please need help on steel mill!!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bigsteel, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    I am building a 1960s era layout 10.5' - 10.5' but i have know idea how to set up my steel mill :curse: .I wanted to be able to have the entire facilitiy from coal and ore going in to steel coils coming out. but i havent a clue to how a real mill is set if anybody could make a design have a steel mill or know a link it would be very much appreciated.

    P.S i tried all over the internet and i couldnt find anything so any help is a big help.

    P.S.S this is the greatest hobby in the world!!!!!!!!!!MRR:wave:
  2. slagpot

    slagpot Member

    Hello Bigsteel,

    As a modeler of these mighty steel mills, let me enlighten you to a few books. Dean Freytag ....{making and modeling steel}, the hard part is finding it and be ready to shell out big bucks for it. Then again I have this book in my collection,let me go through it and see if I can find a couple of mill layouts.

    60's huh....hmmmm ,in HO you say even better. Do you have any of the Walthers kits ?Below is a link to Peach creek shops,they have tons of steel related model kits.

    Then theres the Yahoo steel group that I and others on this forum belong to,linked below.

    On Yahoo steel group you'll find hundreds of folks ,who live ,work and breath steel mills.

    Any help I can be,feel free to e-mail me off list.

    I custom build steel mill vehicles such as Kress carrier for the mill along with other HO vehicles,should you need one.

    Dragon River Steel Corp {DRSC}
    Modeling an HO scale steel mill complex
  3. slagpot

    slagpot Member

    Hello again Bigsteel,

    Just thought I'd post a few pictures of some of the model work I do {purely for bragging rights...LOL }.

    The first pic is of a E-crane,commonly found working in modern mills world wide....HO scale.


    The next one is of a Kress hot metal ladle carrier,scratch / kit-bashed from a HO norscot 627G scraper . The hot metal torpedo car in the back ground is a trix model.


    The next model is a Kress scrap box carrier,based on a 1970's design.The picture below this one is of an old AHM six axle heavy duty flat with a scratch build ladle load.



    And the last two are of scratch built river tugs for the wharf.



    Thats it for now....let me go through Deans book and if I can I'll take a pictures of the layouts and e-mail them to you,via the net.

    Regards to yaz.

    Dragon River Steel Corp {DRSC}
  4. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    thanks i appreciate the help slag pot i needed all the help i can get;) this is my first steel mill and had know idea how one was organized and my local library was no help what so ever thanks.
  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    oh and i almost forgot your question. i looked at the walthers kits but since i didnt know anything about steel mills i did not know what to buy or how to arrange them in a prototypical manner. I also wanted it to be as real as possible with all the correct facilities so any prototype diagrams or ho scale diagrams is great. tks.:wave:
  6. slagpot

    slagpot Member

    I'll go through Deans book and take a picture of the mill layouts for yaz.The pictures are going to be crappy,but its the best I can do for now.I'll e-mail them to you.

  7. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    This is an image of stelco (big warf) and dofasco (small one) in hamilton ontario.
    Steel mill <-------- Link to picture
  8. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    Satellite view of Co-Steel in Perth Amboy NJ 08861

    Bigsteel - I hope that I can help in your quest. I grew up in the City of Perth Amboy NJ and in the 1970's a little Canadian Company called Co-Steel moved in. The utilized 3 - 26,000 volt electrodes to literally disintegrate scrap metal by creating a short circuit in their melting pot. I know this place fondly because i had the great fortune of working as a plant electrician in this Hell Hole...This Company turned scrap metal into steel coils. Unfortunately the economic structure of the US cannot allow Co-Steel to remain in Perth Amboy. they are moving their entire operation to Brazil, Thusly destroying 400 specialized jobs. Its a wonder that it would be cheaper to ship Steel to the US rather than making it here, imagine that profit margin.
    I tried to copy a map quest link to this area, but due to my illiteracy, i was unable to. If you goto Mapquest, type in INTERSECTION - Market & Elm with a ZIP code of 08861, you will see a large empty space between the streets of Grant and Elm. Drag the cursor over this area. Now press aerial view of area. Co-Steel will appear. it occupies about 6 city blocks. If you magnify this area, you will have an idea of the size of this operation and the rail operations involved as well.
    I hope that gives you an idea of what to model..

