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  • Ferrous metallurgy

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    Bloomery smelting during the Middle Ages.Ferrous metallurgy is the metallurgy of iron and its alloys. It began far back in prehistory. The earliest surviving iron artifacts, from the 4th millennium BC in Egypt, were made from meteoritic iron-nickel. It is not known when or where the smelting of iron from ores began, but by the end of the 2nd millennium BC iron was being produced from iron ores from Sub-Saharan Africa to China. The use of wrought iron (worked iron) was known by the 1st millennium BC, and its spread marked the Iron Age. During the medieval period, means were found in Europe of producing wrought iron from cast iron (in this context known as pig iron) using finery forges. For all these processes, charcoal was required as fuel. Steel (with a carbon content between pig iron and wrought iron) was first produced in antiquity as an alloy. Its process of production, Wootz steel, was exported before the 4th century BC from India to ancient China, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Archaeological evidence of cast iron appears in 5th-century BC China. New methods of producing it by carburizing bars of iron in the cementation process were devised in the 17th century. During the Industrial Revolution, new methods of producing bar iron by substituting coke for charcoal were devised and these were later applied to produce steel, creating a new era of greatly increased use of iron and steel that some contemporaries described as a new Iron Age. In the late 1850s, Henry Bessemer invented a new steelmaking process, that involved blowing air through molten pig iron to burn off carbon, and so to produce mild steel. This and other 19th-century and later steel making processes have displaced wrought iron. Today, wrought iron is no longer produced on a commercial scale, having been displaced by the functionally equivalent mild or low carbon steel. The largest and most modern underground iron ore mine in the world is located in Kiruna, Norrbotten County, Lapland. The mine which is owned by Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB, a large Swedish mining company, has an annual production capacity of over 26 million tonnes of iron ore.

  • Steel mill

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    Integrated steel mill in the Netherlands. The two large towers are blast furnaces. A steel mill or steelworks is an industrial plant for the manufacture of steel. It may be an integrated steel works carrying out all steps of steelmaking from smelting iron ore to rolled product, but may also describe plants where steel semi-finished casting products (blooms, ingots, slabs, billets) are made, from molten pig iron or from scrap.

  • Ferroalloy

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    Ferroalloy refers to various alloys of iron with a high proportion of one or more other elements such as manganese (Mn), aluminium (Al), or silicon (Si). They are used in the production of steels and alloys. The alloys impart distinctive qualities to steel and cast iron or serve important functions during production and are, therefore, closely associated with the iron and steel industry, the leading consumer of ferroalloys. The leading ferroalloy-producing countries in 2008 were Ukraine, China, South Africa and Russia, which accounted for 77% of the world production. World production of bulk chromium, manganese and silicon ferroalloys was estimated as 29.1 million tonnes (Mt) in 2008, a 3% decrease compared with 2007. The main ferroalloys are: FeAl – ferroaluminum FeB – ferroboron – 12–20% of boron, max. 3% of silicon, max. 2% aluminium, max. 1% of carbon FeCe – ferrocerium FeCr – ferrochromium FeMg – ferromagnesium FeMn – ferromanganese FeMo – ferromolybdenum – min. 60% Mo, max. 1% Si, max. 0.5% Cu FeNb – ferroniobium, also called ferrocolumbium FeNi – ferronickel (and nickel pig iron) FeP – FeSi – ferrosilicon – 15–90% Si FeSiMg – ferrosilicon magnesium (with Mg 4 to 25%), also called nodulizer FeTi – ferrotitanium – 10..30–65..75% Ti, max. 5–6.5% Al, max. 1–4% Si FeU – ferrouranium FeV – ferrovanadium FeW – ferrotungsten SiMn - Silicomanganese

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