Copyright
International Engineering Congress (1901 : Glasgow.

Report of the proceedings and abstracts of the papers read online

. (page 17 of 37)
Online LibraryInternational Engineering Congress (1901 : GlasgowReport of the proceedings and abstracts of the papers read → online text (page 17 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


by the decisions of the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration in
the North of England, and this arrangement proved satisfactory in
so far that no serious dispute had occurred for many years; but
by the desire of the operatives a local board was formed in 1897
on the same principles as that of the North of England and South
Staffordshire Boards, and so far it has amply justified its existence.

The author is indebted to the statistics of the British Iron
Trade Association for figures as to production, and to the various
manufacturers for their particulars of furnaces and mills, etc.



IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND. 185

III. STEEL.
BY HENRY ARCHIBALD.

IN glancing back over the history of the steel industry of Scot-
land, an industry which has long maintained a high position for
the excellence of its manufactures, we find, as far back as the
year 1857, experiments being conducted at Coats' Iron Works
and by Messrs. William Dixon and Co. at Govan, with small
Bessemer plants; at the latter place under the personal super-
vision of the inventor.

Neither of these trials seem to have been successful, probably
due to the phosphorus in the Scotch pig-iron experimented with,
and the adoption of the process was abandoned at that time; but
in the year 1861 we find Messrs. Rowan and Co., of Glasgow,
beginning operations with a small Bessemer plant consisting of
two 3-ton converters, and using Cumberland iron.

This works was manufacturing steel from 1861 until 1875, when
it was dismantled; but during that period Messrs. Rowan seem to
have made steel of exceedingly good quality, though only in very
limited quantities.

In the year 1873 the Steel Company of Scotland built at
Hallside the first open-hearth plant in Scotland. There were
three furnaces built, of 6 tons capacity, and we find this firm
steadily increasing their plant year by year until, in 1877, they
had fourteen furnaces, ten of 6 tons and four of 10 tons capacity,
and an output of ingots of about 36,000 tons per annum.

In the year 1879-1880 we find other firms entering the field,
Messrs. Beardmore at Parkhead, Messrs. Colville at Motherwell,
and Neil'son's at Mossend, and about this time the Steel Company
of Scotland bought and equipped the Blochairn Works in Glasgow.
Under these circumstances it is not surprising to find that the
total number of steel furnaces had risen, at the end of the year
1880, to 73, and the production of steel ingots to 84,500 tons.

With the earlier firms increasing their steel melting plants,
and new works being erected, the production of ingots steadily
increased. In 1881 the output of open-hearth ingots is given
at 166,200 tons per annum; in 1882, 213,000 tons; 1883,
222,000 tons; 1884, 213,887, and in 1885 it had risen to a total
of 241,074 tons per annum.

With 1885, a new departure was made in the manufacture of
steel in Scotland, Messrs. Merry and Cunningham having adopted
the basic Bessemer Process. This firm erected, in conjunction with
the blast furnace plant at Glengarnock, four lo-ton converters

14



186 IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND.

with bar mills, etc., and in the following year the Glasgow Iron
Co. started a somewhat similar plant in close proximity to their
blast furnaces at Wishaw.

The plant at Wishaw consisted of three 7-ton converters, bar
mills, etc., the intention of both firms being to utilise the local
clayband and blackband o<re, and the large deposits of ironworks
cinder for the production of basic pig iron, and to convert the iron
into basic steel.

The plant at Glangarnock is still in operation, but the Wishaw
plant (owing to the difficulty of obtaining suitable raw material for
manufacture of basic pig-iron) was discontinued, and dismantled
some years ago, the converters being replaced by open hearth
furnaces smelting haematite pig iron.

In the earlier days of the open hearth process the idea of the
originators was to manufacture steel rails, but owing to the great
fall in the price, and the scarcity of orders for this material, the
manufacturers were forced to look for fresh fields for the disposal
of their steel; and about the year 1875 the manufacture of steel
bars and castings was begun, and the first plate mill started at
Hallside works in 1877.

The shipbuilders on the Clyde seem to have been quick to
appreciate the new material placed to their hand, for about the
year 1877 three steamers were built of open-hearth steel from the
local works, and from this time on to the present the open-hearth
steel industry of Scotland has been steadily on the increase.

