How a Steel Mill Works

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How A Steel Mill Works
The principal consumables employed in steel production are iron ore, coal, scrap metal and electrical energy. The importance of each of these consumables depends upon the technological processes adopted at each mill. In a classic integrated mill, coal and iron ore are the main consumables.
In semi-integrated mills, scrap iron is the mainstay.
An integrated mill comprises four basic operations – reduction, refining, solidification, and rolling – to convert iron ore into semi-finished or finished (rolled) steel products.
• Reduction The objective is to convert iron ore – naturally occurring in the form of ferrous oxide – into pig iron.
In this operation, a coker converts coal into coke that is
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Among these are refractories, electrodes, and alloying elements.
• Refractories are materials that work as thermal isolators and are used to coat critical steel mill equipment such as blast furnaces, ladles, and converters.
Their main function is to protect the equipment from extreme temperatures and to minimize wear and tear.
•Electrodes constitute an important input in the operation of electric steel mills.
• Alloying elements Metals such as zinc, tin, chrome and aluminum are employed in steel alloy production.
A steel mill uses industrial gases extensively. In addition to the jet of oxygen-fed converters in integrated mills, oxygen is frequently injected into blast furnaces and electric furnances to improve overall operating conditions. Given the volume of oxygen utilized, steel mills usually house one or more oxygen producing units. This used to be integrated vertically into the steelworks themselves. However, in recent years, initiatives have been widely employed to outsource this operation to specialized companies.
There are also non-integrated manufacturers which operate via a single processing phase: reduction or rolling.
In the first case are pig iron producers, the so-called ironers, that utilize coal in blast furnaces to make pig iron. In the second case are the re-rollers of plates and billets acquired from integrated or
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