Talk:Blast furnace

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Good article Blast furnace has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 2, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
June 23, 2008 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article
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WikiProject Metalworking (Rated GA-class, Mid-importance)
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  1. August 2003 – August 2007

Simpler Explanations?[edit]

Could someone please simplify this article a bit for sophomores who have research homework? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:19, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you ignore the history section, which boys and girls do not need to know about. Peterkingiron 22:21, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Environmental effects[edit]

It might be useful to include the effects blast furnaces have on the envrinment. Sban062 02:22, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Some one has added a statement about steelmaking as a "major" source of greenhouse gases. Some one else tagged this with "fact" (asking for a citation). I would not question that steelmaking is a significant source, but the greatest are certainly buring fossil fuels to generate electricity and power vehicles and machinery. I have thus substituted the word "unavoidable". I hope this is uncontroversal. As CO2 is a major greenhouse gas and its production from the process is described earlier, I do not think any further citation is needed. Peterkingiron 23:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The revision is an improvement since it no longer asserts that steelmaking is "one of the major industrial contributors". There are many industrial sources (concrete for example - there's a lot more of it than steel) Tedickey 23:30, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Top Gas Pressure Recovery Turbine[edit]

One of the economical way of producing iron is Blast Furnace. To make the process more productive, several measures have evovled over the years. One of them being high top pressure operation. The high top pressure is maintained by a control mechanism on the offtake of the Blast Furnace that usually contains a venturi wherein the top gas is scrubbed (cooled & cleaned) as well as there is substantial pressure drop of the gas. Subsequently, dry type gas cleaning plant and Top Gas Pressure Recovery Turbine (TRT) have evolved. The dry type gas cleaning plant retains the sensible heat in the top gas for heat recovery and the TRT uses the high top gas pressure to deliver mechanical power to a generator which then produces power. With TRT, the specific power consumption now required by Blast Furnace to produce iron has come down significantly.

I was interested in preparing a complete list of Blast Furnace where high top pressure is more than 2 barg with and without TRT. The list would include the following 1. Blast Furnace identity (name / number, works location, company name & address with weblink & email id) 2. Blast Furnace specification (working volume, blast volume, blast pressure, oxygen enrichment of blast, top gas pressure, top gas temperature, type of gas cleaning plant (wet / dry), gas pressure & temperature after gas cleaning plant, TRT installed or not, power generation from TRT (if installed), specific power consumption of BF operation) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:56, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Moorcroft Wood[edit]

Moorcrooft Wood in Walsall was the site of Wilkinson's first experiments with top-fed blast furnaces using coal instead of coke. There are remains of the original slag on site. This was the first instance of the modern top-fed furnace. I see my reference to the only thing i can find about teh site on the web has been deleted -BUT this really is one of the most important sites in blast furnace history and yet is is almost totally unrecognised. The site and teh blast furnaces are clearly marked on the first series Ordnance Survey maps. (talk) 12:22, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

GA Sweeps[edit]

This article has been reviewed as part of Wikipedia:WikiProject Good articles/Project quality task force in an effort to ensure all listed Good articles continue to meet the Good article criteria. In reviewing the article, I have found there are some issues that may need to be addressed.

  • If this article is intending to consider the use of blast furnaces for other than the production of pig iron, as the lead suggests, then it should do so. In the short term it may simply be better to remove the very short Other metals section.
  • There has been a {{clarifyme}} tag in Modern process since March.
  • The article should be clear and consistent in the way it uses units of measurement. In the Modern furnaces subsection a conversion to imperial is given for blast furnace volume, not for the metric amount of iron produced per week, and the following paragraph switches to tons (long tons?), again without a conversion.
  • The references and citations need to be tidied up. Having separate Notes and Bibliography sections will avoid duplicating sources like ref#1 and ref#5. Full publication details (date, publisher, isbn) need to be given for each printed source used. Ideally, the page or page numbers being used to support the material should be given in every case.
  • Ref#20 just strings three books together. Why?
  • Many common words are wikilinked, like "hydraulics", "timberland", and "winches". It makes the text distracting to see so many blue links. Only those topics that will add understanding to this article should be linked.

