Buderus Edelstahl Revisited

Additional images now at Stahlseite.
The Wetzlar works were founded by “Röchlingsche Eisen und Stahlwerke” and Buderus in 1920.
A new melt shop was erected in 1939.
In 1965 Buderus took over and in 2005 the Austrian steel company Böhler Uddeholm acquired the mill.
Nowadays Buderus Edelstahl produces about 300000 tons of crude steel in an electric arc furnace. All steel is casted into ingots.
The further production line includes a blooming mill, a hot strip rolling mill, three open die forging presses and a closed die forge.

The Abbey Works

Though largely downsized the Welsh heavy industry is still worth a visit. The old Abbey works in Port Talbot provide the largest BOF vessels I have seen so far and the longest serving hot strip mill in Europe.
Images now on my website.

Three steel mills were built on the shoreline of Port Talbot south of Swansea, Wales over the last 110 years.
The Port Talbot Works (1902-1961)
The Margam Works (1918-1963)
The Abbey Works (1951-Present)
The Port Talbot works were founded in 1902 by the Gilbertson family. The mill produced iron from imported pig iron in three cupola furnaces and ran an open hearth shop with two furnaces.
The mill was shut down due to technical problems in 1903 and reopened in 1906 by the Port Talbot Steel Company Ltd. .
Two rolling mills and a new open hearth shop were built in between 1908 and 1914.
In 1917 the plant became fully integrated with the construction of the new Margam site half a mile southward. Two blast furnaces , a coking plant and a new open hearth shop were built until 1922. In 1930 the mill became part of the GKB (Guest, Keen, Baldwin) Steel company. Main product were plates and rails.
In 1941 a third blast furnaces became operable at the Margam site.
All three blast furnaces were completly rebuilt after WW II.
In the late 1940ies a plan to build a new huge integrated steel plant south of the Margam works the so called Abbey works was implemented.
Centerpiece of the new site was a wide hot strip mill built by United Engineering of Pittsburgh and partly financed by funds from the Marshall plan.
This rolling mill became operational in 1951. A new open hearth shop containing eight 200 ton furnaces started production in 1952. Two new blast furnaces were built on the site in 1956 and 1959 (No. 4 & No. 5).

The Port Talbot works were closed down and dismantled in 1961 and the old Margam site followed in 1963. Only blast furnace No. 3 survived as a standby furnace and was relighted in 1991 for one year and has been dismantled recently.
In 1967 the Steel Company Of Wales became part of the newly founded British Steel Corporation.
In 1969 a new BOF shop providing two 300 ton vessels was installed replacing the old open hearth furnaces.
The hot strip mill was widely overhauled in the late 1980ies (receiving a new roughing stand).
British Steel merged with Koninklijke Hoogovens from the Netherlands to form Corus in 1999. Eigth years later Corus was taken over by the Tata Steel group from India. Blast furnace No. 4 was completly rebuilt in 2012.
Tata Steel Port Talbot today produces hot and cold rolled flat products and supplies slabs to the hot strip mill in Newport, Wales.

Swedish Steel

One of the companies that helped to establish the legendary reputation of Swedish steel was Sandvik Jernwerks in Sandviken.
Images now at Stahlseite.
The plant was established in 1862 by the Swedish steel pioneer Göran Fredrik Göransson.
It was named Högbo Stal & Jernwerks.
Göransson was one of the first to purchase the British Bessemer patent and built a blast furnace and a Bessemer plant in Sandvik in 1863 already.
In 1868 the company was renamed and now called Sandvikens Jernwerks AB.
Rolling mills and forges were added in the following years.
In 1898 an open hearth shop was commissioned.
In 1908 four blast furnaces and six open hearth furnaces were in use.
Steel for rock drills became a major product.
The first electric arc furnace was installed in 1928.
The old Bessemer converters were shut down in 1947.
A new blooming mill was built in 1954 and a large electric arc furnace was taken into operation in 1959. The blast furnace department closed in 1960.
Today Sandvik Materials Technology is a subsidiary of the Sandvik group and produces high alloyed and stainless steel ingots, bars, strip and tubes.

