Working Iron and Steel

  Concerning American Steel - Scientific American, Vol.15, 1866  

Our Newark, New Jersey, correspondent, P. MeC., in speaking of the cast steel made in this country, says there can be as good an article produced here as anywhere, if the proper means are employed.

Unless a proper quality of iron is used, purified by refining, converted to blister steel in a suitable furnace, where it receives its carbon, before it is put in the crucible to be melted, it cannot be relied upon.

He says: "I do not think it can be for want of knowledge that our steel is inferior, for two companies I know of sent to England and brought over workmen, who made no better steel than the hands previously employed.

One concern tried hammering the blooms until they were made flat, then cut or broke them up, the iron being red short, and put the fragments, with a portion of medicine, into the crucible for casting.

Some steel I have tried the iron from which it was converted having been rolled. It was red short. Some of our manufacturers say they cannot afford to use the best iron, nor the expense of processes employed in Sheffield.

I say, if this is the case, they should not claim, as they do, that American steel is equal if not superior to English, nor that there is some mystery in the process.

When blooms are made from old scraps, cast, or wrought iron, it cannot be expected that double refined steel will result, nor that the product will equal that made from Norway or Lowmoor refined iron.

Wiktor Kuc
September, 2016
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