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Steel Making

Crucible Steel
Crucible steel is still made by melting material in a clay or...

Ebbw Vale And The Bessemer Process
After his British Association address in August 1856, Besseme...

Rate Of Cooling
At the option of the manufacturer, the above treatment of gea...

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

Optical System And Electrical Circuit Of The Leeds & Northrup Optical Pyrometer
For extremely high temperature, the optical pyrometer is lar...

Case-hardening Treatments For Various Steels
Plain water, salt water and linseed oil are the three most co...

Forging High-speed Steel
Heat very slowly and carefully to from 1,800 to 2,000 deg.F....

Placing The Thermo-couples
The following illustrations from the Taylor Instrument Compan...

A combination of the characteristics of nickel and the charac...

Affinity Of Nickel Steel For Carbon
The carbon- and nickel-steel gears are carburized separately...

Carbon In Tool Steel
Carbon tool steel, or tool steel as it is commonly called, us...

Carburizing Low-carbon Sleeves
Low-carbon sleeves are carburized and pushed on malleable-ir...

Steel Before The 1850's
In spite of a rapid increase in the use of machines and the ...

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

Heavy Forging Practice
In heavy forging practice where the metal is being worked at...

Uses Of The Various Tempers Of Carbon Tool Steel
DIE TEMPER.--No. 3: All kinds of dies for deep stamping, pres...

Effect Of A Small Amount Of Copper In Medium-carbon Steel
This shows the result of tests by C. R. Hayward and A. B. Joh...

Introduction Of Carbon
The matter to which these notes are primarily directed is the...

Highly Stressed Parts
The highly stressed parts on the Liberty engine consisted of ...

Properties Of Steel
Steels are known by certain tests. Early tests were more or l...



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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