“Boël, une Usine dans la Ville” (ISBN 978-2-9602178-0-3) is the name of a new book about the Usines Gustave Boel in La Louviere, Belgium.
The quality is average with some good pictures but few useful informations.
15 Euro for a 250 page book are however a bargain, at least for steel nerds.
With the construction of three new steelworks at the end of the 1950s, the Thomas steel making process (Basic-Bessemer) experienced its technical peak and a final blossoming.
Between May 1958 and August 1959, HADIR in Differdange, Phoenix Rheinrohr in Duisburg and Cockerill-Ougree in Liege commissioned a total of 13 converters with tapping weights between 50 and 70 tons.
All of them had been planned and built by DEMAG in Duisburg.
The Thomas steel plant in Liege-Ougree, with its futuristic façade at that time,
will remain the last new construction of its kind in the western world.
Five 56 t Thomas converters and two 1500 t hot metal mixers were put into operation on 4 August 1959 and were supplemented by a 60 t LD-AC converter in 1962.
In December 1975 the Thomas steel works in Liege were shut down.
5 years later the use of the basic bessemer process in the western hemisphere was finally terminated.
In 1973, after good results with the conversion of the old Thomas (basic Bessemer) plant at Monceau, Forges de Thy-Marcinelle et Monceau ordered a new OBM-steel making shop (Oxygen-Bodenblasen-Maxhütte) from a consortium VÖEST-Alpine–GHH-Sterkrade.The 17500 m² melt shop went into production in April,1976 and included a 2000 t hot metal mixer and three 150 t OBM-converters with 18 tuyeries each.
It was closed down in 2008 and will soon be gone.
In the late 1950ies when advertising became colored, some ads looked a bit over the top like this one of the Laminoirs de Longtain.
The company near La Louviere, Belgium was founded in 1925 and hot rolled steel until 1984. The remaining cold finishing activities were closed down in 2016. The site is now awaiting it’s demolition.
A new map in the collection: Usines Gustave Boel, La Louviere in 1972.
Click on coloured areas for informations.
in La Louviere, Belgium where torn down 15 years ago in between August 2003 and September 2004.
The line of 6 units showed the entire development of blast furnace technology in the 20th century.
Blast furnace 1, Ø 4,5 m, 1913.
Blast furnace 2, Ø 4,5 m, 1913.
Blast furnace 3, Ø 4,5 m, 1930.
Blast furnace 4, Ø 4,5 m, 1939.
Blast furnace 5, Ø 5,5 m, 1958.
Blast furnace 6, Ø 6,5 m, 1972.
“Hot metal is supplied to Chertal from the six blast
furnaces of the Esperance-Longdoz plant at Seraing,
some 14 miles distant on the other side of Liege. In
order to provide transport on the lines of the Belgian
National Railway, it was necessary to design special
torpedo-type ladle cars. These cars can carry 165
tons of hot metal, but because of the heavy weight
of the refractories, the total car weight is about 330
tons. In order not to exceed the maximum permitted
railway load limit, it was necessary that the length
of the ladle cars be 31 meters. However, the mass of
hot metal is concentrated in the central part of the
torpedo ladle with the largest cross-section so as to
minimize the heat loss.” (1/1964, JOURNAL OF METALS)
The cars where manufactured by German DEMAG company.
The rolling mill in Clabecq, Belgium goes back to the old Forges de Clabecq, founded in 1850.
After the closure of it’s blast furnaces and steel production in 2002 the site was taken over by NLMK from Russia in 2006.
The unique thin plate mill includes a quarto roughing stand and four continuous finishing stands and was built in 1971.
Photos now at my website.