1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Steel Production Process

  1. Mar 20, 2012 #1
    Hi, I have been given the following questions to answer:

    write a report on the following:
    - the process by which plain carbon steel is produced
    - the process by which alloy steels are produced
    - the process by which aluminium is produced

    Now I am not entirely sure how to answer this and am hoping for some guidance. I know the fundamental production process of steel is electric furnace, bessemer or open-hearth, but the process for all steels is the same, isn't it? The raw materials are melted down and depending upon the outcome desired, different elements and quantities are added. So the process is the same for all 3 questions apart from defining what elements are added during the production process, is this right? Or have I misread the question completely?

    Any help is much appreciated...

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    you may want to look up a bit of the history of steel production, as the sequence is complicated. Moreover, the aluminum production process is really entirely different and functionally more akin to the smelting of iron ore to make pig iron.
    The Bessemer process was the first industrial scale steel making process, starting with high carbon pig iron. Open hearth was next, a bit easier to control because the blow of the Bessemer was avoided. The oxygen lance process is presently the preferred approach, because it is fast like the Bessemer and can still be well controlled.
    Do note that electric furnaces are largely used to remelt scrap, rather than to refine pig iron into steel.
    The issue of additives is central, partly because some such as phosphorous damage the steel properties and so they must be removed as part of the steel making process, while others such as cobalt or manganese or vanadium add desirable characteristics, but even more so because steel is basically iron combined with a couple of percent of carbon. So the alloying process depends on controlling both what comes in as well as what goes out.
    You have plenty to write about. How long do you have to produce this?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook