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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Steel
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 00:54:14
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Not quite sure where to put this so I put it here.

So, the British Steel industry is no longer a strategic industry for UK plc. We can buy the stuff by the pence from China. The circle I can't square is why we should have Trident for strategic reasons but not a steel industry?

Robin
IP: 86.147.244.59
4737carlin

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Joined: 16/05/2011
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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 02:13:42
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True that about the importanted steel. In Liverpool they have just built a new deep-sea port and container terminal, can see the cranes across the river from here, spent 100m on them and imported them from China!
Im sure that contract could of saved a few jobs in the North East.
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Willy Eckerslyke

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 09:43:45
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"David Cameron must take immediate action to act to protect the steel industry and the core of manufacturing in Britain. Join me in calling for Parliament to be recalled to hold the Government to account as an urgent priority"

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/126128

IP: 91.125.212.103
somersetminer

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Joined: 19/05/2012
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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 12:43:53
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BertyBasset wrote:



So, the British Steel industry is no longer a strategic industry for UK plc.

Robin


Isnt it?? regardless of the fact its the steel industry, in theory its 15,000 jobs, is it really a good strategy to put 15,000 more people on the dole?
IP: 86.26.224.69
ttxela

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 12:45:02
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I heard on the radio this morning they were considering 'mothballing' the blast furnace, the cost quoted was many millions. What is involved in this? I'm guessing it's the sort of thing you can't just turn off then come back to a few years later and turn on again? IP: 188.39.178.242
Jim MacPherson

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 12:57:41
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It's a slow cooling process, then maintain at a temperature to ensure the refractory casing does breakdown, Tata did that at Redcar prior to the Thai lot SSI(?) coming along and showing how to lose (belated edit!Blush) even more money and then walk away with no mothballing. Mothballing does cost quite a lot and can't last that long, months at best I think. IP: 46.208.85.124 Edited: 31/03/2016 16:51:51 by Jim MacPherson
BertyBasset

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 13:38:05
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somersetminer wrote:

BertyBasset wrote:



So, the British Steel industry is no longer a strategic industry for UK plc.

Robin


Isnt it?? regardless of the fact its the steel industry, in theory its 15,000 jobs, is it really a good strategy to put 15,000 more people on the dole?


Well I think it is, but obviously the government and previous ones think not.
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somersetminer

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 13:44:55
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Jim MacPherson wrote:

It's a slow cooling process, then maintain at a temperature to ensure the refractory casing does breakdown, Tata did that at Redcar prior to the Thai lot SSI(?) coming along and showing how to loose even more money and then walk away with no mothballing. Mothballing does cost quite a lot and can't last that long, months at best I think.


think I'm right in saying when a new lining goes in at the start of a campaign, it is brought up to temperature slowly and kept there throughout the working life of that lining? cannot be used again if the furnace is stopped, has to be stripped out, relined etc.
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Jim MacPherson

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 13:54:43
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Not being a metallurgist I'm rather hazy about quite how much flexibilty a furnace campaign has but I think the idea behind mothballing it to tap the iron and slag so that it doesn't plug the blast furnace ( which is what eventually did for Redcar) and then maintain temperature for some time so it can be brought back into use. It did cost SSI much more than they hoped to get Redcar back into use but I don't think they had to reline the furnace. As far as I know Port Talbot is some grades above Redcar's output but the same underlying problem is still excess capacity even at the higher quality end of iron. IP: 46.208.85.124
Jim MacPherson

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 14:15:29
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This seems as clear as can be got to explaining a correct mothballing procedure.

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/5016986.Tapping_the_salamander_ready_for_a_quick_restart/
IP: 46.208.85.124
christwigg

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Joined: 20/02/2008
Location: Cleveland / North Yorkshire

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 18:01:33
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Jim MacPherson wrote:

Mothballing does cost quite a lot and can't last that long, months at best I think.


Redcar was mothballed for over 2 years from Feb 2010 to April 2012

It was relined too as it hadn't been done for years.
I think it was the late 1990s, i've got some photos all 640x480 taken on a camera that took floppy discs in the back.

I've been told every day since I started in late 1997 that we're circling the plughole.
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Jim MacPherson

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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 18:20:15
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I aver to your much closer knowledge Chris, although I think Tata hoped it would have been re-lit sooner and SSI paid the cost. In truth the plughole was opened by Monty Finneston and his great plans for 28m tonnes in megaplants in the early 70's as that led to all the specialist/merchant mills and melting being dumped to the false god of economies of scale and opening the door to, at the time European, suppliers to meet the needs of the small and specialist users. I spent a six week secondment to Scunthorpe sales in 1979 and most of that time was used explaining why they weren't going to get their orders ( 'cos they were small and unimportant!) - most depressing, but that was when large numbers of steel stockholders got their window of opportunity. IP: 46.208.85.124 Edited: 31/03/2016 18:46:13 by Jim MacPherson
Ty Gwyn

Joined: 30/10/2009
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Steel
Posted: 31/03/2016 23:33:04
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somersetminer wrote:

BertyBasset wrote:



So, the British Steel industry is no longer a strategic industry for UK plc.