    The building on the top is the furnace - the scrap is brought in here and is melted. The long stretch of building is where the wire is actually formed and rolled. The building off to the right is the bag house, this was just installed in 1990 to conform to all the EPA regulations regarding the smoke and ash output from the plant, in essence all it is, a extremely large vacuum cleaner that scrubs and cleans the smoke / air...

    If anyone has any further questions regarding this operation / photo, Ill try to help out..

    Hope this helped ya..:wave:
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you're planning on doing a complete integrated steel works, the first thing you'll need is lots of space.:D The steel plant where I worked was the largest in Canada and covered hundreds of acres, but it was fairly small by world standards. Based on what I recall when I started in the mid-sixties, the major raw materials came in by lake boat: coal, iron ore or pellets, and limestone. Some plants bring in raw materials by rail or in combination with rail and water. Some plants bring in coke from another site, too, so coal is not required. If you want to bring in coal, you'll need to have a coke oven battery, to convert the coal to coke. If you have coke ovens, then you should also have a by-products plant, which recovers useable by-products from the coke-making process. To make iron, you'll need a blast furnace: the Walthers model is a fairly small example, by the way. When you've made the iron, you'll need slag pots, or thimble cars, to take the slag to the slag dump, where it's processed for sale to other companies that use it to make building materials. To transport the molten iron, you'll require torpedo, or bottle cars, which will take the iron to either an open hearth, or, at our plant in the late '60's, a basic oxygen furnace, or BOF. We ran both, 5 or 6 small open hearth furnaces (under 80 tons capacity each) five large open hearth furnaces (300 to 500 tons each), and three BOF vessels, at that time about 120 tons each. All of these furnaces were in large metal buildings, so they'd be good candidates as background structures on a model. There was also a lot of pollution control equipment around these structures, like precipitators, dust collectors, baghouses, etc. Don't forget to include the stoves, used to heat the "blast" gas for the furnaces.
    Once the iron was turned into steel in either the BOF or blast furnace, it was poured into moulds that stood on either four- or eight-wheeled ingot buggies. Ingots varied in weight from about 5 tons, all the way up to about 26 tons. The mould generally weighed about the same as the ingot inside it. After a suitable cooling time (usually 2 to 4 hours), the buggies were taken to the stripper building, where a large overhead crane "stripped" the moulds from the ingots. These cranes were also in buildings, but the ends and lower wall areas were open.
    The stripped ingots, hopefully still red hot, were next taken to a primary rolling mill. This is the area in which I worked. The building was mostly closed in, and was over 1/4 mile long, as were most of the finishing mills farther downstream. The ingots were placed, by overhead cranes, in soaking pits (basically large chambers lined with refractory brick and a removable lid), where they were reheated to a suitable rolling temperature, usually around 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. After "soaking" at the proper temperature for a specified amount of time, the ingots were removed from the pit and rolled into slabs, which would be cut to size on an hydraulic shear, then stacked and shipped out to the strip mill.
    At the strip mill, the slabs were charged, by crane, into a reheat furnace, where they were once again brought up to rolling temperature, then, in successive stages, rolled into coils.
    Coils could be shipped out after this step (the coils were allowed to cool first, as they were usually shipped in gondolas with wooden floors), but many went to another mill where they were tin plated or galvanized. At that time, these coils were usually smaller, and were shipped in boxcars.
    Our plant also made rod and bar products, a whole other facet of steel making, requiring more large buildings for all the individual processes. Because the plant was built over a period of about 60 or 70 years, there was some disorder in the arrangement of buildings that, ideally, would have been situated in a more logical layout. Supporting all of this was a vast track system, and a fleet of over two dozen locos. I have a very large aerial photo of the plant, and it's easy to see why it was so easy to get lost in amongst the different mills.
    Your best bet to model this would be to study the various procedures and the equipment associated with them, then pick the parts that most interest you to model, and do the rest as flats or backdrop.
    By the way, a decent-size blast furnace, with its ancillary structures (stockhouse, stoves, and gas scrubbers, etc.), in HO scale, will take up about 1/4 of the space that you have for your layout, so selective compression is a must, as is concentrating on only the area that interests you most.
    If you're unable to get a copy of Dean Freytag's book, see if your local library can get you a copy of The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel, put out by United States Steel. My copy, printed in 1964, is the eighth edition. They may have the book in their reference section, where you can view, but not borrow, it. This is a large book, over 1300 pages, and while I found the section on metallurgical theory very boring, there are good explanations of most processes of that time, and quite a few good black and white pictures.

