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Inventor of steel extraction process

Inventor of steel extraction process

Sir Henry Bessemer (1813-1898), Englishman invented the first process for mass-producing steel inexpensively. An American, William Kelly, had held a patent for "a system of air blowing the carbon out of pig iron" a method of steel production known as the pneumatic process of steelmaking. Air is blown through molten pig iron to oxidize and remove unwanted impurities. Bankruptcy forced Kelly to sell his patent to Bessemer, who had been working on a similar process for making steel. Bessemer patented "a decarbonization process, utilizing a blast of air" in 1855.

During his period there were two kinds of iron cast and wrought iron, cast iron is prepared by treating iron ore with coke and the wrought iron is produced from cast iron by removing the impurities. At that point of time manufacture of wrought iron was a huge laborious process which involved slag removal manually and then there were some kind of impurities present even after the process implementation. He figured out a way to successfully reduce the labour and accuracy in manufacturing.

There was a drawback when Bessemer first introduced the extraction process, as he could not separate the impurities of sulphur and phosphorous from the mixture. Later he made an attempt to clear the issue and with few modifications it was a proven success for him. Modern steel is made using technology based on Bessemer's process. Bessemer was knighted in 1879 for his contribution to science. The "Bessemer Process" for mass-producing steel, was named after Bessemer.

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14 Dec, 2015
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