In Scotland at the present time nine firms with ten works
are engaged in the production of open-hearth steel plates and
bars. One of these firms, the Glengarnock Iron and Steel Co., is
also engaged in the manufacture of basic Bessemer steel as pre-
viously mentioned.

The undernoted are the works referred to :
The Hallside Works of the Steel Co. of Scotland, at Newton,
manufacturing bars of every description, forging ingots, is the largest
producer of steel castings in Scotland.

The Blochairn Works of the same Company, at Glasgow. Their
chief product is plates for ship and boiler work.

The Dalzell Steel Works of Messrs, David Colville and Sons,
at Motherwell, who manufacture plates for every class of boiler and
ship work, bars of every description, heavy ingots for forgings, steel
rolls, castings, etc.

The Parkhead Forge of Messrs. William Beardmore, at Glasgow.
This works is principally devoted to the manufacture of armour
plate, ordnance, projectiles, forgings, etc.

The Lanarkshire Works of The Lanarkshire Steel Co., at
Flemington, manufacturing steel bars, forging ingots, etc.



IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND. 187

The Wishaw Steel Works of The Glasgow Iron and Steel Co., at
Wishaw. makers of ship and boiler plate, and bars.

The Glengarnock Works of the Glengarnock Iron and Steel Co.,
Ltd., Ayrshire, producing bars, billets, and girders.

The 'Clydebridge Steel Works of The Clydebridge Steel Co.,
Cambuslang. This firm are makers of plates only.

The Clydesdale Works of Messrs. Stewart and Menzies, Ltd.,
Mossend. Plates and tube strips form their chief product.

The Mossend Works of Summerlee and Mossend Iron and Steel
Co., Ltd., Mossend. Makers of plates only.

Calderbank Works. Makers of plates only.

In addition to these works, there are numerous smaller works
equipped with open hearth-furnaces, and Bessemer converters, or
using the crucible furnaces for the production of steel castings
or tool steel.

The statistics for 1900 show that there were, last year, 115 open
hearth furnaces in Scotland 114 acid and i basic.

Of the 114 acid furnaces, the average number in operation
during the year was 89, 25 furnaces being idle, and the one basic
furnace working.

The total output of ingots from these furnaces was 963,345 tons,
960,581 being acid steel, and 2764 being basic steel ingots.

The output of open-hearth steel plates, bars, etc., for the same
period was: Plates and angles, 360,589 tons; bars, etc., 199,359
tons; blooms and billets, 56,839 tons; giving a total of 616,787
tons of finished material.

With reference to the total of 963,345 tons of open hearth ingots
for Scotland, there remains to be added the output of the numerous
smaller works employed in the manufacture of castings, etc., which
will bring the total output for Scotland up to little short of
1,000,000 tons of steel for 1900.

To those members who were present at the last meeting of the
Iron and Steel Institute, at Glasgow, in the autumn of 1885, and
who availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting the local
steel works, the great developments which have taken place in
method of manufacture and in the plant in use at the present day,
will appeal most strongly.

In 1885, the largest smelting furnaces had only a capacity of
about 15 to 20 tons, to-day we have steel furnaces with a capacity
of 50 to 60 tons at work, with all the necessary appliances for
handling such quantities of molten steel.

Though charging machinery in connection with the smelting
furnaces has not been adopted at any of the works in this district,
its absence has in no way hindered the Scotch works from com-
peting successfully, as regards output, with works where these
machines have been introduced, owing largely ' to the improved



188 IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND.

design of tine newer furnaces, the better facilities for handling the
raw materials, and the greatly improved condition, as regards ventila-
tion, etc., under which the men are required to work. Some of
these furnaces hold the record for output for Great Britain; uoo
tons of ingots per fortnight being no unusual output for a 50-ton
furnace.

With the gradual adoption of the larger furnaces, and improved
types of gas producers, a corresponding economy has been effected
in the cost of manufacture of the ingot

As with the melting furnaces, so the old condition of things has
changed in the manipulation of the steel ingots.

With the increased demands made on the steel trade by the
engineer, the shipbuilder, and the boiiermaker, for heavier and
larger plates and sections, the necessity for improved appliances
for handling heavy material, rapidly and economically, has
gradually altered much of the steel works rolling plant within the
last ten or fifteen years.

