steel and iron industries in india and usa

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IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES IN INDIA AND USA

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INTRODUCTION OF IRON INDUSTRIES IN INDIA In 1918, soon after the war, Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) was formed. The then Mysore government also decided to start an iron works at Bhadravati. the Mysore Iron Works took about 18 years to start its plant. Meanwhile, the Bengal Iron Works went into liquidation and merged with IISCO. Eighteen industries, including heavy castings and forings of iron and steel, ferro alloys and tool steel were covered by the third category and the rest of the industries by the fourth. In the new industrial policy announced in 1991 iron industry, among others, was included in the list of industries reserved for the public sector and exempted from the provision of compulsory licensing. With effect from May 24, 1992 iron and steel industry was included in the list of ‘high priority’ industry for automatic approval for foreign equity upto 51% . Joshua Marshall Heath produced in his plant pig iron at the rate of forty tonnes a week. His method of iron-making needed approximately four tonnes of charcoal to produce one tonne of low quality pig iron which proved to be too expensive for Heath to carry on in the face of stiff competition from the British steel industry.

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The BIW made considerable improvement in the process of iron and steel making. It used coke as the instead of charcoal .But the plant fell sick as the source of funds dried up. It was taken over by fuel the Bengal Government and was rechristened as Barakar Iron Works. In 1889 the Bengal Iron Company acquired the plant and by the turn of the century the Kulti plant became a success story. It produced 40,000 tonnes of pig iron in 1900 and continued to produce the metal until it was taken over by Indian Iron Company in 1936.

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INTRODUCTION OF STEEL INUSTRIES The history of steel-making in India can be traced back to 400 BC when the Greek emperors used to recruit Indian archers for their army who used arrows tipped with steel. Many more evidences are there of Indians’ perfect knowledge of steel-making long before the advent of Christ. Archaeological finds in Mesopotamia and Egypt testify to the fact that use of iron and steel was known to mankind for more than six thousand years and that some of the best products were made in India. Steel Role plays a vital role in the development of any modern economy. The per capita consumption of steel is generally accepted as a yardstick to measure the level of socio-economic development and living standards of the people. As such, no developing country can afford to ignore the steel industry. The first notable attempt to revive steel industry in India was made in 1874 when the Bengal Iron Works came into being at Kulti in West Bengal. However, 44 years before that, in 1830 to be precise, a foreigner, named Joshua Marshall Heath, had set up a small plant at Porto Novo on Madras Coast. TISCO had expanded its production capacity to one million tonnes ingot by the time the country achieved freedom.

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The Tatas, as Gandhiji said, represented the "spirit of adventure" and Jamsetji Tata, in the words of Jawaharlal Nehru," laid the foundation of heavy industries in India". The British rulers disfavoured this and other attempts to start indigenous industry. It was chiefly with the help of American experts that the Tatas started their industry. Its childhood was precarious but the war of 1914-18 gave it a fillip. Again it languished and was in danger of passing into the hands of British debenture holders. But nationalist pressure saved it. The Steel Corporation of Bengal (SCOB) formed in 1937, started making steel in its Asansol plant. Later in 1953, SCOB merged with IISCO. The Government decided to start a chain of steel plants all over the country in the public sector. The first such plant was set up at Rourkela in Orissa. The second came up at Bhilai in Madhya Pradesh. It was followed by a third at Durgapur in West Bengal.

IRON:

IRON - Iron is a chemical element. It is a strong, hard, heavy gray metal. It is found in meteorites. Iron is also found combined in many mineral compounds in the earth's crust. Iron rusts easily and can be magnetized and is strongly attracted to magnets. It is used to make many things such as gates and railings. The exact date at which people first discovered how to smelt iron ore and produce usable metal is not known. Archaeologists have found early iron tools that were used in Egypt from about 3000 bc. Iron objects of ornamentation were used even earlier. By about 1000 BC, the ancient Greeks are known to have used heat treatment techniques to harden their iron weaponry. These historical iron alloys, all iron alloys produced until about the fourteenth century ad, were forms of wrought iron. Wrought iron was made by first heating a mass of iron ore and charcoal in a forge or furnace using a forced draft of air. This generated enough heat to reduce the iron ore to a hot, glowing, spongy mass of metallic iron filled with slag materials. The slag contained metallic impurities and charcoal ash. This iron sponge was then removed from the furnace and while still glowing hot, it was pounded with heavy sledges to separate the slag impurities and to weld and form the purer mass of iron. The iron produced in this way almost always contained slag particles and other impurities, but occasionally this technique of small batch iron making yielded a true steel product rather than wrought iron.

