Thin Plate Mill

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.

Wheels Of Steel

The rolling mill in Königswinter, Germany was built in 1957 by the Lemmerz Werke GmbH
producing wide flats for car wheels.
In 1997 Lemmerz merged with the U.S. based Hayes Wheels International company to form Hayes Lemmerz.
In 2010 the rolling mill was outsourced and proceeded under the new name “Warmwalzwerk Königswinter”.
Images here.

Scana Steel

The steel mill in Söderfors, Sweden dates back to an old anchor forge founded in 1667.
In the 19th century the forge was extended by steel making and rolling mills and became part of Söderforsgatan Bruks AB.
In 1907 the plant was sold to Stora Kopparberg Bergslagen.
The Söderfors works merged with Fagersta AB in 1982 and were taken over by the French Eramet Group ten years later.
The eastern part of the site (rolling mill, forge and foundry) were sold subsequently to Scana Steel and the Akers group.
Scana Steel today runs a medium section rolling mill, a hammer forge and a 1000 ton forging press in Söderfors.
Images now at Stahlseite.

Fagersta Stainless

The rolling mill in Fagersta goes back to one of the oldest steel companies in Sweden, Fagersta Bruk which had it’s origins in an iron hammer founded in 1611.
Fagersta Bruk became a limited company in 1873 and developed into one of the largest steel producers in central Sweden.
After merging with the Sandvik steel group in 1978 the iron production in blast furnaces was closed down. In 1982 the steel melt shop No. 1 ceased production too and one year later the former Fagersta group was dismantled and it’s remaining parts were sold to different companies.
After the the melt shop No.2 was closed down in 1985 only the wire mill kept on producing steel in Fagersta. It is specialized in stainless steel wire and owned by Outokumpu and Sandvik Materials.
Images here.

SSAB, Borlänge

Photos of Swedens only wide hot strip mill now on my website.
The steel works in Borlänge, Sweden were built in 1872 by Stora Kopparbergs Bergslags AB and named Domnarvets Jernverk.
A blast furnace was installed in 1878 and in the following years the mill became one of Sweden’s largest steel producers.
In the late 1940ies Professor Bo Kalling developed his rotating KALDO (KAlling-DOmnarvet) converter in Borlänge. The first 30 ton vessel became operable in 1954 capable of converting Sweden’s high phosphorous iron into high quality steel.
Though the process competed against the LD-process from Austria for a while it disappeared later due to it’s high maintenance costs especially for the lining.
The last Kaldo converter at the Domnarvets works was shut down, together with the four remaining blast furnaces, in 1981. Three years before Borlänge had become part of the newly established Svenskt Stål Aktiebolag (SSAB).
In 1989 steel making (now in an electric arc furnace) ended at Domnarvet and only the 1650 mm hot strip mill, installed in 1961 by the Sack company from Düsseldorf, Germany, continued to operate.
It was constantly modernised and obtained a new roughing stand from SMS in 1999.
Borlänge is now part of SSAB’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) division and receives it’s primary material in the form of slabs from SSAB’s integrated works in Lulea and Oxelösund.

Stahl Gerlafingen

The old Von Roll site in Gerlafingen is the only carbon steel producer in Switzerland (the only other steel mill is Swiss Steel, producing speciality steels). Images now at Stahlseite.

The steel mill in Gerlafingen was founded in 1818 by Ludwig von Roll & Cie one of the oldest industrial enterprises in Switzerland. The company changed it’s name in 1823 and was now called Ludwig von Roll’sche Eisenwerke, a name they kept until the early 1960ies.The first Swiss rolling mill was installed in Gerlafingen in 1836 the second followed ten years later. Iron was produced from local ore deposits in a blast furnace in nearby Choindez.
Most raw materials for the rolling mill in Gerlafingen came from abroad though. After this supply become increasingly difficult during the first world war an open hearth melt shop was installed in 1918 and closed down in 1921. Steel was produced from now on in electric arc furnaces only. The top charging system for EAFs, now a worldwide standard, was invented here in the 1920ies.
From 1962 on the company called itself Von Roll AG.
After years of  financial trouble the Von Roll AG sold it’s steel making branch to it’s competitor the Von Moss AG to form the new Swiss Steel company.
Swiss Steel was taken over by Schmolz & Bickenbach from Germany in 2003.
S&B sold the Gerlafingen works to the Italian Beltrame group in 2006 to focus it’s activities on speciality steel making. Stahl Gerlafingen today runs a 70 ton electric arc furnace with a scrap preheating shaft, a continuous caster and two rolling mills (rod and wire). Main products are reinforced and structural steels.

Usine Saint Jacques

Tata Rail

is the last rail mill in France.
The former Usine Saint Jacques in Hayange, France was founded by the De Wendel family in 1892. After the closure of the iron and steel production in 1972 the rail mill was outsourced by USINOR (successor of the De Wendel group) in 1994 now called Sogerail and owned by Unimetal.
In 1999 the mill was sold to the British Steel company from the UK to become part of the new Corus Group the same year.
Since 2007 the rail mill in Hayange is called Tata Steel Rail and part of the Indian Tata group.
Rails up to 108 meters in length can be produced. Billets for the rolling mill come from Tata’s steel plant in Scunthorpe, England.
Further viewing.

Tata Hayange

The Last German Rail

was rolled yesterday at the TSTG rail mill in Duisburg.
The rolling mill exists since 1894 built by the August Thyssen Hütte and sold to the Austrian Voest Alpine group in 2001.
Voest is still producing rails at it’s Donawitz works in Austria.
TSTG’s finishing stands were built in 1924 named “Fertigstrasse 1” back then.
Some images.

Another Survivor

PSW rolling mill

ESW Röhrenwerke in Eschweiler close to Aachen, Germany is the last survivor of the once huge Eschweiler Bergwerksverein (EBV) combine of coal mines and steel plants and it runs the only planetary tube rolling mill in Europe.
Further images.
The tube mill  was founded in 1914 by the Eschweiler- Ratinger Maschinenbauaktiengesellschaft (ERMAG). In 1917 an open hearth shop was added to ensure the steel supply. In 1924 the plant was taken over by the Eschweiler Bergwerksverein (EBV), a mining company mostly owned by ARBED from Luxemburg. Pig iron was now supplied by the nearby EBV blast furnaces (Concordiahütte). In 1957 a new electric arc melt shop was built on ground of the now dismantled blast furnace site. In 1964 a continuous caster was added.
An new innovative planetary tube rolling mill (PSW) gradually replaced the outdated pilger rolling mills in 1976.

In 1984 the site was sold to the Maxhütte steel company from Bavaria.
The EAF melt shop closed in 1986 and one year later the Maxhütte went bancrupt. In order to save the new tube rolling mill the former plant manager, among others, took the mill over in 1987.ESW Röhrenwerke produces seamless steel tubes for the oil and gas industry,  boilers and engineering.