The old coal-fired horizontal ingot heating furnace has given
place almost exclusively to the vertical gas-fired regenerative
furnace, with the necessary arrangement of cranes of various
types for charging and drawing the ingots, but nowhere is the
change so marked as in the method of bringing the ingot down to
the form of a slab.

In 1888 the steam hammer was in universal use for this purpose,
with its army of hammermen and assistants. To-day the hammer,
in conjunction with the plate or bar mill, is a thing of the past;
its place being taken by the modern cogging mill, with its few
men but many mechanical appliances, with cradle, tilters, etc. all
worked by hydraulic power, and capable, as in the case of one of
our most recent and best equipped mills, of turning out 60 to 70
tons per hour, and of cogging down slabs for the heaviest plate
required.

The heavy plates now required for the market necessitate the
handling of correspondingly heavy slabs, and to deal with them in
an efficient manner large hot slab shears capable of cutting slabs
four or five feet broad by 14 inches thick, are now used.

In the Scotch works the reheating furnaces for the slabs are
practically all horizontal gas fired regenerative furnaces, and
already one works in this district has adopted the mechanical
charging and cleaning machines, and alterations are being made
in one of the other works to adopt mechanical charging and clean-
ing in connection with their slab heating furnaces.

With reference to the plate and bar mills mechanical appliances
are largely supplementing manual labour. Live roller gearing,
etc., has been almost universally adopted at all mills, and the



IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRIES OF THE WEST OF SCOTLAND. 18!)

adoption of these appliances has been followed by increased yields
and a corresponding economy in the cost of production.

The mechanical appliances in connection with the handling of
plates on the mill floor, at the shears, and on the loading bank,
have been slower in coming, but a movement has been made
within this last few years, and some of the works are equipped with
electric or steam overhead cranes to facilitate the handling of the
plates, and as many o the plates turned out from these works are
two inches in thickness, and of considerable area, while others
are over eleven feet in width, mechanical arrangements for handling
these expeditiously have become most necessary.

As with the plate mills so with the bar mills, the improved
appliances have considerably increased the output, and whereas,
some years ago, it was necessary to reduce the ingot to a bloom,
and then wash heat the bloom before rolling into the bar, the bars
can now be rolled direct from the ingots without wash heating, an
improvement which effects a considerable saving in time. fuel, and
labour.

The steel trade of Scotland has on many occasions been the
pioneer in matters connected with the manufacture of steel, or in
adopting appliances connected therewith, so that it is not surpris-
ing to find many of the Scotch steel makers fully alive to the
necessity of adopting every appliance or improvement whereby
economy can be effected. Owing to the largely increased pro-
duction of steel at home, and the keen competition in the foreign
markets, by new and more advantageously placed competitors, it
is only by keeping the plant up-to-date that a steel works- can now
hold its own in a time of industrial depression.

Since the year 1873 the steel trade of Scotland has been almost
wholly an acid open hearth one, and its reputation for this class of
material is world-wide, but with the changing conditions of the
times, the high price of haematite ores, and consequent increased
price of pig iron low in phosphorus, and with the other impurities
within reasonable limits, the question of adapting the steel
furnaces to the working of basic pig iron by one of the more
recently devised furnaces will have to be faced if the steel in-
dustry of Scotland is going to hold in the future that place which it
has held in the past in the world's steel industry.



A vote of thanks was accorded to the authors, and to Mr. Dixon
who read summaries of the papers.



" THE NOMENCLATURE OF METALLOGRAPHY.''
Preliminary Report by a Committee of the Iron and Steel Institute.

Abstract.

IN view of the fact that, with the development of metallography,
the nomenclature is becoming more and more involved, the Council
of the Iron and Steel Institute, at the instigation of Mr. J. E.
Stead, appointed a Committee, consisting of Mr. William Whitwell,
President (chairman), Mr. F. W. Harbord (Englefield Green), Mr.
E. Heyn (Charlottenburg), Mr. T. W. Hogg (Newburn), Professor
H. M. Howe (New York), Baron H. von Jiiptner (Donawitz,
Austria), Professor H. le Chatelier (Paris), Mr. 'Walter Rosenhain
(Birmingham), Mr. E. H. Saniter (Middlesbrough), Dr. A. Stansfield
(London), Mr. J. E. Stead (Middlesbrough), and Mr. Bennett H.
Brough (Secretary), to consider the matter, and to ascertain whether
it would be possible to take steps to make the terminology less
complicated and more precise.

