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How to get steel?

Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
April 17, 2015
How to get steel?

Steel is a solid alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other additives. Moreover, the carbon content in the alloy should not exceed 2.14%. Today, steel is an important material for many industries. It received such widespread use due to the fact that with the addition of various chemical elements, as well as with changing melting conditions, alloys with different properties can be obtained from iron.

The mode of production is the second determining factor in how steel of one kind or another is produced. Consider the most common ones.

Converter method

In the converter method, air in the bottom of the furnace is fed through special nozzles. Thanks to this, in about 10-20 minutes all the extra coal is converted into carbon dioxide. Unnecessary impurities, such as silicon and fluorine, form oxides, and cast iron is smelted directly into steel. This method has a significant disadvantage: when leaving the furnace, the steel turns out to be of extremely poor quality, which is subsequently used only for technical purposes, for example, for the production of wire, roofing iron.

Open-hearth furnace

The main difference of the open-hearth method is that the excess carbon in the iron is removed not only by supplying air through the nozzles, but also due to oxygen from iron oxides (they are added in the form of ore, rusty scrap). In open-hearth furnaces, you can adjust the composition of the steel, if you add scrap or ore in the right proportion. True, the process of casting steel takes a long time - 6-7 hours. This type of smelting allows to obtain a good quality alloy steel.

Electrothermal method

This method allows you to very accurately adjust the chemical composition of steel. The air is practically not supplied to the furnace, therefore less iron oxides are formed. Smelting occurs at a temperature of 2000-3000 degrees, which allows you to remove even the most refractory slags. In addition, the high temperature of smelting allows you to add metals to tungsten tungsten and molybdenum, which significantly improves the quality of steel. With this method, get very high quality steel. However, electrothermal smelting is extremely expensive, since it requires a lot of electricity.

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