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steel mill arrangement

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steel mill arrangement
Posted by hootowl on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:33 AM

I want to include the complete Walther steel mill complex on my layout. Never having worked in or near one I am curious as to the proper sequence of the various structures. Is there a specific order that they should be placed relative to one another?

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Posted by HHPATH56 on Wednesday, February 17, 2010 1:25 PM
Note that the Blower Engine House is on the front left.of the first photo. It provides compressed air to the Blast Furnace,(to raise the temperature to the melting point of iron ore). So, it must be close to the Blast Furnace. The slag is directed to the slag ladle cars through troughs on the front side of the blast furnace. The molten slag is poured into a slag pit, where it solidifies and is scraped up and dumped into dump trucks, for processing into ballast, or other materials. The ladles are open topped, therefore, the slag pit cannot be located very far from the Blast Furnace. The molten iron passes down troughs to be emptied into "bottle cars". The bottle cars, then carry the molten iron to the Rolling Mill, where the iron is poured into molds to form (pig iron) ingots, which are then formed into wire, tubing,or sheets, and formed into coils, that are then loaded onto flat cars, to be transported to fabrication plants, which may be far from the Steel Mill complex. The basic ingredients fed to the Blast furnace are iron ore, scrap iron, coke, and limestone, which are sorted and carried up a ramp to dump into a pit, and then carried by the conveyor buckets, (on the far side of the Blast Furnace), to be dumped into the open top of the blast Furnace. The finished products are often stored in warehouses, (awaiting purchase orders). Since the operation of a Blast Furnace is a continuous process, the ingredients must be brought in on a specific time table, by rail, ferry, or ore boat. Note the two Hulett Unloaders, that unload iron ore pellets, from the ore boat docked in the harbor. Piles of iron ore, scrap iron, coke, and limestone are stored near the Blast Furnace. The last photo shows some of the dozen tracks that are associated with the steel mill. Click on any of the photos to enlarge them. Then click on the photo series to the left, to view more of my layout Note that the bottle car and slag car ladles can be made "tipable" by using a razor saw and an axle of some kind. "Silly Putty" capsules fit exactly into the slag car ladle,and are of the right orange color. . This vastly compressed HO Steel Mill complex occupies an area of about 3' x 6' Use the Internet to view past and present steel mills. Peach Creek Shops has great videos of Steel Mills Type in Dean Freytag Bob Hahn
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Posted by hootowl on Friday, February 19, 2010 6:35 PM

 Thanks very much for your reply. The info and photos of your steel mill complex are very helpful.

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Posted by markpierce on Friday, February 19, 2010 7:04 PM

If you're serious, then you should acquire a great book on modeling steel mills.  See:

http://www.alkemscalemodels.com/

 

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Posted by ndbprr on Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:27 AM

 

Location of buildings is a direct functiuon of the topography.  Western Pennsylvania mills are very different from nearly all others due to the amount of level area in a valley and much more tightly located.  I would locate them in the following manner.  Blast furnace near where the raw materials enter the mill.  if by ship near the waterway,  If by rail near the connection.  Then melt shops and ingot preparartion and caster followed by slab and billet storage either outside or covered but definitely open on the sides.  A cold slab or billet process produces a better grained product.  Hot mill or billet mill is next followed by cold mills, temper mills and or merchant mills.  Finally inside storage for protection from the elements for finished product.  In reality an HO steel mill would require more space then a school gymnasium could provide.  Most mills have 3./4 of a mile minimum between the blast furnace and melt shops.  This heps allow natural convection to blow away CO concentrations at the blast furnace.  In my opinion a steel mill is not a good model railroad industry since the only movement is hot metal cars, slag cars, ingot cars and slab flats none of which see interchange service.  Better to put a branch line or several industries that use over the road cars for the shipping and receiving needs.
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Posted by HHPATH56 on Saturday, February 20, 2010 10:36 AM
Thanks for the knowledgeable input of the vastness of real steel mills, and the arrangement of structures. I have had no actual visual or intellectual knowledge of the process. I found it very interesting that the concentration of deadly CO formed by the blast furnace, is "blown away by natural convection". I am one of the fortunate railroad modelers, who are blessed with a 24'x24' around the room layout with large peninsulas. My layout was first built before Walthers reproduced the HO scale Ashland Iron & Steel complex of kits, but fortunately I had built a harbor at the end of my largest peninsula, that accommodates a ferry dock, and dock for a 3' ore boat, space for two Hulett unloaders, and space for the umpteen tracks to service the vastly compressed steel mill complex. My layout already included a limestone quarry and crusher/loader, a Coke and Gas Retort, several mines,(and "scrap iron" junk parts from many kits.). When the Walther's steel mill kits became available, I "reluctantly", did away with, a town, turn table and roundhouse, to make way for the 5'x6' area required by the compressed steel mill basics. Bob Hahn Photo of layout prior to doing away with the turntable and round house. Click on photos to enlarge them. Then, click on photo series to the left, to view other parts of may layout.
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Posted by EM-1 on Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:01 PM

