You are on page 1of 6

Iron and Steel

A. Read the following passage


The earth contains a large number of metals which are
useful to man. One of the most important of these is iron. Modern
industry needs considerable quantities of this metal, either in the
form of iron or in the form of steel. A certain number of nonferrous metals, including alluminum and zinc, are also important,
but even today the majority of engeering products are of iron or
steel. Moreover, iron possesses magnetic properties, which have
made the development of eleclectrical power possible.
The iron ore which we find in the earth is not pure. It
contains some impurities which we must remove by smelting. The
process of smelting consists of heating the ore in a blust furnace
with coke and limestone, and reducing it to metal. Blasts of hot
air enter the furnace from the buttom and provide the oxygen
which is necessary for the reduction of the ore. The ore becomes
molten, and its oxides combine with carbon from the coke. The
non-metalic constituents of the ore combine with the limestone to
form a liguid slag. This floats on top of the molten iron, and
passes out of the furnace through a tap. The metal which remains
is pig-iron.
We can melt this down again in another furnace a cupola
with more coke and limestone, and tap it out a ladle or directly
into moulds. This is cast iron. Cast iron does not have the
strenght of steel. It is brittle and may fricture under tension. But
it possesses certain properties which make it very useful in the
manufacture of machinery. In the molten state it is very fluid, and
therefore it is easy to cast it into intricate shapes. Also it is easy
to machine it. Cast iron contains small properties of other
substances. These non-metalic constituents of cast-iron include
carbon, silicon and sulphur, and the presence of these substances
affects the behaviour of the metal. Iron which contais a negligible
quantity of carbon, for example wrought-iron, behaves differently
from iron which contains a lot of carbon.
The carbon in the cast-iron is partly as free graphite and
partly as a chemical combination of iron and carbon which we
call cementite. This is a very hard substance, and it makes the
1
iron hard too. However, iron can only hold about 1 2 % of
cementite. Any carbon content above that percentage is present
in the form of a flacky graphite. Steel contain not free graphite,
1
and its carbon content ranges from almost nothing to 1 2 %. We
make wire and tubing from mild steel with a very low carbon
content, and drills and cutting tools from high carbon steel.

Comprehension
a. Answer the following questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Where is the iron found?


In what form of the iron is firstly found?
How to process the iron ore into pig-iron?
What does the process of smelting consist of? Explain!
How to process pig-iron into cast-iron? Explain!
Why is cast-iron easy to cast into intricate shapes?
How can the non-metalic constituents of cast iron, i.e. carbon,
silicon and sulphur, affects the behaviour of the metal?
8. In what kind of steel is used for wire and tubing? Why?
9. In what kind of steel is used for making drills and cutting tools?
Why?
b. Complete the paragraph with the following words/phrases:
-

experiment

- properties

possesses

- temperatures

- needs

Every metal (1) _______________________ certain properties or


characteristics or qualities which we can find by (2) _________________.
These (3) _________________ may make the metal suitable or unsuitable
for any particular purpose. Designer of high-speed aircraft (4)
_____________ new materials with special properties such as heat
resistance and strenght at high (5) _____________________.
c. Choose one of the words to complete the paragraph
We smelt/melts/smelted/smelting iron ore by heat, and change the
ore into pig-iron. During smelt/melts/smelted/smelting the temperatur in
the furnace is raised , and the iron smelt/melts/smelted/ smelting. When
the ore is smelt/melts/smelted/smelting, it becomes pig-iron.
Task
Explain the process of smelting the iron ore into cast-iron.
A Language Focus
1 Enable, Allow, Permit, Cause, Make, Let, etc. + Infinitive
Enable/allow/permit/cause + infinitive with to. (to write/to learn/ to
exemine)

Make/let + infinitive without to

Enable really means to make possible, but it is often used in the same sense
as allow and permit. Let and make, the word to is not used before the
infinitive, but Let is usually used in spoken, not often in written in this sense.
Example:
1 The microscope enables scientists to exemine very small objects.
2 Good production methods enable the factory to manufacture more
cars.
3 Expansion joints permit / allow the pipes to expand.
4 Safety valves permit / allow the steam to escape from the boiler.
5 Weaknesses in the metal cause it to fracture under tension.
6 The heat makes the metal melt.
7 Weakness in the metal made it fracture under tension.
2 Comparative
Here are some of the most usefull patterns for comparing two things

