Steel Processing Routes

Before embarking on this 4D tour of a virtual steel works you should study this
page so that you can appreciate how the various parts of the steel production
process fit together.

The production of steel from raw materials involves several stages.Ironmaking
Iron ore, coke and lime are the raw materials fed into the blast furnace to
produce liquid iron (often called 'hot metal'). The iron that emerges from the
blast furnace contains 4-4.5 wt% carbon and other impurities which makes
the metal too brittle for most engineering applications.

The Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) process takes this liquid iron plus recycled
scrap steel, and reduces the carbon content to between 0 and 1.5% by blowing
oxygen through the metal in a converter to produce molten steel. Alternatively,
the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) is used to remelt scrap iron and steel.

Secondary steelmaking processes are then applied to make fine adjustments
to the steel composition, temperature and cleanness.

The steel is then continuously cast into solid slabs, blooms or billets. Continuous
casting has largely replaced traditional ingot casting.

Primary Forming
Primary forming operations, such as hot rolling are those which are applied to
continuous cast slabs, blooms and billets (and to traditional ingots).  The main
purpose is usually to achieve large shape changes, rather than to develop the
steel properties, although these too can be significantly altered.