Steel is made when iron undergoes a process to remove impurities including carbon. Ferrous materials (materials that have iron in them) are incredibly strong and versatile; they hold up skyscrapers and bridges. But iron contains carbon, which is vulnerable to rust, so the process to remove carbon and other impurities and transform ferrous materials into steel is one that our society depends on.
Non-ferrous metals are metals that don’t contain iron, so they are typically less magnetic and more flexible.
All steel is made from iron in one of two different processes: the open-hearth furnace or the Bessemer process. If you want to know how steel is ‘cooked’, you’ve come to the right place. Regardless of which oven you use, each process involves the same six basic steps (but do not try this at home, folks).
Six steps for strong steel
Step 1 – Take a tonne of iron
For this part of the recipe, you’ll need iron ore, coke and lime. These raw materials are melted in a blast furnace and make molten iron (hot metal).
Step 2 – Add a pinch of recycled scrap steel
Primary steelmaking depends on which process you’re using. Further reduction of carbon occurs here either by adding scrap steel to the molten iron in a converter or by feeding it through high power electric arcs, with temperatures reaching 1650˚C. This melts the metal and converts it to a higher quality steel.
Step 3 – Stir
At this stage, the molten steel needs to undergo further treatment. This process is achieved by adding or removing elements, or manipulating environmental controls such as temperature and is called secondary steelmaking.
Step 4 – Allow to set
Continuous casting is the name of this process. The molten steel is set aside to cool, and a thin shell solidifies around it in a casing. This steel shell is removed and the strand is cut into desired serving sizes, such as slabs for flat products, blooms for beams, and billets for wires.
Step 5 – Plate up
The cast steel is formed into various shapes by hot rolling, eliminating defects and creating the demanded products. This process is called primary forming.
Step 6 – Serve
Steel manufacturing, fabrication, and finishing are the secondary forming techniques that give steel its final shape and properties.
Recipe option: give up and order in
If you’ve had any trouble following this recipe, we don’t blame you. Luckily, ShapeCUT is an expert at steel making. We’ve been delivering quality profile cutting to metal fabricators and manufacturers servicing the transport, mining and construction industries for over 20 years.
Today, we are Queensland’s largest privately owned metal processing firm. We operate 10 modern machines and have a large stock of steel plates. Our custom-built job processing system is backed by a dedicated and experienced team.
From intricate unique designs right through to heavy bulk orders, ShapeCUT has been offering oxy-fuel, high def plasma and laser cutting for more than two decades. We offer additional services like drilling, bevelling, bending and more. Our capacity enables us to deliver customised solutions and we even offer a same-day service.