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Steel Making

Fatigue Tests
It has been known for fifty years that a beam or rod would fa...

For Milling Cutters And Formed Tools
FORGING.--Forge as before.--ANNEALING.--Place the steel in a ...

Hardening Carbon Steel For Tools
For years the toolmaker had full sway in regard to make of st...

Armor plate makers sometimes use the copper ball or Siemens' ...

Hardening Operation
Hardening a gear is accomplished as follows: The gear is tak...

Critical Points
One of the most important means of investigating the properti...

Leeds And Northrup Optical Pyrometer
The principles of this very popular method of measuring tempe...

Manganese adds considerably to the tensile strength of steel,...

Temperature Recording And Regulation
Each furnace is equipped with pyrometers, but the reading an...

There is no mystery or secret about the proper annealing of d...

Lathe And Planer Tools
TO FORGE.--Gently warm the steel to remove any chill is parti...

Carburizing Material
The simplest carburizing substance is charcoal. It is also th...

Effects Of Proper Annealing
Proper annealing of low-carbon steels causes a complete solu...

Detrimental Elements
Sulphur and phosphorus are two elements known to be detrimen...

The Theory Of Tempering
Steel that has been hardened is generally harder and more br...

Air-hardening Steels
These steels are recommended for boring, turning and planing...

Martien was probably never a serious contender for the honor ...

Judging The Heat Of Steel
While the use of a pyrometer is of course the only way to hav...

The Quenching Tank
The quenching tank is an important feature of apparatus in c...

Hints For Tool Steel Users
Do not hesitate to ask for information from the maker as to t...



SILICON is a very widespread element (symbol Si), being an essential
constituent of nearly all the rocks of the earth. It is similar to
carbon in many of its chemical properties; for instance it burns
very readily in oxygen, and consequently native silicon is unknown--it
is always found in combination with one or more other elements.
When it bums, each atom of silicon unites with two atoms of oxygen
to form a compound known to chemists as silica (SiO2), and to the
small boy as sand and agate.

Iron ore (an oxide of iron) contains more or less sand and dirt
mixed in it when it is mined, and not only the iron oxide but also
some of the silicon oxide is robbed of its oxygen by the smelting
process. Pig iron--the product of the blast furnace--therefore
contains from 1 to 3 per cent of silicon, and some silicon remains
in the metal after it has been purified and converted into steel.

However, silicon, as noted above, burns very readily in oxygen,
and this property is of good use in steel making. At the end of
the steel-making process the metal contains more or less oxygen,
which must be removed. This is sometimes done (especially in the
so-called acid process) by adding a small amount of silicon to
the hot metal just before it leaves the furnace, and stirring it
in. It thereupon abstracts oxygen from the metal wherever it finds
it, changing to silica (SiO2) which rises and floats on the surface
of the cleaned metal. Most of the silicon remaining in the metal
is an excess over that which is required to remove the dangerous
oxygen, and the final analysis of many steels show enough silicon
(from 0.20 to 0.40) to make sure that this step in the manufacture
has been properly done.

Next: Manganese

Previous: Phosphorus

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