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Iron and Steel Production


Iron making - iron is reduced from its ores

MECN 4140 - Manufacturing Processes Inter American University of Puerto Rico Prof. Eduardo Cabrera Ruiz
Based on 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. M P Groover, Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing 3/e

Steel making iron is then refined to obtain desired purity

and composition (alloying)

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Iron Ores Required in Iron-making

The principal ore used in the production of iron and steel is

Iron Ore

hematite (Fe2O3)
Other iron ores include magnetite (Fe3O4), siderite

(FeCO3), and limonite (Fe2O3-xH2O, where x is typically around 1.5) depending on grade (hematite is almost 70% iron)

Iron ores contain from 50% to around 70% iron, Scrap iron and steel are also widely used today as raw



materials in iron- and steel making Limonite

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Other Raw Materials in Iron-making

Coke (C)

Other Raw Materials in Iron-making

Limestone (CaCO3)

Supplies heat for chemical reactions and produces carbon monoxide (CO) to reduce iron ore

Used as a flux to react with and remove impurities in molten iron as slag

Hot gases (CO, H2, CO2, H2O, N2, O2, and fuels)

Mineral Carbon
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Used to burn coke

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Iron-making in a Blast Furnace

Blast furnace - a refractory-lined chamber with a diameter of about 9 to 11 m (30 to 35 ft) at its widest and a height of 40 m (125 ft)
To produce iron, a charge of ore, coke, and limestone are

Blast Furnace

dropped into the top of a blast furnace

Hot gases are forced into the lower part of the chamber at

high rates to accomplish combustion and reduction of the iron

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Chemical Reactions in Iron-Making

Using heated air (O2) with coke:

2C + O2 heat + 2CO
Using hematite as the starting ore:

Fe2O3 + CO 2FeO + CO2

CO2 reacts with coke to form more CO:
Figure 6.5 Cross-section of iron-making blast furnace showing major components
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CO2 + C (coke) 2CO

This accomplishes final reduction of FeO to iron:

FeO + CO Fe + CO2

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Proportions of Raw Materials In Iron-Making

Approximately seven tons of raw materials are required to

Iron from the Blast Furnace

Iron tapped from the blast furnace (called pig iron)

produce one ton of iron: 2.0 tons of iron ore 1.0 ton of coke 0.5 ton of limestone 3.5 tons of gases
A significant proportion of the byproducts are recycled

contains over 4% C, plus other impurities: 0.3-1.3% Si, 0.5-2.0% Mn, 0.1-1.0% P, and 0.02-0.08% S
Further refinement is required for cast iron and steel

A furnace called a cupola is commonly used for converting pig iron into gray cast iron For steel, compositions must be more closely controlled and impurities brought to much lower levels

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Since the mid-1800s, a number of processes have been

Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF)

Accounts for 70% of steel production in U.S Adaptation of the Bessemer converter

developed for refining pig iron into steel

Today, the two most important processes are

Bessemer process used air blown up through the molten pig iron to burn off impurities BOF uses pure oxygen
Typical BOF vessel is 5 m (16 ft) inside diameter and can

Basic oxygen furnace (BOF) Electric furnace

Both are used to produce carbon and alloy steels

process 150 to 200 tons per heat Cycle time (tap-to-tap time) takes 45 min

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Basic Oxygen Furnace

Figure 6.7 Basic oxygen furnace showing BOF vessel during processing of a heat.
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Figure 6.8 BOF sequence : (1) charging of scrap and (2) pig iron, (3) blowing, (4) tapping the molten steel, (5) pouring off the slag.
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Electric Arc Furnace

Accounts for 30% of steel production in U.S. Scrap iron and scrap steel are primary raw materials Capacities commonly range between 25 and 100 tons per

Complete melting requires about 2 hr; tap-to-tap time is 4

Usually associated with production of alloy steels, tool

steels, and stainless steels

Noted for better quality steel but higher cost per ton,

compared to BOF

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Casting Processes in Steel-making

Steels produced by BOF or electric furnace are solidified for

subsequent processing either as cast ingots or by continuous casting Casting of ingots a discrete production process Continuous casting a semi-continuous process

Figure 6.9 Electric arc furnace for steelmaking.

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Casting of Ingots
Steel ingots = discrete castings weighing from less than one ton up to 300 tons (entire heat)
Molds made of high carbon iron, tapered at top or bottom

Ingot Mold

for removal of solid casting

The mold is placed on a platform called a stool

After solidification the mold is lifted, leaving the casting on the stool
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Figure 6.10 A big-end-down ingot mold typical of type used in steelmaking.

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Continuous Casting
Continuous casting is widely applied in aluminum and

copper production, but its most noteworthy application is steel-making

Dramatic productivity increases over ingot casting,

which is a discrete process

For ingot casting, 10-12 hr may be required for casting to

solidify Continuous casting reduces solidification time by an order of magnitude

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Figure 6.11 Continuous casting. Steel is poured into tundish and flows into a water-cooled continuous mold; it solidifies as it travels down in mold. Slab thickness is exaggerated for clarity.
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An alloy of iron containing from 0.02% and 2.11% carbon by weight

Often includes other alloying elements: nickel, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum Steel alloys can be grouped into four categories: 1. Plain carbon steels 2. Low alloy steels 3. Stainless steels 4. Tool steels End Lecture 3 Lecture 4

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Virtual Field Trip Huachipato in Chile

Materia Prima

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Separacin por Densidad


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Separacin por Magnetismo


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End Lecture 3 Lecture 4

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