Having grown up and spent most of my life in a steel making town, I see a tremendous amount of interchange capability in a steel plant, not just in-plant movement.  Aside from huge several times per week shipments of coal/coke, raw ore/Taconite, limestone, scrap steel, and other materials used in the manufacture of steel, there are also finished or raw products going out.  In my home town, there is steel coil, pipe, bar, billet, bloom, sheets, and slabs.  When things are going smooth, the plant has also sent out torpedo cars of molten iron/steel.  There is also a traffic in the slag that is a by-product of the process.  Right now, with the blast furnace bank on cold shut-down, the plant recieves several torpedos per week of molten steel.

Then, since there is also constant maintenance and updating, plants frequently recieve shipments of chemicals, machinery, even structural steel for new buildings. replacement components for the mills' machinery.  New and rebuilt machinery and parts are brought in, and worn machinery and parts are shipped out for scrapping or rebuiding.  And don't forget the firebrick that lines the inside of the furnaces and cars.  Even things like trucks for the in-plant cars and even rebuilt engines and traction motors for the on-site railroad that functions in the plant.  And since buildings in a plant complex are huge, and cost a plant a significant amount in property taxes, when a building is being obsoleted, often an immediate priority for the maintenance function is to tear it down to get it off the taxable inventory, thereby generating need to get excess scrap, especially the concrete and non-ferrous materials out of the property.

Operationally, think of the rules governing interchange, such as here in town, rights of the C&O and NS to pick-up/drop-off cars on plant property and the rights of the Lake Terminal to pick-up/drop-off cars in the C&O or NS yards.  Even the timing of this operations to match plant schedules to the supplying railroads.  Especially the co-ordination required with the very limited time available to either recieve or send out torpedo cars of molten steel to or from another plant in the corporate web.  Especially since there might be something like maybe 6 hours at most from the time a hot metal car is loaded till it has to be at the recieving site to dump before the load frezzes and turns the car into so much scrap metal?

And in today's intermodal world, there is a large amount of truck traffic from the mill to localspecialy shops where tube and sheet products are taken by truck to local specialty treatment shops and then their finished product shipped out by truck and train.

We don't have the Hullets any more.  The last one was taken down about 10 years ago since almost all ore boats are now self-unloading, just like we almost never see a tug boat, as just about all Lake Freighters now have bow and stern side thrusters to let them manuever in the  rivers by themselves.  Used to be fun watching the 2 or 3 tugs working a 600 or 700 foot boat around the 5 river bends to get to or from the plant.  Doing maybe 1 - 3 mph. Now, a 900 to 1000 foot boat neatly sails down river about 4 mph right down the center of the channel without a sign of effort.  With tugs, the Bascule and swing bridges smetimes had to be open for as much as ten minutes. Now it's rare to see them open more than 5.

If one has the room, a steel plant complex can be a very large revenue and traffic generator for a pike.

And if you can swing it, the way a night time sky lights up when the furmaces are being teemed or slag dumped, as well as the blue and yellow flares from hot gasses from various stacks on the plant can be very impressive!

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:13 PM

My steel mill is based on the origianl four Walthers steel mill kits. The coke oven was modfied to include additional structures, and it is separated from the rest of the mill.

The remaining three structures are the blast furnace, the electric furnace, and the rolling mill. These are on a penensula. They are arranged so they are switched from the same end of each structure except for the track to the blast furnace dust collector.

