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Methods, Processes and Equipment Involved in Manufacturing Steel

Steel is the world's most popular construction material because of its unique combination of durability,
workability, and cost. It is an iron alloy that contains between 0.2 and 2 percent carbon by weight.
Other alloying elements may also be present in varying proportions.

The properties of steel are highly dependent on the proportions of alloying elements, so that their levels
are closely controlled during its manufacture. The properties of steel also depend on the heat treatment
of the metal.

Steel is by far the most important metal, in tonnage terms, in the modern world, with the annual global
production of over 700 million tonnes dwarfing the approximately 17 million tonnes of the next most
prolific, aluminium. The low price and high strength of steel means that it is used structurally in many
buildings and as sheet steel it is the major component of motor vehicles and domestic appliances. The
major disadvantage of steel is that it will oxidise under moist conditions to form rust.

Low-alloy steels are steels containing less than 8% total alloying elements and have higher strength of
plain carbon. High-alloy steels contain more than 8% total alloying elements.Stainless Steel is a steel
formed by the addition of chromium.

Steel Grades
 Carbon Steels (which include low carbon, medium carbon, and high carbon steels)
 Alloy Steels (which include such common alloy metals as manganese, silicon, nickel, and
 Stainless Steels (which contain about 10 percent chromium and are classified as
austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic)
 Tool Steels (which are steels that are alloyed with high temperature and hard metals,
such as molybdenum and tungsten)

Short History of Steel Manufacturing

 Steel was known in antiquity and was produced in bloomeries and crucibles. Bloomeries: A
bloomery is a type of furnace once used widely for smelting iron from its oxides.

 The earliest known production of steel is seen in pieces of ironware excavated from an
archaeological site in Anatolia(Kaman-Kalehoyuk) and are nearly 4,000 years old, dating from
1800 BC.

 Horace identifies steel weapons such as the falcata in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel
was used by the Roman military.

 The reputation of Seric iron of South India (wootz steel) grew considerably in the rest of the
world.Metal production sites in Sri Lanka employed wind furnaces driven by the monsoon
winds, capable of producing high-carbon steel. Large-scale Wootz steelproduction in Tamilakam
using crucibles and carbon sources such as the plant Avāram occurred by the sixth century BC,
the pioneering precursor to modern steel production and metallurgy.
Equipment Involved in Manufacturing Steel

Blast Furnace
It is a vertical shaft furnace that produces liquid metals by the reaction of a flow of air
introduced under pressure into the bottom of the furnace with a mixture of metallic ore, coke,
and flux fed into the top.

Basic Oxygen Furnace

It is a pear shaped vessel where the pig iron from blast furnace, and ferrous scrap, is refined into
steel by injecting a jet high-purity oxygen through the hot metal.
Electric Arc Furnace
Steel scrap is melted using heat generated with the aid of an electric arc produced by graphite

Continuous Casting Machine

This is where molten metal is solidified into a semi-finished billet, bloom, or slab for subsequent
rolling in the finishing mills.

For the transportation of very large volumes of molten metal, such as in steel mills, the ladle can
run on wheels, a purpose-built ladle transfer car or be slung from an overhead crane and will be tilted
using a second overhead lifting device.

Rolling Mill
It is an automatic system or line of machines that performs both rolling and auxiliary operations

Methods/Processes Involved in Manufacturing of Steel

Blast Furnace Steelmaking

o It is used by integrated steel plants that produce steel from iron ore.

o Hot metal from the blast furnace is fed in to the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) after pre-
treatment to remove impurities

o First, iron ore is melted to produce pig iron, using coke (originally charcoal) as fuel. Then
the carbon-rich pig iron is converted into steel by blowing oxygen through it.

o Blast furnaces need a high investment in facility development and take up a large area.
They also produce a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions.

Electric Arc Steel Making Process

o It does not involve iron-making since it reuses cold scrap metal avoiding the need for
raw materials and their processing.
o The EAF operates on the basis of an electrical charge between two electrodes providing
the heat for the process. The power is supplied through the electrodes placed in the
furnace, which produce an arc of electricity through the scrap steel melting the scrap.

Bessemer Process

 first inexpensive industrial process for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron
before the development of the open hearth furnace.
 the key principle is removal of impurities from the iron by oxidation with air being blown
through the molten iron. The oxidation also raises the temperature of the iron mass and
keeps it molten

Iron Making Process

o A process of smelting iron ore into hot metal.

o In this process, the iron ore is first subjected to a sintering process.

o After undergoing processing, iron ore and coke are fed into a blast furnace. Inside the
furnace, a steady blast of super-heated 1,200°F air is blown up through the raw
materials, creating a reaction in which the burning coke pushes the furnace temperature
to iron's melting point of 1,535°F.

Steel Making Process

o A process of removing impurities from molten steel to create a crude steel that is ready
to be formed into finished products.
o The hot metal tapped from the blast furnace has a carbon content of between 4% and
5% as well as impurities such as phosphorous and sulfur that negatively impact its
strength and durability.
o This hot metal is charged into a basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) furnace or "converter"
along with scrap. A high-pressure stream of pure oxygen is then injected into the hot
metal, transforming impurities into gases and slag.

Continuous Casting Process

 A process of turning liquid iron into solid iron.

 When the pure steel is still in liquid form it must be poured into molds and passed
through a continuous casting machine whereupon it coagulates and becomes a middle
material such as slabs, brooms, or billets
o Bloom
 blooms has rectangular /square cross section.The cross section area of
bloom is always greater than 36 in 2 (230 cm 2)
 Blooms are used as rolling material in the manufacturing process of rails
, seamless pipes, etc.

o Billet
 Billet is also a casting product. In new era of industry, generally the
billets are made with the help of machine called as CCM (continuous
casting machine).
 Billet has a square cross section area , but cross section area of billet
should be same throughout its length. The cross section area if billet is
always less than 36 in2. The Billets are used in the manufacturing
process of Steel Rebars.

o Slab
 A slab has rectangular cross section, slab has thickness lesser than
bloom.If we compare Ingot, Bloom, Billet and Slab based on their weight
,then weight of ingot is greater than weight bloom is greater than
weight of billet is greater than weight of slab.

Primary Forming (Rolling)

o The process of shaping iron.

o The rolling process can be divided as hot rolling and cold rolling process. The rolling
process involves taking semi-finished steel products and running them through a series
of roller stands to improve strength or reduce their thickness

Secondary Forming (Finishing)

Secondary forming techniques give the steel its final shape and properties. These techniques
 shaping (e.g. cold rolling)
 machining (e.g. drilling)
 joining (e.g. welding)
 coating (e.g. galvanizing)
 heat treatment (e.g. tempering)
 surface treatment (e.g. carburizing)