A Farewell To Steel Making In Bochum


A history of more than 170 years of steel making ended in Bochum, Germany in late June when the Nirosta stainless steel plant was closed for good.
The original BOF shop was built in 1957 by the Bochumer Verein to be only the second of it’s kind in Germany.
In 1972, after the closure of the blast furnace site both vessels were transformed into AOD converters and an electric arc furnace was installed in the same building to produce stainless steel.
In 1982 a huge new 135 MVA electric arc melt shop was attached and the old EAF was replaced by a ladle furnace.
I payed the site a final visit before the demolition started.

 

82000 KW

TKS Warmbreitband

installed motor capacity makes the ThyssenKrupp hot strip mill in Bochum  the most powerful rolling mill in Germany. Though the mill was already planned in the early 1960ies by the Bochumer Verein steel corporation it wasn’t until 1966, after the takeover by the Fried. Krupp company, that the mill was put into operation.
The mill is capable of rolling even high alloyed speciality steel.
After the closure of the adjacent Nirosta steel mill all primary material now comes from the August Thyssen Hütte in Duisburg.
Images now at stahlseite.

Narrow Strip Mill


After more than 10 years I visited my hometown’s unique narrow strip mill again.
Images now at Stahlseite.
The rolling mill in Hohenlimburg, now part of the city of Hagen/Germany, was founded in 1846 and goes back to the old Böing  forge, a descendant of this family later founded the Boing aircraft company in Seattle, USA.
The mill produced wire and later hot strip.
In 1907 the site was taken over by the Hoesch steel company from Dortmund.
In the 20th century numerous cold rolling , wire drawing and steel spring manufacturers were taken over.
In 1955 the new narrow strip mill started it’s production.The Hohenlimburg site was fusioned with Schwerter Profileisenwalzwerke AG in 1969. This rolling mill was sold to the Italian Calvi group in 2005.
The Hohenlimburg plant is now part of ThyssenKrupp Steel.

Big Cupola V

Walter Hundhausen
The Walter Hundhausen foundry was established in 1914 in Gevelsberg, Germany.
After WWI the company moved 25 km to Schwerte at the eastern edge of the Ruhr area.
In 1928 the production of black heart malleable castings started.
Heavy truck axle components became a main product after WWII.
Walter Hundhausen was taken over by the Hoesch steel company from Dortmund in 1989 and became part of Krupp Hoesch Automotive four years later. 1993 closure of the branch plant in Werdohl.
In 2000 the Walter Hundhausen iron foundry was taken over by the GMH group from Georgsmarienhütte.
A new large 40t/h cupola furnace replaced the old induction furnaces in 2008. The foundry employes more than 600 people.
Further images at Stahlseite.

Kokerei Kaiserstuhl

Kokerei Kaiserstuhl

These days the last remains (coking coal tower, dry quenching facilities) of the coking plant Kaiserstuhl in Dortmund, Germany are knocked down.
The plant was built in 1992 to be the most modern coke making facility in Europe.
It supplied coke to the nearby Hoesch blast furnaces. The plant inluded two coke oven batteries of 60 furnaces each, and both a dry and a wet quenching facility.
When ThyssenKrupp announced the closure of it’s (former Hoesch) blast furnaces Kaiserstuhl was shut down after being in operation for just eigth years .
Ten years ago most of  the mill was dismantled and rebuilt in the Shandong province, China.
This relocation was documented in the exiting movie Losers And Winners.
Further images of this plant at Stahlseite.

Last Open Hearth Built In West Germany ?

Hoesch Siemens-Martin Stahlwerk

In between 1954 and 1962 the Hoesch company in Dortmund, Germany built it’s third open hearth melt shop (SM-Stahlwerk III).
Two 180 ton furnaces were installed by 1956, two DEMAG 210 ton furnaces were added in 1961 and 1962. These might have been the last to be commissioned in West Germany.
Monthly output was less than 100000 tons, not enough to compete with the new BOF shop in Dortmund Hörde built in 1963  producing more than 300000 t/m.
The open hearth shop 3 was closed in 1982.
Some images of it’s remains: Stahlseite.

Hoesch open hearth

 

The Last Furnace In Town

Eisenwerk Geweke Hagen

My hometown Hagen once was one of the major steel producing communities in Germany.
Blast furnaces,open hearth shops and numerous foundries shaped the confined townscape in the narrow valleys of the Volme and Ennepe rivers.
The largest steel mill, the Hasper Hütte owned by the Klöckner company, was closed in 1972 and the huge Wittmann steel foundry next to it just one year later.
The last major steel producer in town, the open hearth shop of Stahlwerke Südwestfalen was shut down in 1976, smaller ones like the Remy speciality steel mill followed in the 1990ies.