I will check back in no less than seven days. If progress is being made and issues are being addressed, the article will remain listed as a Good article. Otherwise, it may be delisted (such a decision may be challenged through WP:GAR). If improved after it has been delisted, it may be nominated at WP:GAN. Feel free to drop a message on my talk page if you have any questions, and many thanks for all the hard work that has gone into this article thus far. Regards, Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 18:29, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I completely rewrote the section that had the {{clarifyme}} note, so it should be good now. Wizard191 (talk) 23:15, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I took care of everything else other than your first note. Hopefully that will keep it in the good graces of the GA. Wizard191 (talk) 01:48, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for all the work you've done. I've moved that very short Other metals section to talk, and also removed mention of it from the lead. If it's ever expanded, then of course it can be put back. I'd have preferred it if all of the published sources were separated out into the Bibliography subsection, and referenced from Notes, but I'm not going to be a bar steward over that. Obviously though, if there's any intention to take this article on to FA, the reference formatting will very likely be a significant problem. However, I'm happy now to confirm that this article has kept its GA listing. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:26, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Can we lose the references to Woods? As far as I can make out, this is a derivative source, and not directly concerned with ironmaking technology. For example I very much doubt that blast furnace slag (a glassy material) was used as a fertiliser, and suspect that the author has become confused by basic slag from a 19th century open hearth process. However I have failed to locate any better English-language sources on monastic ironmaking in Champagne.
I don't know if that whole paragraph even belongs in this article. I feel like the contributor made a stretch adding it. I thing it should just be removed. Wizard191 (talk) 00:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
  • The material on Laskill seems to be based on newspaper reports (except Vernon et al, which is more about the research techniques used). The findings remains controversial, and no academic publication of the archaeological work has yet taken place.
  • The answer to the non-iron stub (below) may be to refer to it briefly in the introduction with a link to a new stub article on Non-ferrous Blast Furnaces. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that a whole new article is needed for non-ferrous blast furnace. I think if the section is fleshed out it would fit well. I just don't think it will ever become a huge section (thus needing it's own article). Wizard191 (talk) 00:00, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Other metals[edit]


Cross-section of a blast furnace used to smelt lead.

Blast furnaces used to be the main way secondary lead was smelted, however they have been replaced by rotary furnaces in most of the world except the United States; blast furnaces are still the most commonly used process for recycling lead in the US. Blast furnaces accept slag, dross, and residues as charge materials. The process uses coke for fuel. The result is a lead bullion that is high in antimony, as well as slag and matte. The bullion can either be processed into lead antimony alloys or refined further.[1]

Blast furnaces are used today to smelt lead from its oxide, after it has been desilvered.


A less commonly used method for smelting zinc uses a blast furnace.

  • Moved this section here until it can be beefed up to a reasonable size. --Malleus Fatuorum (talk) 02:10, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


Main articles: Spiegeleisen and Ferromanganese

The former main managnese production method. In France, last manganese blast furnaces only disappeared in 2003 History of ferromanganese production with blast furnace in France, from 1875 to 2003 Borvan53 (talk) 14:31, 9 May 2013 (UTC)


Ferrosilicon was historically produced with blast furnace. I don't have any ref, except A. Ledebur and T. Turner. Borvan53 (talk) 14:31, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Largest blast furnaces?[edit]

Does anyone know a source for the largest blast furnaces around?
The largest should be in Japan as of my knowledge! Lucien64 (talk) 22:41, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Dead link. Is it the the Oita No. 2 blast furnace (Nippon Steel Corporation) which has a hearth diameter of 15.6 meters and a production capacity of 13,500 tpd hot metal (volume 5,775 m3 (according to NSC) Borvan53 (talk) 19:28, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Casual googling came up with some candidates:

but it feels like there should be a a "top ten" list somewhere out there, probably at some speciality site.... --Alvestrand ([[User talk:Alvestrand|t

