You are on page 1of 4


Steelmaking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Steelmaking is the process for producing steel from iron and ferrous scrap. In steelmaking, impurities such as nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, and excess carbon are removed from the raw iron, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium and vanadium are added to produce different grades of steel. Limiting dissolved gases such as nitrogen and oxygen, and entrained impurities (termed "inclusions") in the steel is also important to ensure the quality of the products cast from the liquid steel.[1] There are two major Steel mill with two arc furnaces. processes for making steel, namely basic oxygen steelmaking which has liquid pigiron from the blast furnace and scrap steel as the main feed materials, and electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking which uses scrap steel or direct reduced iron (DRI) as the main feed materials. Oxygen steelmaking is fuelled predominantly by the exothermic nature of the reactions inside the vessel where as in EAF steelmaking, electrical energy is used to melt the solid scrap and/or DRI materials. In recent times, EAF steelmaking technology has evolved closer to oxygen steelmaking as more chemical energy is introduced into the process.[2]

1 History 2 Modern processes 2.1 Primary steelmaking 2.2 Secondary steelmaking 2.3 HIsarna steelmaking 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Steelmaking has played a crucial role in the development of modern technological societies. Cast iron is a hard brittle material that is difficult to work, whereas steel is malleable, relatively easily formed and a versatile material. For much of human history, steel has only been able to be made in small quantities but since the invention of the Bessemer process in the 19th century and subsequent technological developments in injection technology and process control, mass production of steel has become an integral part of the world's economy and a key indicator of technological development.[3] The earliest means of producing steel was in a bloomery. 1/4


Steelmaking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Early modern methods of producing steel were often labour-intensive and highly skilled arts. See: finery forge, in which the German finery process could be managed to produce steel. blister steel and crucible steel. An important aspect of the industrial revolution was the development of large-scale methods of producing forgeable metal (bar iron or steel). The puddling furnace was initially a means of producing wrought iron, but was later applied to steel production. The real revolution in steelmaking only began at the end of the 1850s when the Bessemer process became the first successful method of steelmaking in quantity, followed by the open-hearth furnace.

Modern processes

Modern steelmaking processes can be broken into two categories: primary and secondary steelmaking. Primary steelmaking involves converting liquid iron from a blast furnace and steel scrap into steel via basic oxygen steelmaking or melting scrap steel and/or direct reduced iron (DRI) in an electric arc furnace. Secondary steelmaking involves refining of the crude steel before casting and the various operations are normally carried out in ladles. In secondary metallurgy, alloying agents are added, dissolved gases in the steel are lowered, inclusions are removed or altered chemically to ensure that high-quality steel is produced after casting.[4]

Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was one of the world's largest manufacturers of steel before its 2003 closure.

Primary steelmaking
Main article: Basic oxygen steelmaking Basic oxygen steelmaking is a method of primary steelmaking in which carbon-rich molten pig iron is made into steel. Blowing oxygen through molten pig iron lowers the carbon content of the alloy and changes it into steel. The process is known as basic due to the chemical nature of the refractoriescalcium oxide and magnesium oxide that line the vessel to withstand the high temperature and corrosive nature of the molten metal and slag in the vessel. The slag chemistry of the process is also controlled to ensure that impurities such as silicon and phosphorus are removed from the metal. The process was developed in 1948 by Robert Durrer and commercialized in 195253 by Austrian VOEST and AMG. The LD converter, named after the Austrian towns of Linz and Donawitz (a district of Leoben) is a refined version of the Bessemer converter where blowing of air is replaced with blowing oxygen. It reduced capital cost of the plants, time of smelting, and increased labor productivity. Between 1920 and 2000, labor requirements in the industry decreased by a factor of 1,000, from more than 3 worker-hours per tonne to just 0.003. The vast majority of steel manufactured in the world is produced using the basic oxygen furnace; in 2011, it accounted for 70% of global steel output. Modern furnaces will take a charge of iron of up to 350 tons and convert it into steel in less than 40 minutes, compared to 1012 hours in an open hearth furnace.[5] Main article: Electric arc furnace



Steelmaking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Electric arc furnace steelmaking is predominantly used for producing steel from scrap and involves melting scrap or direct reduced iron using electric arcs (either in AC or DC mode). It is common to start the melt with a "hot heel" (molten steel from a previous heat) and use gas burners to assist with the melt down of the scrap pile in the furnace. As in basic oxygen steelmaking, fluxes are also added to protect the lining of the vessel and help improve the removal of impurities. Electric arc furnace steelmaking typically involves furnaces of capacity around 100 tonnes that produce steel every 40 to 50 minutes for further processing.[6] By-product gases from the steel making process can be used to generate electricity through the use of reciprocating gas engines.[7]

Secondary steelmaking
Secondary steelmaking is most commonly performed in ladles and often referred to as ladle (metallurgy). Some of the operations performed in ladles include de-oxidation (or "killing"), vacuum degassing, alloy addition, inclusion removal, inclusion chemistry modification, de-sulphurisation and homogenisation. It is now common to perform ladle metallurgical operations in gas stirred ladles with electric arc heating in the lid of the furnace. Tight control of ladle metallurgy is associated with producing high grades of steel in which the tolerances in chemistry and consistency are narrow.[8]

HIsarna steelmaking
Main article: HIsarna steelmaking process The HIsarna steelmaking process is a process for primary steelmaking in which iron ore is processed almost directly into steel. The process is based around a new type of blast furnace called a Cyclone Converter Furnace, which makes it possible to skip the process of manufacturing pig iron pellets that is necessary for the basic oxygen steelmaking process. Without the necessity for this preparatory step the HIsarna process is more energy-efficient and has a lower carbon footprint than traditional steelmaking processes.

See also
History of the steel industry (18501970) History of the steel industry (1970present) Argon oxygen decarburization Decarburization FINEX Flodin process Steel mill Carbon Additive

1. 2. 3. 4. ^ B. Deo and R. Boom, Fundamentals of Steelmaking Metallurgy, Prentice and Hall, 1993 ^ E.T. Turkdoagn, Fundamentals of Steelmaking, IOM, 1996 ^ S. Sass, The Substance of Civilization, Arcade Publishing, 1998 ^ A. Gosh, Secondary Steelmaking, Principles and Applications, CRC Press, 2001


Steelmaking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

5. ^ R. Fruehan, The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel, 11th Edition, AIST, 1999 6. ^ R. Fruehan, The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel, 11th Edition, AIST, 1999 7. ^ Steel Production Gas to Power (, 8. ^ A. Gosh, Secondary Metallurgy, Principles and Applications, CRC Press, 2001

External links
The short film The Drama of Steel (1946) ( is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more] U.S. Steel Gary Works Photograph Collection, 1906-1971 ( "Steel For The Tools For Victory" , December 1943, Popular Science ( id=fScDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA122&dq=popular+science+1943+there%27s+one+thrill+no+soldier&hl=en &ei=NlvOTJj2EIPMnAeRwYTDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=true) large detailed article with numerous illustrations and cutaways on the modern basics of making steel Retrieved from "" Categories: Steelmaking This page was last modified on 12 March 2014 at 15:05. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.