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06 C - METALS: Iron and steel production


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Iron raw materials
IRON IS MADE OUT SCRAP METAL AND ORES containing from 50% to 70% iron, ores like Hematite, Magnetite, Siderite, and Limonite. >>> MAGNETIC HEMATITE CONSUMES LIMONITIC SIDERITE
Coke
HIGH CARBON FUEL USED TO SUPPLY HEAT AND CARBON MONOXIDE to reduce the iron ore, a fuel made by heating up a bituminous coal in a limited oxygen atmosphere for a few hours, and spraying it with water from quenching towers.
Limestone
ROCK WITH HIGH PROPORTIONS OF CALCIUM CARBONATE ($CaCO_3$), used as a flux to react with and remove impurities from the molten iron in a form of a slag. >>> CALCIUM CARBONATE FLUX FLUSHES AWAY MOLTEN IMPURITIES.
Blast furnace
Refractory lined, 10m wide, 40m tall furnace with hot gases coming in at the bottom at high rate to reduce the iron.
Ironmaking
DROP A CHARGE AND MAKE SOME PIG IRON >>> A charge of iron ore, coke, and limestone are dropped into the top of the blast furnace, slowly descending towards the bottom, heating up to 1650[degC], supplying carbon monoxide from the coke's combustion, reducing the hematite (FeO) to iron, removing impurities such as silica, sulfur, alumina by the means of the calcium carbonate from the limestone, melting the iron and collecting pig iron from the bottom of the furnace.
Pig iron
IRON WITH IMPURITIES, containing more than 5% carbon with quite a bit of impurities: 0.3–1.3%Si, 0.5–2.0%Mn, 0.1–1.0%P,and 0.02–0.08%. - Convert to cast iron in Cupola furnace, or to steel in basic oxygen furnace. >>> DIRTY IRON PIG
Steel making
Uses the basic oxygen furnace (BOF), an adaptation of the Bessemer process, and the electric ark furnace to produce steel.
Basic oxygen furnace
REMOVES IMPURITIES FROM PIG IRON BY BLOWING OXYGEN THOUGH IT, pig iron with some scrap metal added in for a bit of fun, an adaptation of the Bessemer process that used air to burn out the impurities, decreasing the carbon content in direct proportion to the process time, thus allowing a fairly predictable control of the carbon content, a process used for about 70% of US steel production >>> PURE OXYGEN BURNS AWAY IMPURE DIRT.
Electric ark furnace
MELTS IRON SCRAP AND PIG IRON BY A MEANS OF ELECTRIC CURRENT, heating it up with an electric arc, the sparkling, deadly, beautiful phenomena created by it's electrodes and melts away quite big quantaties of steel - between 25[tons] to 100[tons] per heat, a contraption responsible for about 30% of US steel production, noted for better quality steels and higher cost per ton. >>> ELECTRIC ARK STRIKES CLEAN STEEL
Ingot casting
CREATING OF LARGE AND DISCRETE STEEL MOLDS, molds weighing from 1[ton] up to 400[tons], made by pouring the metal from a BOF or electric ark or other type of a furnace into a big-end-down mold, impregnating the molten metal with additives (Si and Al) to reduce gas porosity
Big end down mold
A BIG MOLD FOR INGOT CASTING, tapered mold for easy a mold removal by lifting it from a stool, a mold with a corrugated inner surface for faster metal cooling
Continuous casting
A CONSTANT, NON-STOP CASTING OF METAL, a process sometimes called strand casting, a more convenient method than ingot casting, since it eliminates the time you need to wait until ingot solidification, a method that basically draws metal from the tundinsh, the temporary metal storage container, fed by the ladle, into a water cooled mold, adding some flux to the metal, and drawing it into continuous metal strip, a strip bent and directed in a desire direction since the steel is still hot, before it's cut into slabs of required length.
Tundish
Temporary metal reservoir in the process of continuous casting.