Don't forget China : 5800 cubic metres Blast Furnace of Shagang Borvan53 (talk) 14:31, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
In 2014, the largest blast furnace in the world is operated by the korean company POSCO. It is the Gwangyang BF1 (6000 m3 inner volume, 16.1 m hearth diameter) for a yearly hot metal production of 5.3 mt/a. Borvan53 (talk) 08:44, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


What are the walls of blast furnaces made of? The inside is full of molten iron, what could the walls be made out of? I've seen steel mills in person and in pictures and many times the blast furnaces are rusting. Are the walls simply made of a higher-temperature alloy? If so, where are they made?RSido (talk) 20:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

It all depends on what period you are concerned with. Early furnaces were of stone. Later ones of brick. The charge is commonly contained using firebrick made of fireclay or other high-temperature ceramic materials. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:22, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
What Blast furnace says is :The iron making blast furnace itself is built in the form of a tall chimney-like structure lined with refractory brick., so I guess the answer is refractory brick.  Velela  Velela Talk   5:27 am, Today (UTC−5)
Only since the 18th century. Peterkingiron (talk) 13:51, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

The construction materials of the furnace I worked on in the 1960's are given in this image

Also the article should mention that blast furnaces are categorised by their hearth diameter. I —Preceding unsigned comment added by Geofones (talkcontribs) 20:32, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Waste gases[edit]

please put some stuff about waste gases. cheers —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Revert of material based on Nef[edit]

While J. U. Nef was an important scholar in his time, his view that there was an industrial revolution in the period 1540-1640 is not now accepted by scholars. This is old academic writing, which has long since been superseded by the work of other scholars. I have therefore to revert the addition based on it. I have also reverted the rest of what has been added at the same time, which seemed to be a general comment, quite possibly be a non-specialist in the subject, and possibly in an inappropriate place in the article. Peterkingiron (talk) 23:45, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Having looked at the other source cited - G. Eggert, The Rise and Fall of Medieval Iron Technology], it is clear to me that this is a relatively shallow, derivative article, without any citations and not an adequate reliable source. The article is not necessarily wrong, but it skates over the subject without adding of substance. Peterkingiron (talk) 00:01, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Museum sites?[edit]

In recent times, it has become a trend - particularly in Europe - to preserve old, decommissioned blast furnaces as museum sites. There's currently four "open to the public" sites in Germany (the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, the Henrichshütte in Hattingen, the Völklinger Hütte and the Altes Hüttenareal Neunkirchen), with two more sites (Phoenix-West in Dortmund and the Maxhütte in Sulzbach-Rosenberg) currently in the process of being reworked into museum sites. Spain has three museum sites, with the one in Sestao even serving as a header image for this article. Mexico has the Fundidora Park, also with a blast furnace as a museum site. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the place at Bethlehem Steel in the US.

Does this recent trend deserve a section in the article?-- (talk) 23:04, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest that this should not be added to the article, which is primarily about the technology, but that a separate article should be created, such as List of preserved historic blast furnaces. I would suggest that this should take the form of a table with columns such as Country; Name; period of use; status; reference. The latter would cover issues, such as preserved in museum; standing in park; preserved and open by appointment; viewable from road or path; on private property (i.e. not accessible). The reference column could be used for an external website link. If you like to start such an article, I will probably add examples in UK. There are also sites in Sweden, USA, Belgium etc. They are sufficiently numerous for it to be inappropriate to put them in this article. There is a precedent for this is lists of watermills: see List of watermills in the United Kingdom. Peterkingiron (talk) 15:47, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I observe that a section has now been added. I would caution against expanding this much, as it will unbalance the article, which did have GA-status, but this will now be lost as the new stecion is unreferenced. Peterkingiron (talk) 18:35, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
I added some sources, mostly official websites for the German locations, which are in German (I hope this doesn't pose a problem). It's difficult to find official sources for some sites, even for Fundidora Park now its official website has closed. Does this article require academic sources that describe the existence and the properties of these locations, or do tourist photos that prove the places exist suffice?-- (talk) 10:19, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Finally created an account. Started the list.--Farrokh Bulsara (talk) 12:22, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I do not think we need academic sources for the existence and locations of the sites, as long as the sources meet WP:RS. English language sites are preferable, since this is the English WP, but better still (probably) to cite a good German source as well as a less good English one. Peterkingiron (talk) 16:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Patent invalid[edit]

