Ironmaking: Process Description


Courtesy of U.S. Steel

In an integrated iron and steel mill, iron is made directly from iron ore. Ores are agglomerated into pellets, nodules, sinter, or briquettes for further processing. The main component of iron making worldwide is the blast furnace. Agglomerated ore is charged with coke and crushed limestone that provide both the intense heat and chemical reduction necessary to produce molten iron. The coke is produced in large coke ovens from coal with special properties (metallurgical coal). The coke ovens and the blast furnaces produce combustible gases (coke oven (rich) gas and blast furnace (lean) gas) that are used throughout the mill in various heating processes. Direct reduction is a less common, alternative process that produces iron from ores without the need for coke using either coal or natural gas for fuel. The product of direct reduction is called sponge iron because the metal is not melted but is produced as a porous solid.



Rolling and Finishing


Blast Furnace
Direct Reduction
Basic Oxygen Furnace
Electric Arc Furnace
Heat Treating
Ladle Metallurgy
Continuous Casting
Ingot Casting
Ladle Preheating
Secondary Finishing
Surface Coating