Eisenwerk Geweke

The Eisenwerk Geweke was founded in 1910 and is specialized in steel fittings.
A five ton electric arc furnace and a small induction furnace are producing castings up to four tons a piece.
Further viewing at Stahlseite.

Hoesch Westfalenhütte Ca.1973 (In German)

Hoesch Westfalenhütte

1: Hochofen IV. 1972-1999.
2: Hochofen VI. 1965-1976
3: Hochofen VII(alt) 1962-1976
4: Roheisenmischer
5: SM-Stahlwerk 2. 1912-1980
6: SM-Stahlwerk 3. 1956-1982
7: Thomasstahlwerk. 1928-1967
8: Elektrostahlwerk. 1955-1985
9: Blockwalzwerk. 1900-1983
10: Fertigstrasse (Schwere Profile). 1900-1968
11: Walzwerk III (Halbzeug). 1888-1966
12: Walzwerke IV/V. -1966
13: Kontinuierliche Halbzeugstrasse. 1955-1983
14: Walzwerk VIII. (Feinstahl). -1957
15: Feineisenstrasse. 1957-1983
16: Warmbreitbandstrasse. 1958-2001
17: Kaltwalzwerk
18: Drahtverfeinerung
19: Schwellenschweisserei
20: Lehrwerkstatt
21: Feuerfest- Steinfabrik
22: Gaszentrale
23: Sauerstoffanlage
24: Walzendreherei
25: Sinterbänder 1/2
26: Sinterband 3. 1961-
27: Zementfabrik
28: Lok-Werkstatt

Some images at Stahlseite.de .

No More Steel From Bochum ?

AOD Converter

According to a German newspaper the Finnish Outokumpu steel corporation declared yesterday that they will definitely close their stainless steel mill in Bochum, Germany they only just had bought from ThyssenKrupp in 2016.
Main reason are the high  energy  costs in Germany.
The mills includes an electric arc melt shop built in 1982 (the 145 ton UHP furnace is one of the largest in Germany) and the converter mill built by the Bochumer Verein in 1957.
This BOF shop is the oldest existing in Germany. It was converted into an AOD shop in 1972.
After GM recently announced the closure of it’s Bochum car assembly plant for 2016 this is another heavy blow for Bochum’s economy.
Images at stahlseite.de

A BOF Shop For Gelsenkirchen

50 years ago the Rheinstahl AG from Essen, Germany finally cancelled it’s plans to built a BOF shop, a continuous caster and a bar rolling mill at it’s foundry site in Gelsenkirchen.
The Schalker Gruben- und Hüttenverein was founded in 1872 and became Europe’s largest iron foundry after the second world war, employing more than 6000 people. The plans provided an investment of more than 300 Mio.German Marks and an initial capacity of 600.000 tons of steel per year. Though the ground (north of the foundry no.3, next to the Wannerstrasse) was already prepared the whole project was called off due to growing overcapacities on the steel market. So the Schalker Verein stayed an iron foundry with four blast furnaces, a pipe casting mill, two fittings-foundries and a foundry for large castings up to 40 tons a piece

The image shows the melt shop of the pipe casting mill where ductile iron pipes with a diameter up to 1,4 meter were casted. The shop included a 160 ton hot metal mixer and five 13 ton induction furnaces and was built in 1966. The hot metal was provided by the Schalker Verein blast furnaces and later came from Thyssen’s Duisburg Meiderich site (today: Landschaftspark Nord).

Schleudergussmaschine

The foundry was sold to Thyssen in 1973.The last blast furnace was closed in 1982. The three remaining blast furnaces were demolished in-between April and September of 1983.
The last pipe was casted in 2004 (meanwhile the mill was sold to the French Pont a Mousson/Saint Gobain company). Most of  the ground is a redevelopment site by now.
Some historic images at Daniel Hinze’s site.

 

 

 

1: Blast furnace no.1 (Hochofen 1)
2: Blast furnace no.2 (Hochofen 2)
3: Blast furnace no.4 (Hochofen 4)
4: Storage with highline (Möllerbunker)
5: Power station (Kraftzentrale)
6: Sinter plant (Sinteranlage)
7: Pipe foundry (Rohrgiesserei)
8: Fittings foundry no.1 ( Formstückgiesserei 1)
9: Foundry for large castings (Grossgusswerk)