The patent was found invalid by a court in 1841: Court of Exchequer 26 juni 1841, 151 E.R. 1266, Meeson and Welsby 806 (Neilson v. Harford), because it was found to relate to a mere "principle" rather than a true invention, thus pre-empting all applications of the principle, which could not be applid without "undue experimentation" though.

This court decision was cited more than once in landmark decisions of the US Supreme Court, that are still influential to the present day (because of the Anglo-Saxon system of binding precedents), notably U.S. Supreme Court 30 January 1854, 56 U.S. 62 (O'Reilly, et al. v. Morse) and U.S. Supreme Court 19 March 1888, 125 U.S. 136 (Tilghman v. Proctor). Especially the 8th claim in "Morse" is famous. It is believed to be the first software patent "avant la lettre". Rbakels (talk) 09:37, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Please indicate what patent you mean. If it is hot blast, the fact that the patent was found invalid in terms of patent law does not mean that the introduction of hot blast was not a very importsant advance. Peterkingiron (talk) 17:32, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Blast furnace compared to other processes[edit]

"Blast furnaces are to be contrasted with air furnaces (such as reverberatory furnaces), which were naturally aspirated, usually by the convection of hot gases in a chimney flue. According to this broad definition, bloomeries for iron, blowing houses for tin, and smelt mills for lead would be classified as blast furnaces."

It appears to me that a blast furnace differs from these other furnaces in that it is a countercurrent flow operation. It has similar characteristics to towers used in chemical engineering operations. The temperature rises as the charge descends the tower and the slag covered iron droplets that from have a high surface area, which allows the carbon monoxide to better diffuse into the iron. The different temperature zones and concentrations of CO lead to different reactions and equilibrium states.Phmoreno (talk) 15:24, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Ironmasters killed?[edit]

The last sentence of the section entiteled China" ends: "... where the ironmasters knowing the traditional skills or the scientific principles of the blast furnace process had been killed, the results were less than satisfactory".

This comes across as a somewhat indirect accusation. I'd prefer a direct statement, like: "in [X] regions, the production was impeded because the ironmasters who knew the traditional skills [etc...] had been killed by the maoists [or whoever]", followed by a citation.

I have no particular reason to doubt that something like this took place, but I feel this is serious enough to be well documented. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Mistakes about Catalan forge and Stückofen[edit]

I corrected some obvious mistake about Catalan forge (see fr:Forge catalane) and Stückofen (fr). Both are bloomeries, but essential characteristics are very different. Translating corresponding articles from french is necessary to upgrade this article. Borvan53 (talk) 14:31, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Speculation needs a source[edit]

Article currently reads in part In the nearer term, a technology that incorporates CCS into the blast furnace process itself and is called the Top-Gas Recycling Blast Furnace is under development, with a scale-up to a commercial size blast furnace under way. The technology should be fully demonstrated by the end of the 2010s, in line with the timeline set, for example, by the EU to cut emissions significantly. Broad deployment could take place from 2020 on. No citation is given.

Such speculation is probably encyclopedic if well sourced, but it definitely needs a source. Andrewa (talk) 21:47, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Production of recycled lead, retrieved 2008-07-01