Since the 19th century, steel has become one of the most often used building and manufacturing materials worldwide. And steel manufacturing is a crucial sector of the economy that greatly impacts the world.
The World Steel Association estimates that $2.9 trillion of the world’s economic activity is supported or made possible by global steel manufacturing, making it an essential component of millions of jobs worldwide.
Although steel may not initially seem to be a material connected to cutting-edge technology, its production method has evolved significantly.
You will learn about steel’s history and contrast it with how it is produced and used in contemporary applications in this guide to the steel manufacturing process.
How Steel Is Made
The Bessemer process, which is still used today, was first used to produce steel in 1856. Most people agree that it was the first method utilized to make steel in significant quantities.
Historians claim that two separate inventors, one in Pittsburgh and the other in the UK, simultaneously created a method for producing steel that entailed blasting impurities from iron using air.
As a result of this finding, additional steel manufacturers set out to refine the procedure. Eventually, they found a way to employ the air-blasting approach to partially remove impurities while still helping to preserve the carbon content.
In the end, the procedure developed into a highly efficient method for making high-quality steel in large quantities, which is still used today.
Steel Production Methods
A Blast Furnace
A furnace is used in the blast furnace process, often referred to as the basic oxygen process (BOP), to combine raw iron ore and tiny amounts of steel scrap. The introduction of pure oxygen then heats the furnace.
At this temperature, the scrap metal not only melts into a liquid but the impurities in the iron are also oxidized, entirely evaporating. As a result of the high temperature and reduced carbon content, liquid steel is produced.
An Electric Arc Furnace
Large amounts of steel scrap are melted into liquid using the electric arc furnace (EAF) technology, which uses high-current electric arcs from electrodes.
The experts add additional ferroalloys while the steel scrap metal is melting until the metal liquid has the correct proportion of steel to other alloys, such as chromium and nickel, which make stainless steel.
Lime and fluorspar are also added as the steel is purified by oxygen being blasted into the furnace. Slag is created when these compounds combine with the impurities in the steel. The pure steel is then left behind when the slag floats to the top of the molten steel and is scraped off.
The EAF process is currently the most used way to produce steel. The current generation of EAF steel-making furnaces can melt 150 tons of steel in around 90 minutes.
Steel is the ideal material to utilize in a variety of production capabilities since it is abundant, adaptable, and inexpensive.
Steel is a valuable resource that original equipment manufacturers and other fabrication businesses rely on to create their unique parts and goods. Businesses all over the world obtain steel and metal alloys to construct their products and realize their plans.
Because it enables companies to create novel and useful products and take chances on avant-garde designs that help shape and enhance people’s daily lives, custom metal fabrication and design is a crucial professional service in the global economy.
If you’re looking for a steel distributor, KGS Steel Nashville is the company for you. We’re a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse that has been servicing the southeastern United States since 1985. Call us today to place your order.