Steelmaking processes are the manufacturing of steel from iron ore or scrap. Pig iron is well known as the basic block of all ferrous metals, produced from refined iron ore in a blast furnace with the addition of charcoal, limestone, and air. Steel can be obtained if pig iron is further refined and some amount of carbon is added. If this is done, the crystalline structure of the metal changes, steel is then obtained. This is the common steelmaking process ever known.
Read more: Raw materials used in making iron and steel
Today you’ll get to know the various method of steelmaking processes and how they are performed.
- 1 Various methods of steelmaking processes
- 2 Open-hearth furnace process
- 3 Bessemer process of Steelmaking:
- 4 Basic oxygen furnace process
Various methods of steelmaking processes
There are various methods of steelmaking, well three processes have been explained in this article.
As explained in the previous article, steel is obtained from iron that loses some of its impurities like, silica, phosphorus, and sulfur. These impurities are purposely removed because its causes serious weakness to the steel. The types are;
Open-hearth furnace process
In process of steelmaking, iron ore, pig iron, and limestone are poured through the top of the open-hearth furnace which is then heated for about 1,600°f (871°c). After the heating process, the ore and limestone form slag that is lighter than iron so it floats on the top surface. Impurities like carbon oxidized float out of the iron into the slag. After all this, carbon steel is produced.
Read more: Understanding wrought iron
watch the video below to learn the open-hearth furnace for the steelmaking process:
Bessemer process of Steelmaking:
The second process on how steel is produced from pig iron is the Bessemer process. This steelmaking process also involves the oxidation of impurities in the pig iron which is achieved by blow air through the molten iron in a Bessemer converter, at this point, the heat of oxidation raises the temperature and keeps the iron molten.
Read more: Understanding iron ore smelting process
Air plays an important role as it reacts with the molten pig iron and makes the impurities from oxides, carbon monoxide burns off, and other impurities from slag.
Basic oxygen furnace process
A basic oxygen furnace is another process of steelmaking. Its manufacturing process is roughly 10times faster than an open-heart furnace. This steelmaking process is achieved when high-purity oxygen blows through the molten pig iron, lowering carbon, silicon, manganese, and phosphorus levels. This sulfur and phosphorus level is reduced with the addition of a chemical cleaning agent called “fluxes.”
The addition of alloy to the steel help in creating different properties. For example, production of stainless steel, 10 to 30% of chromium will be added to the steel. It helps the steel to highly resist rust. And for the production of chrome-moly steel, chromium and molybdenum will be added to the steel. It is known as very strong and light steel.
Watch the video below to learn the basic oxygen furnace steelmaking process:
That is all for this article, where three steelmaking process is discussed. I hope you get a lot from this post, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time!