Steel furnace working

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by spitfire, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Blake

    Blake Member

    How can anyone not love molten steel?!
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Val and Blake,
    Those are some great shots!!!! Wait a minute and let me get my asbestos suit!
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    You said it brother!
  4. Blake

    Blake Member

    How about a coal breaker? This one is called old St. Nick. It is in Saint Nicolas PA. and still stands. It was a huge breaker and is in quite bad condition. I've been there twice and you can walk all through it. There is still a load of machinery inside but the stairs are very creeky. Very cool place to be.



  5. This really has been a fascinating thread! Val, your mini-scene looks great - can't wait to see more!

    Blake - fantastic shots of Bethlehem Steel! What a place...

    Jim :cool:
  6. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Fantastic shots in this thread - thanks to all!

    I guess our fascination for molten steel is the feeling to have a man-made volcano at our hands - and be able to tame that lurking monster! :cool:

    So why not model that steel mill of Blake? All you need is a room about 90 meters (300 ft) long for a H0 layout - so what? :D :D :D

  7. Blake

    Blake Member

    Many years ago in Model Railroader magazine, some guy did just that. He modeled a complete steel mill, took up his whole basement. It looked to me that operating the steel mill's railroad was more complicated and more fun than running a regular railroad. It was cool.
  8. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Two things, this link:

    will get you to an interesting modular HO steel mill.

    Also, one of our club members has set up a building that catches "on fire" when the kids push a button. The fire is a group of Christmas tree lights that individually blink, the bulbs each have a thermal link" inside them. There's several colors of bulbs, yellow red orange so the effect varies and is random. I think you can get this thing premade at dollhouse supply stores as a "fireplace" light set. My friend just made his up. Then he added an MTH smoke unit. This little unit puts out a ton of smoke, almost instantaneously, which really cranks up the kids. Don't think the smoke would be appropriate for the furnace, but, you might want to use it for a pre-EPA stack.

    When we were at a show in April of last year, he changed the name of the store to "IRS HEADQUARTERS" and had a bunch of tanker trucks parked around it seeming to pump gasoline onto the flames. Had a bunch of adults pushing the "fire button" at that show.

    Saw a module, at a show that used a "cold smoke" unit for their smoke stacks on a steel mill. The unit is the same as used for a humidifier so it doesn’t smell and you just need to add water.

    Nice work Val.

  9. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Blake, those are great shots. A whole layout devoted to a steel mill would be so amazing. Do you know anything more about it?

    Ted, thanks. I like that model you've linked to. Here's something I sketched up last night. I'm thinking of really going at this interior with a full treatment. The lights would be simple xmas mini lights since I'm rather electrically challenged, the "neon" tubing is made by Miller Engineering ( and comes in white, blue, red and green.

    :D Val

    Attached Files:

  10. Blake

    Blake Member

    That hook looks pretty nasty Val!!:D
  11. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Val, do you want to know more about a steel mill? Then try this link for a basic explanation of 'steel cooking'.
    BTW: Your sketch looks quite promising - a model should display quite a fireworks inside that building... :eek: :D

    And Blake - about this coal breaker: Was this industry building on your pics directly related to a steel mill, or did it simply belong to the coal industry proper? (I've never seen such a huge plant just for breaking up coal into different lump sizes - but then we don't have any coal industry here in Switzerland).

  12. Blake

    Blake Member

    The coal industry could be related to the steel industry, but not necessarily. This one was a common size for these kinds of facilities. At the base there is even a device for flipping coal hoppers upsidedown to empty them. I might start a thread on coal breakers as I have many photos.
  13. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Ron, what a great link! Thank-you so much. I wonder how much of that information would apply to my tractor parts foundry? Would it need to have one of those oxygen furnaces? Would a manufacturer use scrap steel or "pig iron" to mold parts? Or both?

    Hmmmm, seems the more information I get, the more questions I have!

    :D Val
  14. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Val, here are a few mor informations which might interest you.

    Blast furnaces, oxygene lance ovens and electro-steel furnaces are exclusively used in steel mills. (To get steel you have to treat either cast-iron or scrap steel so that its carbon content is in the range of 0.7% to about 2%)
    The products of these plants are either thin steel sheets which are coiled up (you know them from the RR coil cars) - or steel ingots (thick bars), which probably will be processed in a rolling mill. (Rolling mills are the source of - among other things - rails, I-beams etc.)

    IF - and only IF! - sheet metal is needed (say for a cabin or motor hood) in your tractor factory, perhaps they could need a loaded coil car from time to time.

    However, for CASTING parts like crankcases, gearbox casings etc. your LPBs :)D) probably would use carbon-rich cast-iron. And this is sold in the form of ingots right from the blast furnace, where iron ore (+ coke) is reduced to metallic iron with a carbon content of more than 3%. Cast-iron ingots could be delivered to your plant on heavy-duty flatcars or in gondolas. (BTW: These ingots were also called 'pig iron' - remember the song 'Rock Island Line'? :rolleyes: :D)
    Then your LPBs would melt these ingots in a probably oil (or electrically) fired oven and pour the molten iron into molds. So your plant would also need a steady flow of tank cars.

    All this sums up to quite a lively freight car traffic around your plant. And I didn't even mention the cars to carry off the products, the slag (which is a side-product of the casting process) and other metal junk...

    You see, your switching crews will be kept very busy. May your plant live long and prosper! :D :D :D

  15. Blake

    Blake Member

    Thanks to Mr. Bessemer and Mr. Carnegie we have all of this now. They came along and created a huge industry that never existed before and employed hundreds of thousands of people that had no work prior to the steel industry. They changed the world forever (in a big positive way) and yet they are hated by most and considered evil robber barons. Go figure.
  16. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    You'll also need shipments of tractor parts not made at the plant. Most notably, tires. Other things that may be made off site, seats, glass, rubber or plastic parts and in today's world, engines/tranny's. Having truck docks may be a good idea too. So you can ship some tractors out on flatbeds.

    The facility will need a small tank farm for gas/diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid and oil. These would probably be offloaded by truck unless your facility is producing 100+ units a day. They'll also do a fair amount of welding so seeing gas bottles/tanks being unloaded somewhere would be good. The coil stock could be used for hoods, fenders, seats, etc.

    Ventilators and stacks on the roof are needed for all these things. Another animation that would be appropriate would be an arc welding light, or several, coming from somewhere inside the plant. How about sound? A small MP3 player from a kid toy can be planted inside your building and used to record sounds and then you can rig a car choke cable to throw it's switch from your control panel area.

    Great operating idea, lots of varied traffic and animation possibilities.

    Have fun,
  17. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Glad you did, that looks fantastic Val!

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