Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Modern Iron Smelting

Readers following the experimental iron smelting discussions here will find this of interest:

How Stuff Works - Ore to Steel
Watch the YouTube Video

" Turning low grade iron ore into the most used metal in the world is no easy task. Learn how this hot process works on Discovery Channel's "HowStuffWorks" show. "

Two things of note:
First is the raw scale of modern industrial smelting. Aspects that our experiments measure in single kilos are scaled in hundreds of tonnes.
Second - the use of the INDIRECT process, not the DIRECT process that we use.

Modern industrial process avoids the whole problem of carbon control inside the primary smelt, but simply allowing the developing metal to absorb enough carbon to create 'cast' iron. This results in a liquid, which is easily poured off from below the upper slag layer. A secondary process (involving straight oxygen, not described on the video) is used to burn out carbon from the metal to the desired amounts.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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