A glossary has been drawn up in the hope that it will tend to

promote the unification of terms, the simplification of those used,

and the elimination of many of them. It is hoped, too, that the

glossary may be improved, before final publication in the " Journal

of the Iron and Steel Institute," by suggestions from members

interested in the matter. Such suggestions, whether additional

terms or better definitions, are earnestly invited by the Committee.

As far as possible, the exact equivalents in French and German

have been added. This addition will, it is hoped, prove of great

value to those who are in the habit of consulting Continental

memoirs in the original. It will, at the same time, be of assistance

to the editor of the great " International Technical Lexicon," now

being prepared under the direction and at the cost of the Society

of German Engineers, a society which, with its roll of 16,000

members, is the largest engineering society in the world. The

Iron and Steel Institute has undertaken to co-operate as far as

possible in this great work, and it is thought that in drawing up

an authoritative glossary of the most recent branch of the metallurgy

of iron, the Iron and Steel Institute will be rendering valuable aid.

Based upon the microscopic examination of thin sections of

minerals and rocks, observations were recorded in 1858 by Dr.

H. C. Sorby, member of the Iron and Steel Institute, in a paper

on the microscopic structure of crystals, indicating the origin of



THE NOMENCLATURE OF METALLOGRAPHY. 191

minerals and rocks (" Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society,"
vol. xiv., p. 453), and in October, 1867, by the late Mr. David
Forbes, member of Council and Foreign Secretary of the Iron and
Steel Institute. These observations gave birth to the special
science of petrography. In view of the fact that metallic bodies
are analogous to rocks, the exact knowledge of metals called for
the creation of a corresponding science of metallography, in which
the pioneers were Dr.*Sorby, whose publications go back to 1864,
and Professor Martens, whose publications go back to 1878. In
1880 the use of the microscope was introduced at the Le Creusot
works, and the investigations of Mr. F. Osmond and Mr. J. Werth
were started, and have been continued since that time along the
path indicated by Dr. Sorby. Metallography is cultivated to-day
in the principal metallurgical countries. Starting from the
scientific laboratory, it has been extended further and further into
works laboratories, where it will undoubtedly become an indispens-
able auxiliary to chemical analysis and physical tests. In view
of its close analog} 7 to petrography and to the study of meteoric
irons, metallography necessitates the use of similar technical terms,
and consequently, wherever possible, the terms familiar to the
mineralogist and geologist should be used in describing the
structures of metals and alloys, and the coining of new words should
be deprecated.

The report concludes with a long alphabetical list containing the
more important terms used by authors of memoirs dealing with
metallography.



The preliminary report was read by the Secretary, and written
contributions to the Discussion were received from the following :
Baron H. von Jiiptner, Mr. T. Vaughan Hughes, Dr. Hubert- Jansen,
and Captain W. Tressider.



VARIATIONS OF CARBON AND PHOSPHORUS IN
STEEL BILLETS."

Paper by AXEL WAHLBERG.



Abstract.

IT is well known to all metallurgists that, ever since the introduction
of the Bessemer and open-hearth processes on an extensive scale,
it has been impossible to ob'tain ingots of a perfectly homogeneous
chemical composition, the want of homogeneity being due to the
successive process of segregation which takes place in consequence
of the gradual solidification of the molten mass within the moulds.
This segregation occurs in two different ways. Under normal
conditions, especially if the casting temperature has been moderate,
the alloys of a higher fusing point solidify more rapidly; in other
words, the exterior parts of the ingot, particularly towards the lower
end, become poorer in carbon, silicon, manganese, phosphorus, etc.,
owing to the gradual concentration of the bulk of these matters
inwards and upwards. The concentration is most pronounced in
the very core of the upper half of the ingot. The final result thus
exhibits a gradual change in the chemical composition. Again,
in other cases, if the casting operation is performed at a very high
temperature, and the moulds are of a somewhat large size, both of
which circumstances are conducive to slow cooling, there frequently
occur, in addition to a more strongly marked tendency to segrega-
tion, conglomerations of a chemical composition quite distinct from
the surrounding material, and abnormally large in quantity. These
conglomerations, which are generally more accentuated in the more
highly carbonised descriptions of steel, often prove a serious draw-
back in cases where material is intended for manufacturing
purposes, although such irregularities as may be due to the one
or other process of segregation are, of course, much modified, or
even practically done away with, during the subsequent further
treatment of the steel, a result which is chiefly due to the frequent
reheating of the material.

