The production of stainless steel in blast furnaces

In the production of stainless steel, several types of metal are liquefied by heating and formed into components by means of different pressing and rolling techniques. The proportion of the individual alloying partners determines the properties of the stainless steel with respect to the corrosion behavior and the resilience or stability.

Eight base metals in the alloys

During production, most metals use eight metals in varying proportions. The two most important metals involved with the highest proportions are chromium and nickel, which is why stainless steel is also called chromium nickel steel.

The most common alloying partners thereafter are molybdenum and vanadium. In addition, cobalt, niobium, titanium and tungsten are used. For special tasks and the creation of special properties, other alloying partners are also used.

Temperatures and processing steps

Aluminum is added to support the magnetization of stainless steel, while copper prevents magnetization. For corrosion protection, stainless steel is galvanized or anodized by adding oxidation-friendly elements.

The melting point of stainless steel depends on the alloying partners involved. The common processing temperatures in the blast furnace are between 1250 and 1600 degrees Celsius. Other manufacturing processes produce temperatures up to 3500 degrees Celsius. Depending on the type of stainless steel, intermediate work steps are carried out on the way of cooling. Typical examples are blacking, dyeing and brushing.

Casting and rolling

Final steps in stainless steel processing include controlled oxidation oxidation during anodizing. In addition to the right mix of alloy components, temperature management is crucial to the result in stainless steel production.

Casting in molds and rolling to plates and plates must be done at the most precise temperature. The "steel soup" must not be too thin and, despite its tough flow behavior, guarantee a 100% reliable distribution in the mechanical device. There are about 2500 different types of steel, of which nearly one hundred are called stainless steels.

Tips & Tricks

If you are interested in the practical conception of the production of stainless steel, the Deutsches Museum in Munich offers a permanent exhibition. In Dortmund, the Magnetmuseum and the Hoesch Museum offer interesting insights, in Essen the Ruhr Museum and in Oberhausen the Rheinische Industriemuseum.

Video Board: STEEL: From Start to Finish