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These early iron makers also learned to make steel by reheating wrought iron and charcoal in clay boxes for several days, until the iron absorbed enough carbon to become a true hardened steel . By the end of the fourteenth century, iron furnaces used in smelting were becoming larger with increased draft from large bellows being used to force air through the “charge” (mixture of raw materials). These larger furnaces first freed the molten iron in its upper levels. This metallic iron then combined with higher amounts of carbon because of the heated combustion blast produced by the air forced up through the furnace. The product of these furnaces was pig iron, an alloy that melts at a lower temperature than steel or even wrought iron.

STEEL:

STEEL The Indian steel industry plays an important role in the country's economic growth. The country has also gained an important position on the global steel map due to its giant steel mills, acquisition of global scale capacities by players, continuous modernization & up gradation of old plants, improving energy efficiency, and backward integration into global raw material sources. Global steel giants from across the globe have shown keen interest in the steel industry due to its phenomenal performance. A lot of new steel plants have been set up in the country due to huge foreign investments and state-of-the-art technology. Tata steel was the first steel plant established in the year 1907 in India. Some of the other steel plants in the country include Bhilai Steel Plant at Chattisgarh, Rourkela Steel Plant at Orissa, Durgapur Steel Plant at West Bengal to name a few. In 2010 India was ranked as the fourth largest producer of steel by the World Steel Association. India is the world's fourth largest producer of iron ore. It has about 25 billion tonnes of good quality iron ore reserves—the sixth-highest in the world—with a reserves base of 9.8 million. Although lower than Brazil and Australia, this is considered abundant and is one of the important advantages of India's domestic steel industry.

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Seeing the growth potential of the steel industry in India, many global steel players have been planning to enter the market or have announced their expansion plans for their Indian businesses. Arcelor Mittal and POSCO have planned mega Greenfield projects at various locations in India. Some other global players have aslo also entered strategic partnerships or joint ventures (JV) with Indian steel giants to capitalize on their existing client base in the region.

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INTRODUCTION OF IRON INDUSTRIES IN U.S.A The production of iron by humans began probably sometime after 2000 BCE in south-west or south-central Asia, perhaps in the Caucasus region.  Thus began the Iron Age, when iron replaced bronze in implements and weapons. Iron is the fourth most abundant element and makes up more than five percent of the earth’s crust.  Iron exists naturally in iron ore . Since iron has a strong affinity for oxygen, iron ore is an oxide of iron; it also contains varying quantities of other elements such as silicon, sulfur, manganese, and phosphorus. Smelting is the process by which iron is extracted from iron ore.  When iron ore is heated in a charcoal fire, the iron ore begins to release some of its oxygen, which combines with carbon monoxide to form carbon dioxide.  In this way, a spongy, porous mass of relatively pure iron is formed, intermixed with bits of charcoal and extraneous matter liberated from the ore, known as slag. The formation of this bloom of iron was as far as the primitive blacksmith got: he would remove this pasty mass from the furnace and hammer it on an anvil to drive out the cinders and slag and to compact the metallic particles.  This was wrought iron and contained generally from .02 to .08 percent of carbon , just enough to make the metal both tough and malleable.

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Wrought iron was the most commonly produced metal through most of the Iron Age. At very high temperatures , a radical change takes place: the iron begins to absorb carbon rapidly, and the iron starts to melt, since the higher carbon content lowers the melting point of the iron. The result is cast iron, which contains from 3 to 4.5 percent carbon. This high proportion of carbon makes cast iron hard and brittle; it is liable to crack or shatter under a heavy blow, and it cannot be forged at any temperature.  By the late Middle Ages, European ironmakers had developed the blast furnace, a tall chimney-like structure in which combustion was intensified by a blast of air pumped through alternating layers of charcoal, flux, and iron ore. Molten cast iron would run directly from the base of the blast furnace into a sand trough which fed a number of smaller lateral troughs; this configuration resembled a sow suckling a litter of piglets, and cast iron produced in this way thus came to be called pig iron.

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INTRODUCTION OF STEEL INDUSTRIES Steel has a carbon content ranging from .2 to 1.5 percent, enough carbon to make it harder than wrought iron, but not so much as to make it as brittle as cast iron.  Its hardness combined with its flexibility and tensile strength make steel far more useful than either type of iron: it is more durable and holds a sharp edge better than the softer wrought iron, but it resists shock and tension better than the more brittle cast iron. However, until the mid 1800s, steel was difficult to manufacture and expensive. Prior to the invention of the Bessemer converter , steel was made mainly by the so-called cementation process.  Bars of wrought iron would be packed in powdered charcoal, layer upon layer, in tightly covered stone boxes and heated.  After several days of heating, the wrought iron bars would absorb carbon; to distribute the carbon more evenly, the metal would be broken up, rebundled with charcoal powder, and reheated.  The resulting blister steel would then be heated again and brought under a forge hammer to give it a more consistent texture.  In the 1740s, the English clockmaker Benjamin Huntsman, searching for a higher-quality steel for making clock springs, discovered that blister steel could be melted in clay crucibles and further refined by the addition of a special flux that removed fine particles of slag that the cementation process could not remove.

