Have you ever thought about where the steel in your car, appliances, or even the building where you live and work comes from? It all starts with a process called steelmaking, which converts raw materials into steel. So, if you want to learn more about how is steel made and the science behind it, read on!
How Is Steel Made?
Steel is made from iron ore, a compound of iron, oxygen, and other minerals that occurs in nature. The raw materials for steelmaking are mined and then transformed into steel using two different processes: the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace route, and the electric arc furnace route.
Steel is a metal that is used in a wide variety of applications, including construction, transportation, and manufacturing. It is an alloy of iron and carbon and is known for its strength and durability.
The process of making steel begins with the mining of iron ore, which is a compound of iron, oxygen, and other minerals that occurs naturally in the earth. Once the iron ore is extracted from the ground, it is refined and processed to remove impurities.
Methods For Making Steel
There are two main methods for making steel: the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) route and the electric arc furnace (EAF) route.
Blast Furnace/Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF/BOF)
The blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF) process is the most commonly used method for making steel. It is a two-step process that begins with the production of pig iron, which is then refined to make steel.
In the first step of the BF/BOF process, iron ore, coke (a carbon-rich substance that is made from coal), and limestone are placed into a blast furnace. The furnace is heated to extremely high temperatures, and the iron ore is melted. As the iron ore melts, impurities are removed and carbon is added to create pig iron.
In the second step of the BF/BOF process, the pig iron is refined to make steel. This is done using a basic oxygen furnace (BOF), a large, cylindrical furnace lined with refractory bricks.
Oxygen is blown into the BOF, and the oxygen melts the pig iron. As the pig iron melts, impurities are removed and other elements, such as manganese and nickel, are added to create the desired type of steel. The steel is then poured into molds to create the desired shape.
Electric Arc Furnace
The electric arc furnace (EAF) process is an alternative method for making steel. It is used to make steel from recycled steel scrap and other materials.
In the electric arc furnace process, the steel scrap and other materials are placed into an electric arc furnace, which is a large, cylindrical furnace that uses an electric current to generate heat. The scrap is melted by the electric current, and impurities are removed as the scrap melts.
New materials, such as iron ore and coke, can also be added to create the desired type of steel. The steel is then poured into molds to create the desired shape.
The BF/BOF and EAF processes are used to make a wide range of steel products, including structural steel, automotive steel, and steel for appliances and other consumer products.