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.

Société Carolorégienne de Laminage

Hot Strip Mill Aperam
CARLAM (Société Carolorégienne de Laminage), the wide hot strip rolling mill in Chatelet, Belgium was built in 1976 on the banks of the Sambre river by the Hainaut-Sambre steel company.
It became the third wide hot strip mill in Belgium (besides Espérance-Longdoz’ Chertal site and Sidmar in Ghent).

The mill was supplied with slabs from Hainaut’s BOF shop (built in 1971) in nearby Montignies.
In 1980 Hainaut-Sambre merged with the Thy-Marcinelle steel company located in another suburb of Charleroi to become the largest steel producer in the Sambre valley.
Only one year later Hainaut-Sambre joined the Cockerill company from Liege, Belgium to form Cockerill-Sambre.
In 1982 a second walking beam furnace and a sixth finishing stand was installed at Carlam.
The blast furnaces and the BOF steel making in Montignies were closed in 1985. Slabs were provided by Cockerill Sambe’s OBM steel plant in Marcinelle (built in 1976) from now on.
A seventh finishing stand was commissioned at Carlam in 1989.
Cockerill-Sambre became part of Arcelor in 2002.
After the integrated steel production at Marcinelle was sold to the DUFERCO steel group in 2004 (now called CARSID) a new stainless steel melt shop was built in 2004 in Chatelet next to the Carlam rolling mill.
Carlam was renamed Carinox and became part of Arcelor’s stainless steel branch Ugine & ALZ.
The stainless branch of ArcelorMittal (who merged in 2007) was spinned off under the new name Aperam in 2010.
The newly installed 160 tons electric arc furnace is one of the largest in Europe. It supplies raw steel to a 180 ton AOD converter for the transformation to stainless steel.
The steel is then casted into slabs weighing 30 tons each.
The wide hot strip mill processes slabs both from Chatelet and the second Aperam melt shop in Genk, Belgium.
More images at Stahlseite.

The First Mini Mill

Badische Stahlwerke Electric Arc furnace

in Germany was  Badische Stahlwerke in Kehl  founded in 1968 by  industrial pioneer Willy Korf. The mill was built next to Korf’s already existing bar rolling mill on the banks of the river Rhein.
Only one year later Korf founded another steel mill in Hamburg (Hamburger Stahlwerke) and the first U.S. Mini Mill in Georgetown, S.C.

Willy Korf died in an airplane crash in 1980 and soon after his first mill went bancrupt. The Seizinger und Weizmann families took over in 1984 and made the mill into one of the most efficient steel mills worldwide.
With it’s yearly output of more than 2 mio. tons of steel it is hardly a mini mill anymore.
Today BSW runs two 100 ton electric arc furnaces, two continuous casters and a bar- and wire rolling mill.

More images at Stahlseite.

Huta Krolewska

Blooming Mill

The Huta Kroleweska in Chorzow, Poland was founded in 1797 and started the production of pig iron in 1802. It was named “Königshütte” in honour of the Prussian King.
In 1843 a puddling steel mill and the first rail mill went into production.
Until 1860 four blast furnaces and a coke plant were built.
In 1872 the German painter Adolph Menzel visited the works to create his famous painting “Eisenwalzwerk (moderne Cyclopen)”

adolph menzel eisenwalzwerk

An open hearth melt shop was installed in 1880 and a Bessemer plant was added in 1895. By 1909 the Puddling and Bessemer mills were closed and in 1912 a Thomas converter melt shop was comissioned.
Under Polish administration the plant was renamed “Huta Pilsudski” in 1935. During the German occupation the mill was called Königshütte again and after the war the name of “Huta Kosciuszko” was used.
In 1949 the DEMAG medium and light sections rolling mill was installed.
In the 1950ies new blast furnaces and coke oven batteries were built.
More than 8000 people were employed.
Steel production ceased in 1978, the coke plant was closed in 1982 and the last blast furnace was blown out in 1991. In 1992 the wire rolling mill was closed down.
In 1994 a new walking beam furnace was installed for the heavy sections rolling mill.
In 1997 the light and medium sections mill was modernized.
The Huta Kosciuszko became a shareholders company in 1998.
In 2007 the ArcelorMittal steel company takes over the mill under the name “Huta Krolewska” (Germ., Königshütte).
Huta Krolewska today runs a heavy sections rolling mill mostly for rails and a light and medium sections mill.
Raw materials are provided by the Huta Katowice in Dabrowa Gornica.
Further images at stahlseite.de.
Video done by a french film maker in the 1980ies.