Anyone know anything about iron and steel making?

We are, in theory at least (playing with spreadsheets, that sort of thing), working on a process to make iron from a particular ore.

The ore has a very high (15% or so) alumina content as well as a very high titanium content.

No, we do not want to simply switch to another ore which would be the sensible thing to do. The point is to use this ore, even if it\’s not economic as compared to using other, better ores.

We do understand that this high Al2O3 content means we cannot use a blast furnace. Probably also we cannot use a rotary or DRI furnace either: the Al2O3 will entirely screw up the refractory materials the first time the furnace is charged.

So, I\’ve been directed to something called \”pot\” or \”ladle\” methods of iron making. The thing is, I\’ve no idea what these actually are. Anyone have any idea?

I assume they\’re rather archaic methods, possible high in energy consumption: but I would like to track down what they actually are really.

4 thoughts on “Anyone know anything about iron and steel making?”

  1. Look up puddling, invented in the 1850’s, I think that’s the path you need to be heading down.

    Tim adds: No, that’s a later step. We’re after methods of making pig iron, not methods of refining pig iron. Nearly but not quite…..

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    A ladle is usually used in steel making. You take the molten iron from a blast furnace and put it in a massive big container where it is usually treated to remove impurities. It can then be turned into steel or poured out as pig iron.

    But I don’t see the relevance here. I suppose they might mean you can remove the aluminium in the ladle by adding something. But you would have to melt it first in something. Maybe that’s what they mean by a pot. However ladles are not old fashioned. Their use is one of the recent improvements in steel making.

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