuous process lasting weeks, months, or in modern times, yearsand it will be assumed that the furnace is in the middle of a campaign and so the lighting thefurnace (blowing in) can be ignored.Clean carbon (Charcoal or later Coke), Iron Ore and Limestone are added to the top of thefurnace. Little and often is best as it has the least affect on the burning of the furnace. Alsoimportant is that the charge material is alternated (e.g.. Iron Ore, then Coke, then Limestone, andthen more Iron Ore).At the top of the furnace the charge is heated and dried by the hot gases being blown through thefurnace. Lower down, the iron ore melts as the carbon starts to burn and from just below themiddle of the furnace, molten iron drips down through the remaining carbon fuel onto the hearthat the very bottom of the furnace.As there is insufficient oxygen in the air blast to properly burn the carbon fuel oxygen iscaptured from the iron ore, however, in spite of this, the majority of the gas produced is stillCarbon Monoxide.