The blast furnace is essentially built according to directions.  The electric furnace has a removeable wall to see interior details. The rolling mill was made from two kits end to end. There is a smaller extra building near the blast furnace that was made from scrap pieces. .

The mill employs mostly second hand Baldwin switchers that the steel company bought from SP and GN.

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

EVERYWHERE LOST; WE HUSTLE OUR CABOOSE FOR YOU

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Posted by Blazzin on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:34 AM

  And here's the book on ebay if anyone wishes to buy it.  From Kalmbach !  Its a Buy It Now .. 5 available.

$21.00  O.T.D.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kalmbach-Steel-Mills-KAL12435_W0QQitemZ230454506014QQcmdZViewItemQQptZModel_RR_Trains?hash=item35a828b21e

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Posted by Blazzin on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 12:30 PM

hootowl

I want to include the complete Walther steel mill complex on my layout. Never having worked in or near one I am curious as to the proper sequence of the various structures. Is there a specific order that they should be placed relative to one another?

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  This has been great reading for me .. over and over.  I wish to ask some dumb questions.  But maybe some others out there are wondering also.

  What is the bare minimum you can have for a steel mill.  N scale or HO.  3 Buidlings.. ? 

  And the time period.  An older Steel Mill  Around WW II

  I have some ideas.. and left-over  buildings.. kit bashes and tin and the sorts.  I certainly don't have the room.

  But are parts like these feasible? And can you make a smaller older steel mill?

  By the way.. I do have written permission to post these pics from franko on ebay.  In which he has written permission for me to post these pics from the makers. If anyone of importance needs to have this letter from franko.. I'd be glad to supply it.

  It is only for the advancement of learning Model Railroading .. and making it fun.  Not to promote any product or seller, but to learn and see what is available.

  So~ most of these pics are of HO.  But to me.. these might have some importance of building an older steel mill and with using 3 buildings and a smaller design for space.

  Ok.. Blast furnace?  This guy franko makes them and sells them on ebay. 

http://shop.ebay.com/franko2828/m.html

 You buy one.. you have to wait for him to make it.  To me.. this is a must.  What do you think?

franko1.jpg picture by Blazzin55

And more pics..

franko33-1.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko35.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko34-1.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko15.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko24.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko26.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko3.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko30.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko31.jpg picture by Blazzin55

BTW these pipes come in N scale or HO.. so I personally can see doing many things with them.

franko33.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko4.jpg picture by Blazzin55

  Once again this stuff comes in Ho or N scale.

franko6.jpg picture by Blazzin55

  I think one could have fun thinking of a smaller older steel mill.

franko8.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko9.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko25.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko11.jpg picture by Blazzin55

franko10.jpg picture by Blazzin55

  Ok.. here's the pic that got me started.

franko1.jpg picture by Blazzin55

  This is the thread that got me going. 

  Now my question is..

  1.  I would like to make a small older steel mill.

  2.  How many buildings.. ?  3 ? the minimum.. taking space into consideration.

  3.  The arrangment of the buildings.. and the types of things you might see.

  4.  Are any of these pics of use?  Can something be kit bashed and have fun.. and have some sort of realistic

 old steel mill?

  I also hate to see a good thread get buried.  Only for the same question to come up 9 months from now. 

  I am also planning on following up on the older buidlings I am planning on using.. with hopes of trying to make a smaller older version of a steel mill.

  Any help would be of great help.. and fun reading.  To me~ in my .. 'one man's opinion'.. steel mills are a very important part of a train layout... and in terms of making a working layout.. I can't think of anything else.. well you get the picture. Hope you all enjoyed the pics I gathered it took time.. and even the time to get permission.

 

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 2:54 PM

Search for steel mills on the HABS-HAER site, they have lots of pix plus plans and diagrams.

