5/72 Armco Steel Corp., Houston Plant.

In 1965 there were 237 blast furnaces at 72 locations in the U.S. . This series will briefly introduce all of them.
Armco steel houston
Although Texas was mainly known for its cattle empires and petrochemical industry it was also home to one of the most unusual iron and steel works in the US; The Armco Steel plant in Houston.
It was built in 1942 by the US government as part of the National Defense Program to decentralize the steel industry and take advantage of the overseas port of Houston.
In 1946, the plant was acquired by Sheffield Steel of Texas and joined Armco in 1949.
It was the first blast furnace site in Texas and processed ores from Mexico, Texas and later from Brazil.
In 1965, a coking plant with 62 ovens, one blast furnace and a steel mill with 8 open hearth and two electric arc furnaces were in operation on the banks of the Houston Shipping Canal. Bar, rod and plate were produced in various rolling mills.
In 1970 Armco shut down the open hearth furnaces.The Sheffield works now became probably the only integrated steelworks in the western world where pig iron was processed exclusively in electric arc furnaces (117 t and 175 t).
In 1972, Armco commissioned one of the world’s first direct reduction units (DRI) in Houston. Cheap Texan natural gas was used here for the reduction of iron pellets.
In 1983, the Houston facility was shut down.

Armco blast furnace, Houston, 1965.
Blast furnace 1: Hearth diameter 26’6” (8,07 m)

4/72 Armco Steel Corp., Middletown Plant.

In 1965 there were 237 blast furnaces at 72 locations in the U.S. . This series will briefly introduce all of them.

Armco steel blast furnace

Blast furnace 3

The American Rolling Mill Company (Armco) had it’s main plant in Middletown, Ohio.
Although the plant was built in 1900, a blast furnace was not built there until 1953. Until then, the pig iron was supplied by the nearby Hamilton ironworks.
In 1965 Armco-Middletown operated a 76-oven coke plant built by Wilputte, 1 blast furnace, and 13 open hearth furnaces.
Most steel was finished in Armco’s 80” wide hot strip mill.

Armco blast furnaces, Hamilton, 1965.
Blast furnace 3: Hearth diameter 28’0” (8,53 m)

In Google Maps

2/72 Armco Steel Corp., Ashland Works.

BF Bellefonte, Amanda

In 1965 there were 237 blast furnaces at 72 locations in the U.S. . This series will briefly introduce all of them.
The American Rolling Mill Company was founded in 1899 in Middletown, OH and started up its plant in Ashland, Ky in 1910.
Two blast furnaces were in operation there in 1965.
The Bellefonte furnace built in 1942 and Amanda that replaced the older Norton furnace in 1963.

Ashland had a 10 furnace open hearth melt shop that was replaced by a BOF shop in the late 1960ies plus strip and plate rolling mills.
Bellefonte blast furnace was idled in 1996 including most other facilities. Amanda was closed down in 2015.

Armco blast furnaces, Ashland, 1965.
Blast furnace Bellefonte: Hearth diameter 28’9” (8,76 m)
Blast furnace Amanda: Hearth diameter 30’6” (9,20 m)

In Google Maps.