Steel production is remarkable because of how much we rely on steel as consumers. With how often we use steel in construction, transportation, and everyday items, you would think that the steelmaking process would be simple. However, because steel doesn’t occur naturally, there is a complex chemical process to create the material. Keep reading to understand more about the steel production process and how you might be able to create your own steel.
Steel Does Not Occur Naturally
Most consumers may not realize it, but steel is not a naturally occurring metal. Instead, steel is a manufactured combination of various metals and natural materials. To create steel, you need iron ore, coke (a unique type of coal), and scrap steel. Some modern steel-making methods use steel scraps to recycle and feed back into the steel-making process. This helps create stronger steels with a strong material makeup. Other processes skip the steel scrap and work mainly with iron ore.
Steps in the Steel Making Process
The steel-making process involves several different avenues for creating materials. Two main processes for making steel are the blast furnace method and the electric furnace method. When using the blast furnace method of creating steel, steelmakers rely on iron ore. Alternatively, the electric furnace method requires scrap ore or sponge ore. When working with the blast furnace, iron ore heats to extremely elevated temperatures to melt and convert it to steel. People use the electric furnace to scrap iron and intermediate sponge iron. They smelt those to eliminate impurities and create steel.
You Can Make Steel on a Smaller Scale
While most of the steel production process takes place in large-scale industrial plants, smaller-scale methods of crafting steel still exist. In fact, many small-business and hobbyist blacksmiths use these techniques to create steel in their own workshops. As long as you can obtain coke coal and your furnace can reach high enough temperatures to melt iron ore, you can craft your own simple steel. This is useful for DIY blacksmiths who want to save money or create their own instruments from scratch. Try collecting scrap iron and smelting your own steel with your home foundry supplies.
After learning everything you need to know about the steel production process, are you inspired to try your hand at steelmaking? If so, you can find all the blacksmithing tools you need for this process here at Cast Master Elite.