The Hagley museum site has some aerial photos of steel mills: digital.hagley.org.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 7:57 PM

HHPATH56
Note that the Blower Engine House is on the front left.of the first photo. It provides compressed air to the Blast Furnace,(to raise the temperature to the melting point of iron ore). So, it must be close to the Blast Furnace. The slag is directed to the slag ladle cars through troughs on the front side of the blast furnace. The molten slag is poured into a slag pit, where it solidifies and is scraped up and dumped into dump trucks, for processing into ballast, or other materials. The ladles are open topped, therefore, the slag pit cannot be located very far from the Blast Furnace. The molten iron passes down troughs to be emptied into "bottle cars". The bottle cars, then carry the molten iron to the Rolling Mill, where the iron is poured into molds to form (pig iron) ingots, which are then formed into wire, tubing,or sheets, and formed into coils, that are then loaded onto flat cars, to be transported to fabrication plants, which may be far from the Steel Mill complex. The basic ingredients fed to the Blast furnace are iron ore, scrap iron, coke, and limestone, which are sorted and carried up a ramp to dump into a pit, and then carried by the conveyor buckets, (on the far side of the Blast Furnace), to be dumped into the open top of the blast Furnace. The finished products are often stored in warehouses, (awaiting purchase orders). Since the operation of a Blast Furnace is a continuous process, the ingredients must be brought in on a specific time table, by rail, ferry, or ore boat. Note the two Hulett Unloaders, that unload iron ore pellets, from the ore boat docked in the harbor. Piles of iron ore, scrap iron, coke, and limestone are stored near the Blast Furnace. The last photo shows some of the dozen tracks that are associated with the steel mill.  This vastly compressed HO Steel Mill complex occupies an area of about 3' x 6'

 

Some nice-looking modelling there, Bob, but you left out the steel-making part of the operation. Wink

The torpedo cars (bottle cars) take the molten iron to either an open hearth shop or a BOF (Basic Oxygen Furnace) where it's converted to steel.  It may be poured into ingots, but nowadays, it's more commonly taken to a continuous caster, where it's teemed directly into slabs.  Many blast furnaces use runners to direct the molten slag to an adjacent slag pit, obviating the need for slag cars.  However, both the open hearth and BOF processes generate slag, too, so you could still use the slag pots if you wished.  Many plants nowadays use rubber-tired vehicles to move slag, slabs, coils and plate, although the hot metal usually moves by rail.

Wayne

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Posted by ruderunner on Friday, April 9, 2010 6:18 AM
How timely that this thread returns as I'm planning out a steel mill for my own layout. But my question is a bit different. How would one preferr to fit a mill on a layout? Here's what I have to work with: 2'x16' shelf that a single track main line has to traverse on it's way past the mill, I intend to use the entire Ashland steel set for this though the Hullets will be in a different location farther down the mainlne. I'm kicking around 2 locations on my layout with different conditions: Location 1: closer to my industrial district but it would have to be a stub ended mill, i.e. it connects to the main at 1 end due to a drop in mainline elevation at this location while keeping the mill switching on level track. I can run the main in front or behind the mill. The benfits of this location are that it concentrates activity in my industrial area minimizing the number of structures I have to buidto fill in the scenery, and the mill can be a view block for where an interchange track runs through the backdrop into staging. Location 2: Farther down the mainlne from my industrial area, this can be a double ended mill connectin to the main at both ends and all level trackage. Again the main can run in front or behind the mill. Possible benefit is that some of the mill tracks can pass through the backdrop into staging provided the main line runs in front of the mill. Problem for me is I have to scenic a 2x16 area on a 1.5% grade with buildings in order to keep the crowded city look. Either way I'm leaning toward running the main behind the mill to keep the mill turnouts closer to the aisle for ease of switching. I'm leaning towrds location 1 due to the expense of all the extra buildings and it frees up some mainlie length for other scenes on the layout. But I'm not sure how this would effect operations which is what this layout will be built for. What say ye?

Modeling the Cleveland and Pittsburgh during the PennCentral era starting on the Cleveland lakefront and ending in Mingo junction

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Posted by Motley on Friday, April 9, 2010 8:50 AM

Yes excellent thread. I am also planning for the steel mill complex on my layout extension. Soon to be built. I'm not sure of the proper positioning of tracks for switching the steel mill.

I came up with this layout plan for the steel mill (on the peninsula). Right now I plan on getting the Coke Oven Quench Tower and the Rolling Mill, and possibly the Blast Furnace.

Here is my plan, will this work? Is this the appropriate positioning of the tracks and buildings?

 

Thanks for the help!