As a matter of course, every user of steel is always anxious to
obtain a material which is as nearly as possible homogeneous with
regard to its chemical composition. Consequently there always
exists on the part of the producers a corresponding tendency to
comply, as far as is reasonable, with the requirements of the users



VARIATIONS OF CARBON AND PHOSPHORUS IN STEEL BILLETS. 193

in this regard. But in the course of time those requirements have
constantly increased, until they have now become excessive. This
result may be ascribed partly to modern progress, especially with
regard to improved methods of production ; partly, also, and perhaps
chiefly, to the fault of the manufacturers themselves, who, owing to
the keen, untiring competition of the present day, are occasionally
induced to accept any conditions, however absurd, for the sole
purpose of securing ^ contract. It was this undesirable state of
things that gave the stimulus to undertake the research presently to
be described, because certain incidents have occurred recently
which are of a nature such as to imperil the soundness of the steel
market. As an illustration of the absurd requirements occasionally
demanded by the consumers, the following fact which recently
occurred may be quoted. It was a case of contracting for the
delivery of steel containing 0.60 per cent, of carbon. The
customer insisted seriously on the insertion of a clause in the
agreement, stipulating that any steel which might be found to con-
tain above 0.62 per cent, or below 0.58 per cent, of carbon was
liable to rejection. The absurdity of such a condition is quite
obvious, since not only is the range of variation in carbon in almost
every case likely to prove far wider, but even if it were successfully
confined within these narrow limits, there is still the probability
that different chemists would obtain different results. The risks
incurred by the manufacturer would therefore be exceedingly great.
Nevertheless, it seems that there are manufacturers who do not
hesitate to accept such extravagant conditions, and as the risk
seems imminent of creating most unfair precedents in favour of
buyers, it is a matter of urgent necessity to check a practice of this
kind, which may be attended with the most serious consequences,
before it spreads more widely.

Fully aware of these facts, the Board of Directors of the
" Jernkontoret," who have ever manifested a most lively interest in
any question touching on the Swedish metallurgical production and
markets, have decided to institute an investigation, and have
already, with their customary munificence, granted an ample sum
for this purpose. Moreover, being desirous of ventilating the
matter more thoroughly, and of securing a more authoritative
opinion on the whole question, the Board of Directors further
decided to submit the results of the proposed researches to this
meeting.

The author then proceeds to describe the selection of material
and taking of samples, and gives in tabular form the analytical
results. These show that there can be no doubt that any contracts
of delivery specifying too narrow a margin as to the percentage
of carbon and phosphorus are always to be considered as involving
more or less serious risks.



194 VARIATIONS OF CARBON AND PHOSPHORUS IN STEEL BILLETS.

It must not be forgotten, however, that the most conspicuous
defects in homogeneity have here been met with in the cross section
of the ingots, or between the outer surface and the axis, while, as
is well known, these faults will be essentially modified, or even
practically done away with, if the subsequent treatment is rendered
sufficiently effective, with repeated heatings. It is also to be
remembered that such possible irregularities do not invariably make
themselves evident on testing, as, for instance, in the case of
analysing steel rolled into 2-inch square bars, from which the
samples have been taken only either by boring or filing across the
material.

With regard to the diversity of chemical composition at the top
and bottom of the ingots, this difference will remain unaltered,
independently of any subsequent treatment, this being a factor
always to be taken into account.

This investigation also shows that occasionally considerably
differing analytical results are obtained by different analysts and at
different laboratories, a circumstance never to be overlooked in
any case of contracting for deliveries, until quite satisfactory
analytical methods are duly recognised and established by inter-
national agreement.



The following members took part in the Discussion : Mr. J. E.
Stead, Mr. G. J. Snelus. Mr. Benjamin Talbot, Mr. L. N. Ledingham,
and Mr. F. W. Paul.

The author then replied, and a vote of thanks was accorded to



Online LibraryInternational Engineering Congress (1901 : GlasgowReport of the proceedings and abstracts of the papers read → online text (page 17 of 37)