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THE BLAST FURNACE - IRON PRODUCTION

V. Ryan 2011

 

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A simplified diagram of a Blast Furnace is drawn below. A typical blast furnace may be up to 32 metres in height and 10 metres in diameter. They have thick steel sides, lined with refractory bricks, to ensure that heat is not lost. Blast furnaces are used continuously and are only shut down when their brick lining needs replacing.
As the mixture of iron ore, coke and limestone heats, the hot waste gases are collected and cleansed. They are then used to help heat the air blast, required if blast furnace is to reach the high temperatures needed to produce molten iron.

 
The stock level is constantly ‘topped up’. Molten iron ore is ‘tapped’ at the bottom of the blast furnace, poured into the iron ladle and removed for use.
 
The slag is removed at the tap hole. Although generally regarded as waste, it is used in road making.
 
 
 
 
 
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