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This was called crucible steel; it was of a high quality, but expensive. .  In between these is steel, with .2 to 1.5 percent carbon, making it harder than wrought iron, yet malleable and flexible, unlike cast iron.  These properties make steel more useful than either wrought or cast iron, yet prior to 1856, there was no easy way to control the carbon level in iron so as to manufacture steel cheaply and efficiently.  Yet the growth of railroads in the 1800s created a huge market for steel.  The first railroads ran on wrought iron rails which were too soft to be durable.  On some busy stretches, and on the outer edges of curves, the wrought iron rails had to be replaced every six to eight weeks.  Steel rails would be far more durable, yet the labor- and energy-intensive process of cementation made steel prohibitively expensive for such large-scale uses.

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IRON The first iron works in America, called Hammersmith, began operation in 1647 in Saugus, Massachusetts, but lasted only five years. Subsequent ironmaking firms would be small operations that tended to be located close to local ore supplies, water power, and major transportation routes. Some of the most important ironmaking regions of the country in colonial America were in eastern Pennsylvania near the Delaware River, western Pennsylvania around the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, and the Hudson River valley in New York and New Jersey. Most of these firms remained small because of the high cost and low efficiency of available fuel to run their furnaces. When Americans switched fuels from charcoal or wood to coal in the early nineteenth century, larger operations became possible. The discovery of huge iron ore deposits in the northern Great Lakes region during the 1840s gave a further boost to production. The widespread adoption of puddling as a technique to make iron also contributed to growth in production. In the early days of American ironmaking, craftsmen used a method called fining to produce iron. This meant that the mixture of iron and slag expelled from a blast furnace was separated out by hammering it. Puddling involved adding iron oxide to the blast furnace charge because the chemical reaction made it easier to separate impurities from the iron. Puddlers did the separating by stirring the melted product with a long iron rod. The slag that rose was poured off the top and the iron at the bottom was shaped into balls.

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The balls were squeezed into iron bars that were worked into the mill's final product by other workers. Puddling required many judgment calls based on experience. Therefore, it could take up to two years of training to become a skilled puddler. Many puddlers in the mid-nineteenth century were successful enough to later move into the ranks of owners. In the nineteenth century, the American iron market produced a wide variety of products. Stoves, gun parts, cannons, and machinery were among key early uses for iron. Iron also played a crucial role in the development of railroads. Once again, the English pioneered techniques for making high-quality iron rails. In fact, American railroads imported all their rails from British mills until 1844. In 1857, John Fritz's Cambria Iron Works in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, created a technique to automate partially the production of iron rails. The resulting increase in productivity made the railroad boom of the next two decades possible.

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STEEL Steel is a particular kind of iron that is approximately one percent carbon, with the carbon content spread throughout the metal evenly. Steel is harder than iron and does not rust as easily Before the Civil War, American manufacturers made only small quantities of steel. Because they were unable to master the demanding requirements to create steel through puddling, imports from England's Sheffield mills dominated the American market. That all changed with the application of the Bessemer process. Henry Bessemer was a British inventor who created a way to refine iron into steel using air alone in 1855. His machine, the Bessemer converter, blew air over molten iron from a blast furnace so as to remove impurities and create a substance of a uniform consistency. The American engineer Alexander Holley brought Bessemer technology to America in 1864, but did not perfect the Bessemer design until he created his first plant from the ground up as opposed to adapting an existing facility. This was the Edgar Thomson Works in Braddock, Pennsylvania. The mill, which opened in 1875, was the model for all subsequent Bessemer facilities. Holley built the Edgar Thomson Works for Andrew Carnegie, who used it mostly to produce steel rails for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Carnegie's first experience in industry came when he invested in the iron business during the 1860s.

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His genius was to champion technological innovations like the Bessemer converter and the Jones mixer, which sped the delivery of iron from the blast furnace to the converter, in order to cut production costs and undersell his competitors. Carnegie also had a genius for picking good associates. For example, William R. Jones, the inventor of the Jones mixer, served as superintendent of the Edgar Thomson Works and was just one of many men who shared in Carnegie's business success. Another Carnegie protégé, Charles Schwab, would go on to form Bethlehem Steel in 1904. Carnegie's devotion to vertical integration also contributed to his success. His firm eventually controlled supplies of everything needed to make steel: iron ore and coal deposits; railroads to transport everything; and marketing networks for the finished product. By the 1890s, Carnegie Steel made more steel than the entire country of Great Britain. In 1900, its annual profit was $40 million.

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