  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Thanks, Ron, I never thought of that. That picture is obviousy a recent view, as four of the five blast furnaces are gone, along with all of the open hearths, the USM, where I worked, and most of the in-plant trackage. The steel goes directly from the BOF to the caster, where it's poured into one continuous slab, torch cut to length at the exit end. Transportation is mostly by Kress carrier, similar to those modelled by Patrick.

  11. Illus

    Illus Member

    I worked at Rouge Steel in Dearborn, Mi. and there we had 3 different buildings just for this process. We had a Slabbing mill, that made the Ingots into slabs. Then on to the Hot Strip Mill where the slabs were re-heated, and ran red hot thru roughing and finish mills, then black banded for shipping, or blue banded for the Cold Rolling Mill, where the coils were pickeled, trimmed, cold rolled, annealed, slit, shipped.
  12. Illus

    Illus Member

    Like doctorwayne said, thats a good view, but the Continuous Caster process wasn't used in the 60's. Ours was built in the 80's. For the 60's, refer to the excellent description he gave you already!
    Like folks already stated, the biggest problem with Steel Mill modeling is space. Most seem to end up with a blast furnace, some sort of slag removal with a pit, and a rolling mill, if space allows, coke ovens. Heck, just the Hi-Line portion of a blast furnace involves a boat slip, bridge cranes and a large stockpile.
    You could go with the Electric Arc style as mentioned, that eliminates the need for a blast furnace, but the Blast is the best part of a mill! (Unless you work there, it's kind of like the mouth of hell in real life...) Plus, our Electric Arc wasn't built until '68, so I'm not sure when it's life began at other mills.
  13. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    Thanks for all the input ill try and find dean freytags book. i was hoping to have a ore ship to biring in ore and a backdrop stock pile which leads to the ore bridge to the blast furnace.the slag cars would dump slag in a small pit next to a mountain of mine.while i think there called torpedo cars carry molten iron it to a ingot mould then to a spur to cool then to a hot strip mill to a rolling mill and out the door to gondolas. i think thats pretty much it if i did something wrong let me know.and any little things that i need to make it look real like crans loaders pics would be really helpful
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Many steel plants in the sixties had this problem. Use it to your advantage by modelling the parts that you're interested in, and don't worry that their juxtaposition seems illogical.

    While my overview was much simplified, it can be reduced even further. To make finished coils to ship out of the steel plant, you need to model the end of a large building, with a door large enough for a loco to go inside to pick up a string of loaded cars. All, or any, of the steps that were needed to turn a bunch of raw materials into those coils can be either modelled, suggested by flats or backdrops, or be considered to occur elsewhere. As Illus notes, the blast furnace is the most interesting part, visually, to the casual observer, so you might want to model that. If you have room for the raw materials handling, model it. My suggestion would be to have it occur out-of scene, as even one bridge crane, for unloading boats, would be about 3' long, and the coal and ore piles are massive. Ditto for the coke ovens, although this would be a very interesting visual effect if you could model an oven being "pushed". I'd also skip the slag dump: it would be very interesting as an animated scene, but modelling the explosions as the molten slag hits cold water, or the ensuing clouds of sulphurous steam are unlikely to endear you to the rest of your family.:rolleyes: By all means, use the slag pot cars, but send them "off-scene". Same for the open hearth: tapping a furnace is pretty spectacular, but not very easy to model, and it also occurs indoors. By all means, have some torpedo cars to carry the molten iron from the the blast furnace to the open hearth building, and provide a door to enable you to spot the cars inside. You'll also need another door for the strings of ingot buggies, or even better, two doors, an "in" door for buggies with empty moulds, and an "out" door for buggies and moulds with freshly teemed ingots. The stripper building would be very interesting to model, if you're ambitious, as most of these buildings were quite open. A large stripper crane was an impressive piece of machinery: ours were "stiff-legged" cranes, cable operated but with the column running in slides, so there was no "swing". A lifting wing on either side grasped the lifting lugs on the mould, while a ram pushed down simultaneously on the top of the ingot. If the ingot had not cooled sufficiently, the ram would puncture the partially solidified shell of the ingot and a geyser of molten steel would erupt from the mould. Our largest stripper crane was rated at 600 tons.
    The next stop is the slabbing mill, another interesting operation, but again, mostly indoors. As the steel progesses through the system, the procedures and the finished products are more and more protected by large metal buildings, and there's very little to see other than a glimpse through an open doorway. You could model part of a coil storage yard, where semi-finished coils are stockpiled on the ground, but these can be quite extensive. I'd suggest that you model part of another large building with a large shipping door: spot a string of empties inside, either gondolas or boxcars, and trade them out for loaded cars between operating sessions.

