Where bad choices make good stories
VIDEO HERE (13 minutes)
Very cool video. Bethlehem is about 40 miles from, but I ain't been there for many years. Great history though.
It's amazing to me how much they handled the same bulk materials, over and over again. Be interesting to compare this to a modernized plant.
I saw one of these in Buffalo, NY when I was in school. The picture can't really convey just how hot that stream of molten iron is. You had to experience it to know just how dirty it was. But, I'm glad I got to see it.
I use to work for a wire rope company and Bethlehem was out client. first time they sent a ingot to be rolled I dam near shit my pants.
I made high quality steel, for over 35 years, and it was quite dissimilar to this process. We did use vessels after the metal was molten, to put the alloy into, that had tuyeres that blew gasses into the bottom of the vessels, to blow oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, in order to remove excess amounts of carbon. That was the only thing that kept up to 20,000 pounds of steel molten, gasses blown into the bath, combining with certain elements in an exothermic reaction. Fun times, especially when in the summer the temperature on the melt shop floor was often between 125 and 150 degrees.
Ran a glass tempering furnace for a bit back in misspent youth...but this makes that look like kid's play.
My grandfather invented a machine for handling rebar and Bethlehem was his biggest client. They put many meals on the table for two generations of my mother's family.
What boggles my mind is how much energy is pumped into each furnace to melt the iron, let alone to run the equipment that moves the stuff around.
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