Robin


Isnt it?? regardless of the fact its the steel industry, in theory its 15,000 jobs, is it really a good strategy to put 15,000 more people on the dole?


They certainly thought so back in 84.
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Graigfawr

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 00:22:21
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Banking is the term used for suspending operation of a blast furnace for an indeterminate length of time whilst preserving the lining in good condition.

To develop a hot silaceous slag to scour the furnace clean of limey deposits and to prevent the formation of a limey slag (which being viscous causes operating problems) when production is resumed, extra coke is charged and the amount of limestone reduced. Then a heavy coke blank is charged followed by greatly reduced iron ore and limestone, and sometimes silaceous additions. The dust catchers are emptied. When the coke blank reaches bosh, the final cast is made. A heavy blanket of ore is charged to reduce draught, the blast taken off and the tuyeres plugged with cflay, follwed by sand and lastly brick.

The stock level is inspected daily and if the burden descends, the exterior of the furnace is sprayed with clay sealant to minimise air infiltration which causes the coke to burn. After a month or two, water flow to the coolers is reduced and after three or more months only the hearth remains cooled.

Banking for days or a few weeks can be routine. There tends to be less experience of prolonged banking as it is far less frequently resorted to. Much of the complexity comes from the exact order of shutting down of the furnace auxilliaries (stoves, dust catchers, gas mains, cooling water, steam, etc) to ensure safety (some gas/air mixtures are explosive) and that the plant can be started up without pipework etc being blocked.
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BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 00:51:30
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Interesting that Cameron can't stomach nationalising the steel industry whereas Ted Heath did just that with Rolls Royce in 1971. IP: 86.147.244.59
christwigg

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 08:12:13
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This seemed like a suitable juncture to upload the photos I had from the Reline in 2000.

I didn't work on it directly, just happened to look after the database which held a lot of documentation and photos.

Fortunately I saved a lot of them as it will be long gone by now.

Always held off posting them as they we'rent mine to share in the first place, but as the furnace changed ownership twice and is now closed i'm not so worried anymore.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Album/Historic-Photographs-Of-Redcar-Blast-Furnace_64920/
IP: 90.212.2.232
Jim MacPherson

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 08:20:24
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Good work Chris,

In hindsight I wish I'd taken photos when I worked at BSC of the operations in several of the merchant mills before they were shut and River Don's rolling mill and gun treatment plant amongst much else that has vanished. To pre-occupied with all the 18thC and 19thC stuff around Sheffield at the time.
IP: 46.208.85.124
rhychydwr

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Joined: 09/06/2007
Location: Cwmparc, Rhondda, South Wales, UK.

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 09:36:19
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Make all the steel workers redundant. They will get a good redundancy money. They are not Tory voters.

This will save a lot of money in the end. Do not dismantle all the furnaces. They might come in useful one day when all the cheap steel comes to an end.

--

Cutting coal in my spare time.
IP: 109.159.189.212
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 10:00:38
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christwigg wrote:

This seemed like a suitable juncture to upload the photos I had from the Reline in 2000.

I didn't work on it directly, just happened to look after the database which held a lot of documentation and photos.

Fortunately I saved a lot of them as it will be long gone by now.

Always held off posting them as they we'rent mine to share in the first place, but as the furnace changed ownership twice and is now closed i'm not so worried anymore.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Album/Historic-Photographs-Of-Redcar-Blast-Furnace_64920/


Excellent set of photos; thanks for posting Flowers

I grew up on the edge of Teeside and one of my treats as a small child in the late 60s / early 70s was to be driven around Redcar after dark - It was spectacular rolling mills, gas flares, fantastic.

As someone who does not really understand the inner workings of a blast furnace I would find it useful if you could add a bit more text to the photo descriptions.
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Cat_Bones

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Steel
Posted: 01/04/2016 10:20:46
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Tamarmole wrote:

christwigg wrote:



As someone who does not really understand the inner workings of a blast furnace I would find it useful if you could add a bit more text to the photo descriptions.


Seconded.

Excellent, interesting set of pics. I understand some of what's going on, but more detail would be very much appreciated! Smile
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