The Making of Steel: What are the Six Basic Methods?

Steel ManufacturingEver since the beginning of industrial revolution, steel fabrication methods have evolved dramatically. Though there are slight changes in the process, the modern production still follows the Bessemer techniques that were practiced centuries ago.

A specialist from Wasatch Steel says modern-day steel production services make use of both new and traditional methods and materials to manufacture steel. Here are the six essential steps that will provide better understanding when it comes to steel engineering.

Step #1: Ironmaking

The first objective would be manufacturing the main component of steel which is the iron. Under this process, iron ore along with lime and coke will be placed into the blast furnace to melt it. This will then result to the molten iron. To remove the existing impurities in the iron, that is exactly the reason why there’s the next step.

Step #2: Primary Steelmaking

Also known as basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) the process involves an oxygen blowing machine. The purpose of this mechanism is to lower down the carbon content and improve the grade and hardness of the iron

Step #3: Secondary Steelmaking

For this stage, the use of ladles is required to perform various metallurgical operations. These ladles are commonly referred to as electric arc furnace. A tight control on ladle metallurgy is usually associated with the high-grade production of steel. The operations under this phase include the following:

  • Alloy Addition
  • Chemistry Modification
  • De-Oxidation
  • De-Sulphurization
  • Homogenization
  • Vacuum Degassing

Step #4: Iron Casting

On this stage, the molten steel will be cast into the cooling mold to produce and solidify steel shells. Once cooled, the finished products are now going to take form into different lengths and shapes which are known as billets, blooms or slabs.

Step #5 Basic Forming

With the use of hot rolling mills, the byproduct from step four will be formed into different shapes, sizes, and lengths. The semi-finished products are usually divided into three kinds – plate and strip, beam, and wire products.

Step #6: Fabrication & Final Touchups

Lastly, the secondary casting methods give the steel its finalized grade, shape, and properties. The whole process involves the following:

  • Carburizing
  • Coating
  • Heat Treatment
  • Joining
  • Machining
  • Shaping

Whether or not you’re in the industry, it helps to know these things. The basic steps in steelmaking will give a better understanding of how a particular process can affect the malleability, hardness, and durability of steel. This is most especially true because almost steel can be used and applied in almost any industry or business.