Michael

Michael


CEO-
Mile-HI-Railroad
Prototype: D&RGW Moffat Line 1989

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Posted by Blazzin on Friday, April 9, 2010 10:05 AM

  How wonderful to wake up,  have some coffee.. and sit down and read about steel mills.  Just wanted to add some morning reading for the others.  Motley I appreciate the reply.. and I don't know if you saw this pic.. but here goes.

http://www.peachcreekshops.com/page.php?UID=2010040710510067.49.118.223&id=newpics

  No, thats not mine.. but its good reading in the mornin.~

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Posted by railandsail on Monday, December 31, 2018 9:05 AM

I know this is an older subject thread, but it is loaded with lots of good info. Hopefully some of you fellows are still around to reply.

So here is a portion of a subject thread I started over on another forum.
https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/33344?page=3#comment-370890

I had originally thought I might place my steel mill blast furnace and whatever associated structures up in that right hand corner of my layout. BUT now I am totally convinced that I will place it down on the left hand corner next to the entrance way door and below the freight yard scene.

Anyone want to make some suggestions about the arrangement of the mill structures, which ones to include/exclude, track plan etc?

I am pretty firmly convinced that the blast furnace needs to be where I've indicated.

 

I really don't know what I will finally do here, but here is my newest idea. I will NOT utilize the electric furnace, but basically stick with the blast furnace and rolling mill, and rearranged thusly.

 

 

Here is how I quickly laid out the track there. (the two big blobs of white are the foot prints of original sized rolling mill and blast furnace offered by Walthers)

My basic condensed version assumes the Rolling Mill assumes two roles,...accepts molten metal from the blast furnace, and turns it into basic shapes it ships out on the other end??

 

NOTE: I think that mirror I show at the end of the blast furnace should make that scene appear much deeper,...and hide the dble mainline behind it.??

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, December 31, 2018 1:46 PM

railandsail
...My basic condensed version assumes the Rolling Mill assumes two roles,...accepts molten metal from the blast furnace, and turns it into basic shapes it ships out on the other end??...

There is some misinformation in some of the earlier replies, and while I won't address it specifically, perhaps I can shed a little more light on the subject.

The hot metal from a blast furnace is iron, not steel.  Over the years, there were several processes to turn iron into steel, but the most common involved either an open hearth furnace or a BOF (Basic Oxygen Furnace), the latter being the most common nowadays.  Basically, it's where additives are added to the molten iron to give it the properties needed for its end-use.
The plant where I worked produced steel in hundreds of different grades, most of them particular to specific customers.  For example, we made steel for wheel rim to suit the differing specifications of Ford, GM, and Chrylser, and wheel spyder (the centre portion of a wheel, and with different specs than the wheel rim) for each, too....and there were several variations for each customer and each type. There were grades for nails, screws, re-bar, tire mesh, toe caps for safety boots, all sorts of grades for the various portions of automobiles, ships, and rail cars, armour plate, etc. etc. 
Once the iron has become steel, it was usually poured into moulds to create ingots, although nowadays, it's more efficient and less labour intensive to deliver it to a continuous caster.

Ingots in our plant ranged in size from about 5 tons to 25 tons, and once poured and sufficiently cooled, needed to be either removed from their mould, or, more commonly, have the mould removed from them.  This process occurred at the stripper building.
The still-hot ingots would be charged into a soaking pit, where they would be re-heated to a proper temperature for rolling - this varied for the type of steel, but was generally around 2350°F.  Many grades required very specific heating practices, too:  heating too quickly could cause the ingots to "wash" (the outer suface melting off the ingot, losing material and often detrimentally affect the steel's properties).

Once the steel was at the right temperature, it would be rolled into billets (the small ingots) or slabs (the larger ones...and in the mill in which I spent most of my working years).  These would be cut to length on a large shear, then stacked and loaded onto rail cars, which delivered them to the next process.
I had a sequence of photos showing the process as it occurred within the slabbing mill, but loaned the photos to someone who "lost" them.  Here's a few, from another session, that I have left  (having a camera within the plant was strictly forbidden, at threat of dismissal)...