  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Here's a link to some photos of a stripper building:

    Painting hot steel

    Click on the images for a larger view. (The second set of pictures show the stripping operation.)

    And here's another one for some good views of a modelled coke oven battery:

    Curtis Steel

  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    This is a good candidate for your Trackside Industries forum...!

  17. Illus

    Illus Member

    +1 on that MasonJar. I plan on modeling a fully integrated steel mill, once I have the room for it...

    Here's a link to a pic of the Ford Rouge complex, where I worked at Rouge Steel. (until I bailed to GM)

    Rouge Steel Mill

    On the right side of the boat slip is Blast Furnace, Coke Ovens, and Powerhouse, on the left of the slip is the Basic Oxygen Furnace, and rolling mills. South of the BOF is the Con-Cast, and the old stripper building and Mold building. even more southwest is an Electric Arc furnace.

    When I left there it was the 7th largest Integrated Steel mill in the world, now the Russians own it, it's called Severstal Steel.
  18. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    Hi yall thanks fo all the input. its benn pretty helpful im looking for dean freytags book.I think i have an idea on ho ill set up a plan ill have a small ore dock and crane which leads to the coal limestone and coal dump (after the coal has been turned into coke by a coke oven and quencher, oh and what is a quench car i have never seen one?) where it is a half peice for the back drop and a veiw block fo the slag cars going of the layout.there will be another crane to load the different materials into gondolas for the ore bridge (im not certain but do the tthree cars limestone ore and coke all go on the ore bridge and is mixed when it is dropped on the blast furnace conveyor)which has a cast house to dump molten steel and slag.the torepedo cars go to the BOF for refing (question,how does the molten iron get from the car to a ladle then in the furnace?.)after that it heads to a ingot mould building (question how does the molten iron from the BOF get from it to the other ladel for ingot moulding?) then it goes into a spur to let the ingots cool when it is done cooling it gos to the hot stripper to a soaking mill where it is heated ,pulled out (by crane) to a rolling mill to make slabs then to another soaker to get reheated and rolled into coils then left to cool in ware houses then put in gondolas to be shipped. does this sound like a correct way to do this.some of my other buildings that arent great to model like gas refinery or pollution control buildings will be flats and some of the more refing like galvanizing and tinning.but i wanted to be able to have the bear neccesities to prototypically run the mill i didnt just want a blast furnace and cast house i wnated just enough to make it seem like steel was actually made there So any more input on my idea would be great (i know i missed somethin).:D :thumb: :wave:

    oh and i think i just made a record on not breathing during typing (120 sec):) :D
  19. Illus

    Illus Member

    OK, the main transport is in a Treadwell, orTorpedo car (same thing) The tapping floor of the blast furnace is above the ground, and above the torpedo cars. The molten iron is run in a trough on the floor and out a hole in the floor into the top hole of the torpedo car. The torpedo car is then moved to the BOF. The BOF has a pit in the floor alongside the tracks, with a ladle in it. The torpedo car rotates, and pours the molten iron into the ladle. When it is full, a crane picks the ladle out of the pit (called a Hot Metal Hole) and lifts it up above the vessel, and pours the molten iron into the vessle(the vessle is a huge version of a ladle, that rotates, ours held 600 tons I think). Once the vessel is charged (cold and hot steel mixed) they alloy it, and blow it down (use a huge oxygen lance to stir it). Then the vessel rotates and pours slag off the top of the mix into slag car waiting below. Once the slag is off, they move a Ladle under the vessel and pour the steel into the ladle (this is called teeming). A crane lifts the ladle pours the steel into molds waiting on train cars.
  20. Illus

    Illus Member

    Sorry I can't answer your question about the Blast Furnace charging, I worked in the Mill when the Hi-Line was gone. We had a stockhouse that was basically a big electrically controlled conveyor and shaker system to do all the mixing, and it fed all the way up to the Bell (top mouth of the furnace) Also our Coke Ovens were mothballed (nasty pollutants) they brought in coal and coke in railcars (still do).

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