Dörrenberg Edelstahl

A small steel mill with a long history. Dörrenberg Edelstahl in Engelskirchen-Ründeroth, Germany produces ingots, steel castings and investment castings.
Images now on my website.
The steel mill in Engelskirchen-Ründeroth was purchased by the Dörrenberg brothers in 1869 and subsequently became a leading producer of high alloyed tool steels.
A crucible steel making shop, hammer forges and mechanical shops were installed.
In 1916 an open hearth melt shop was commissioned.
The first induction furnaces used for steel production in Germany were built in 1928 in Ründeroth.
The electric arc furnace was commisioned in 1951. All forging activities ended in 1992. Since 1996 Dörrenberg Edelstahl is part of the Gesco-Group.

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.

California Furnaces

Kaiser Steel

The least thing one would expect more than 2000 miles west of the rustbelt and just 50 miles out of Hollywood is a fully integrated steel mill.
But it was there, built in 1942 by Henry J. Kaiser on a former hog farm and ,mostly ,dismantled in the late 1980ies.
In the early 1940ies Kaiser Industries were in search for a steel plate supply for their nearby Richmond shipyards where more than 700 vessels, mostly “Liberty Ships” were built during WWII.
In 1942 ground was broken in Fontana and by 1943 a coking plant, one blast furnace (“Big Bess”) with a capacity of 1200 tons/d and an open hearth shop were under fire.
A 148″ plate mill was added in 1943 and the 86″ hot strip mill started in 1950.

In it’s heyday the mill ran four blast furnaces(hearth diameter 8,7 -8,9 meter) and installed the second BOF steel making shop in the U.S. as early as 1955.
In the 1960ies the location 50 miles away from the coast (imposed by the U.S. Army) at the so called “Inland Empire” became an increasing problem with all raw materials having to be hauled in by rail.
In a last attempt to make the plant competitive a new BOF shop and a continuous caster were built in 1978 to be closed down for good already in October 1983.
Kaiser Steel filed bancruptcy and the plate and hot strip rolling mills were taken over by California Steel Industries in 1984, supplied with slabs from overseas.
The plate mill was sold to the Oregon Steel Company in 1989 and abandoned in 1994.The 86″ hot strip mill is still active.
The remaining iron and steel making facilities were occasionally used by nearby Hollywood studios as a film set (Terminator2) and later dismantled.
The BOF shop was bought by the Capital Iron & Steel Co and shipped to China in 1993.
The ground is now overbuild by a car race track.
Nice historical feature.

Piombino To Close Liquid Phase

Lucchini Piombino
After unsuccessfully trying to sell the former Lucchini steel mill in Piombino, Italy for six month government commissioner Piero Nardi plans to shut down the blast furnace and the steel production for good in September.
The blast furnace with a capacity of 6600 tons/d was built in 1978 (hearth diameter is 10,6 meters) and would have to be relined by now.
The BOF shop contains three 120 ton LBE-CBS(Lance Bubbling Equilibrium – Control Bottom Stirring) type converters.
The remaining rolling mills (rail, bar and wire mill) might be sold individually or to an investor who is willing to invest into a new electric arc melt shop on the Piombino site.
The Piombino mill produces a loss of 10-15 Mio EUR each month.
Further images.

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.

Steel From The Steppe

Ural Steel Blast Furnace

Deep down in southern Russia, close to the Kazakh border,  the Ural Steel mill in Novotroitsk  was founded in 1955 under the name  Orsko-Khalilovsky Iron-and-Steel Works.
In the same year  blast furnace no. 1 went into production.
The first steel was produced at open-hearth furnace no.1 in 1958.
In 1960 the 2800-mm plate rolling mill no.1 was installed.
A section rolling mill was put into operation in 1969.
In 1978 a 800-mm wide strip universal rolling mill was commissioned .
The  EAF Shop was built in 1981.
– The first continuous casting machine was put into operation at the EAF shop.
Today Ural Steel runs a coking plant,four blast furnaces, two electric arc furnaces (100 ton each) and four rolling mills.
Further images at Stahlseite.