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Key Facts To Know About the Steel Manufacturing Process

Did you know that the world produced more than 1,800 million metric tons of steel in 2020? Steel is vital in urbanization. Plus, it has a global impact on the manufacturing industry.

Today, its uses range from materials in appliances to constructing buildings.

Are you curious to know about how is steel made? Read on and learn about the steel manufacturing process and its impact on our world.

Brief History Of Steel Production

Steel is an alloy. It’s a mixture of iron and other elements that usually involves carbon. Because it’s an alloy, it’s versatile and can come in various combinations.

Steel’s development begins way back in the Iron Age, in 1200 B.C. Bronze was a popular metal before iron. Not until the discovery of heat treatment iron with carbon to produce steel.

For many years, the steel manufacturing process comes in small quantities. Because of this, steel is an expensive product not until 1855.

In 1855, Henry Bessemer developed the Bessemer process. This process paved the way for the mass production of steel. It also made it much cheaper and defined the second industrial revolution.

The Steel Manufacturing Process

They still use the Bessemer process today. But currently, steel manufacturing uses traditional raw materials with recycled materials. It’s a long process but, some manufacturers offer these services.

The primary step in making steel is melting iron ore, coke, and lime. There are two types of methods for this process:

Basic Oxygen Process Or Blast Furnace

The Basic Oxygen Process combines raw iron ore with steel scrap metal. They then blow oxygen through the metal.

In this process, the impurities evaporate. Because of this, it reduces the carbon between 0-1.5%.

Electric Arc Furnace

In this method, raw materials and recycled scraps melt in a high-power electric arc. During this process, technicians add other ferroalloys and oxygen.

EAF is the most common method used today. It produces large quantities of steel and has better thermal control.

After the primary process, the secondary one is removing or adding other agents. The purpose of this process is to adjust the steel composition. Depending on the steel required, the processes used can be:

  • Stirring
  • Ladle injection
  • Ladle furnace
  • Degassing

Then, melted steel pours into a cooled mold for casting. Depending on the purpose of the steel, you can cut it into slabs, blooms, and billets.

Primary forming uses hot rolling and forms the cut metal into various shapes. The finished product can come in flat, long, seamless tubes, etc., and is now ready for the final process.

Finally, the metal is now ready for the finishing process. In this process, the steel undergoes second forming techniques. After that, the steel metal is now ready for distribution!

Impacts Of Steel Production In The Environment

Steel is one of the most versatile metals in the world. It is durable, malleable, and cheap. Not to mention, steels are 100% recyclable.

It also causes less harm to the environment, unlike other metals. Nowadays, the steel manufacturing process also uses less energy and carbon dioxide emission.

If you find this article informative, check out our other articles. Learn more about different topics today!

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