This locomotive (the plant had 24 GMD diesel switchers and 5 80 ton GE centre cabs) is pushing a string of ingot buggies into the stripper building, where a 600 ton crane will remove the moulds.  The empty ingot buggies and the "goat" (made from an older ingot buggy, and at one time, with two couplers at one end, to accommodate two different styles of buggies with couplers at different heights) keep the locomotive at a safe distance from the hot ingots...

In the background, to the right, is the BOF (in our plant, the general term for the building, but also the three BOF, usually pronounced "bawf", furnaces within it.
The structure behind the hood of the loco, and extending well beyond, to the right, was #3 Open Hearth.  In it were five open hearth furnaces, four of them with a capacity of about 300 tons each, and a fifth, rated for 500 tons per "heat" (batch of steel).  The BOF furnaces were initially rated for about 100 tons each, but with technological improvement over the years, produced up to 140/150 tons, usually within 45 minutes to one hour.  The open hearths generally produced at a rate of about one hour for each 100 tons of capacity.

Behind the open hearth building and not visible, was # 2 Open Hearth, a smaller and older building with a number of small open hearth furnaces.  These generally produced small batches of specialty grades, but it also closed as new processes emerged.
These were all furnished with hot metal from five blast furnaces.  One was rather small (but much larger than the one represented by Walthers model), and was decommissioned a few years after I started working there, while three had a capacity of about 300 tons each, the fifth and largest, 500 tons.

Here's a locomotive spotting stripped ingots in the USM (Universal Slabbing Mill - where I worked for most of my years there).  This is the soaking pit area, with the sides of the pits visible to the right....

The soaking pit portion alone of this mill was over a quarter mile long, with the rolling, hot scarfing (removal of surface defects), shearing, stamping, and piling areas extending to the right and behind from where the photo was taken.  Part of one of the overhead pit cranes can be seen at the top of the photo - there were three in this mill.

This photo (dark due to the brightness of the slabs) shows a pile of slabs cradled on the C-hooks of one of the two yard cranes. They'll be placed on one of the barely-visible hi-riser cars in the background, then sent to the Conditioning Department for removal of defects befoire going for further processing....

There are more photos and info on the plant to be found HERE.

That pretty-well covers the transition from iron ore to slabs or billets, which then went on to various finishing mills to be made into shapes for producing rod and wire (and nails, screws, and other fasteners), or finishing mills which rolled the slabs into sheet steel (mostly coils for automotive or appliance uses, but also a wide range of other products).  It might also be coated (galvanising or other treatments). 
Other grades were rolled into plates (heavy sheets) suitable for ship-building or military end-uses.
I don't have a photo of a complete blast furnace (some are shown in the link) but here are a few shots of "E" Furnace, the largest of the five:

The double-tracked skip bridge, which delivers the raw materials (ore, coke, and limestone) to the top of the furnace...

...the stoves, which provide hot air for the blast...

...and part of the casthouse...there's part of a torpedo car visble at the bottom of the photo, while behind the piling-wall is the slag pit...

I took the above photo because I was, at the time,  trying to build a model of this furnace...

The Company's Technical Services Building supplied me with a fairly large stack of blueprints for the furnace, mostly general views, but enough to make the project possible.  However, the furnace and casthouse alone occupied an area of almost 9 square feet, while the stockhouse, stoves, gas scrubbers, baghouses, and blower house would need even more room.

While I did make some decent progress, I eventually came to realise that it was of too grand a scope to be practical, and abandonned it.

If you're serious about modelling a steel plant or portion of it, Dean Freytag's book would be a good volume to have.
And, as has been mentioned, there are lots of switching opportunities with a steel plant, including raw material-in (ore, coal, limestone, refractory materials, machinery, moulds and stools, skids for coil shipment in boxcars, etc.), product-out (coils, plates, fasteners, fencing, slag, chemicals from coke oven by-products), plus in plant movements from process to process.  Nowadays, much is moved within the plant using rubber-tired vehicles but stuff coming in or going out is mostly by rail (truck, too, for shorter distances). 
For example, we shipped treated finished cold-rolled coils (to a user unknown to me) in only 50' plugdoor Union Pacific boxcars.  These were on heavy duty wooden skids.

While I mostly worked in only one area of a very large plant, I did have a few stints in other areas, so if you have any questions, I'd be pleased to answer any that I can.

