PRAXIS - Steel Applications
PFERD PRAXIS - STEEL Applications
The history of steel goes back to 2,000 BC, to a time when the first simple ferrous materials were produced. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, ore was smelted in a kiln at very high temperatures, without actually melting. This was an inhomogeneous material that had a varying carbon content and contained no other alloying elements.
In the 14th century AD, the first charcoal-heated blast furnaces came into existence in Europe, making the melting of iron possible. The resulting cast iron was brittle due to its high carbon content and not suitable for forging. It therefore had to be meticulously processed to burn out the carbon, slag and other accompanying elements.
In 1784, Henry Cort developed the puddling process. In this process, the molten pig iron was brought into contact with air by stirring it manually to eliminate elements such as carbon, sulphur or phosphorus from the material. The procedure enabled the manufacture of a forgeable and resilient crude steel, also known as wrought iron.
In the 19th century, steel took on an increasingly important role. As the invention of the steam engine made the transportation of heavy loads possible, the coal industry began to supply the coke necessary for steel manufacture. Steel was of great importance
for the railways, steamships and defence industry. The Eiffel Tower still stands as a monument of the technical progress of that time, constructed for the Paris World Exhibition in 1889.
Since the creation of that famous Parisian landmark, steel production has grown steadily. Production processes have evolved over the years so that today there are over 2,500 standard grades that are used in a wide variety of applications.