Steel

is

Cas-iron

is

Cast-iron

Cast-iron

is

stronger
far stronger
slightly stronger
more expensive
much more expensive
a much more expensive material
a much more expensive material to
produce
weaker
less expensive
much less expensive
a much less expensive material
a much less expensive material to
produce
not so expensive
not quit so expensive
not quit such an expensive material
not quit such an expensive material
to produce

Is

an
material

as useful
almost as useful
almost as useful

than

cast-iron.

than

steel

as

steel

as

Steel

Comparison:
- Positive degree
Subject + verb 1/be + as + adjective/adverb + as ...
Example:
This material is as strong as that one.
Cast iron is as useful as steel.
-

Comparative degree
Subject + verb 1/be + _____________er than ...
Subject + verb 1/be + more _____________ than ...
Example:
Mild steel is less expensive than wrough iron.
Medium steel contains more carbon than mild steel.

Superlative degree
Subjecti + verb 1/be + the + adjective + est + ...
Subject + verb 1/be + the + most + adjective + ...
Example:
Tool steel contains the most carbon of all other materials.

Exercise 1:
Complete these statements using the verbs shown in language focus 1
above.
1 The rise in temperature caused the mercury to rise up the tube.
2 The motorway enables motorists to travel from London to
Birmingham much more quickly than before.
3 The use of tractors cause more food to be produced more cheaply.
4 The presence of oxygen ......................... the mixture ..................
burn rapidly.
5 The failure of both engines ...................... the aircraft ......................
crash.
6 The increase in exports ............. the country ............... import more
raw materials.
7 The risk of an explosion ................ the workers ............... leave the
factory.
8 The speed of the train ................ it ................... leave the rails on
the curve.
9 The fluidity of cast-iron ................. it .................... be cast into
intricate shapes.
10 The use of a pressure gauge ............. the engineer ................ read
the boiler pressure.
11 The sharp rise in temperature ................... the engine ..................
overheat.
12 The presence of nonmetalic constituents in iron ....................
it .................. behave in various ways.

13 Rapid cooling ........................ unequal contractions ...................


occur in the metal.
14 The growth of indusrial towns ............... many people ..............
leave the countryside.
15 The differential gear ................. the two rear wheels .............. turn
at different speeds.
Exercise 2:
Join the two statements in each line below by comparing one with the
other such as seen in language focus 2 above.
1 The carbon content of mild steel is 0.2%; the carbon content of cast
steel is 1.2%.
The carbon content of mild steel is less than the carbon content of
cast steel.
The carbon content of cast steel is more than the carbon content of
mild steel.
2 Wrought iron contains 0.02% of carbon; it contains 0.02% of
maganese .
3 The British engine weighs 3 tons; the French engine weighs 3.5
tons.
4 The electric heater costs a penny an hour to run; the gas heater
costs two pence an hour.
5 Cast iron contains up to 3.0% of silicon; it contains up to 1.5% of
phosphorous.
6 The temperature in this room is 28C; the temperature outside the
room is 22C.
7 My watch works very well; my brothers watch works very badly.
8 The journey takes four hours by day; it takes five hours at night.
9 Alcohol is not often used in thermometers; mercury is used very
often in thermometers.
10 Alcohol boils at 78C; water boils at 100C.
The boiling point of Alcohol is lower than the boiling point of water
The boiling point of water is higher than the boiling point of alcohol

11 Aluminium has a coeficient of expansion of 0.000025; copper has a


coeficient of expansion of 0.000017.
The expansion coefficient of Aluminum is higher than the expansion
coefficient of Copper
12 The steel workers recieve 30 shillings pershift; the coal miners
recieve 30 shillings pershift too.
The salary of steel workers per-shift same with the salary of coal
miners per-shift