Wayne 

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 10:53 AM

doctorwayne
If you're serious about modelling a steel plant or portion of it, Dean Freytag's book would be a good volume to have.

I assume Doctor Wayne refers to the book Dean Freytag originally authored to be published by Walthers as an accompaniment to their first series of steel mill structure releases, the History, Making and Modeling of Steel.  Last I saw the reprint is still available from the NMRA in a revised edition - highly recommended to those fascinated by steel mills.  I think Walthers sells the NMRA edition as well.

Another Dean Freytag book, less widely known and perhaps a bit misleadingly titled, is his Cyclopedia of Industrial Modeling -- which gets into some specific projects for the steel mill modeler.  You can get it from Plastruct and from Walthers, among other sources.

Not at all a modeling-oriented book and in most repects not a text on steel production, but too little known among steel mill fanatics, is the book of extraordinary interior and exterior photos the great railroad, industrial, and "Americana" photographer David Plowden took of steel mills in operation and abandoned, with photos of the mining and shipping processes that precede the production.  Steel- the Cycle of Industry was published by the Grohmann Museum affiliated with the Milwaukee School of Engineering as the catalog for an exhibition of the photos.  Last I saw there were still copies on the shelf of their bookstore.  

https://www.msoe.edu/grohmann-museum/merchandise/

And lastly, Doctor Wayne's "insider" photos of steel mill operations is a reminder of the wonderful opportunity I had to photograph (with permission) the property of Northwestern Steel and Wire in Sterling Illinois in 1980.  What made it so wonderful?  Due to the quirky and elderly owner of the steel mill, ALL rail operations were conducted by steam locomotives, all of them former Grand Trunk 0-8-0s of USRA heritage.  Every movement was fully whistled.  They had 7 locomotives in working order, and the day my buddy and I visited 4 of them were in steam and hard at work.  Again this was 1980 so you could stand trackside at the BN or C&NW interchanges with the mill and see SD40-2s on freight trains with a working 0-8-0 or two in the background.  

And yeah all the steam was dead and replaced by diesels within days of the old man's passing.  

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 12:13 PM

Thanks for that additional info on the books, Dave...I obviously haven't kept up to date with a few things.

Your experience at Northwestern must have been a great one.  I recall reading of that operation in Trains magazine some years ago.
I wish that I had taken more photos at work, but the risk of losing my job was always in my mind.
A guy who also worked there, but in another department, got a lot of really good photos inside, and, as far as I'm aware, most, if not all of them, were unauthorised. 
I was visiting a good friend in the U.S., who excused himself from our conversation, returning moments later with a 2014 book by Stephen M. Timko, entitled:  Steel Mill Railroad Facilities and Equipment.
"You might recognise some of the stuff in here.", he said, handing me the book.  I thought that he was referring to the fact that I had worked in the steel industry, but upon opening the book, on page three was a photo of one of those orange STELCO locomotives.  And, much to my surprise, the next almost 60 pages were all photos from the same plant. 
I recognised the name of the fellow who had taken the photos (he had created a small museum in the basement of the plant's locomotive shop, showing historical photos and artifacts) and the same items later showed-up at a model railroad club in Hamilton, Ont.
This past November, there was a Hamilton and area layout tour, and another friend and I dropped in to the club, both to see the layout (mostly based on the local TH&B, with a good representation of the steel plant) but also, for me, to have the photographer autograph my copy of the aforementioned book.  (my American friend, as it turned out, knows Stephen Timko, and was able to get a copy of the book for me.)  Unfortunately, the guy wasn't there at that time.  I did contact the Club's representative yesterday, though, and will get in touch with the photographer later today.

In the book, there's one photo at Northwestern showing a working steam loco alongside some ingot buggies, and two photos of an ex-Pennsylvania & Reading 0-4-0 Camelback switching cars at Colorado Fuel & Iron Company.  The book also devotes about 35 pages to scenes at various U.S. steel plants.

Wayne

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 6:54 PM

You can get a very good look at Mr. Plowden's photos included in the "Steel" exhibit here:

https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/nQJCu30a4Ai3Jg

Use the navigation arrows  < and > to scroll through the photos.

Certainly worth a look.

Thank You, Ed

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,023 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 9:40 PM

Thanks for sharing that, Ed.

Wayne

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