Manufacture of Steel by BOS Process

Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Jen Moreau, SmartyPants

Impure iron from the blast furnace and even pure iron have limited uses.

Iron produced in the blast furnace contains carbon impurities which make it brittle and unsuitable for supporting large buildings for example.

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Making Steel

production of steel using oxygen lance

The process for making steel is called the basic oxygen steel-making process or BOS process.

Oxygen gas is blown through the oxygen lance at high pressure, this reacts with impurities such as carbon and sulfur and oxidizes them. These leave as gas (carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide) and pure iron remains.

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Calculated amounts of carbon or other metals are added to make a range of different alloys.

Steel Alloys

An alloy is a mixture of two or more elements (usually metals). They are usually stronger than the elements making them up.

Here are some steel alloys with a brief description and usage:

Steel Description
Carbon Steel The most common type of steel with 0.1 to 1% carbon depending on the strength. An important use of this steel is providing the skeleton of large buildings like bridges, airports, and skyscrapers.
Stainless Steel Contains about 18% chromium (Cr) and small amounts of nickel (Ni). It is used for making cutlery because it is resistant to corrosion. It has also been used in a lot of famous skyscraper exteriors.
Titanium Steel Contains 0.5 - 2% titanium and various amounts of other metals it is very hard and used in aircraft and armour plating.

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Article Info

Categories : Applied

Recent edits by: Jen Moreau, Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

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