Friday, April 29, 2005

Twisted steel

I saw the coolest thing at work today. During today's safety walk (for an hour each day managers walk the mill to look for any safety problems) I saw a spectacular steel jungle. In the rolling mill (which is where the steel billets are reheated, cut into strips and rolled into rebar) they were casting 3 bar. 3 bar is about as big around as my index finger and when they make it, they roll it out in strips that are easily 50 yards long. Each row of rebar is put on the cooling bed less than an second from the ones before and after. Once one row gets screwy, all the rows after it do to. So what you end up with is 15 - 20 spindly steel bars going every which way. It looks like spagetti or a tumble weed, only it's red hot and huge.

Watching the melt shop (where they turn scrap metal into liquid steel and then steel billets) is unbelievable. The steel is so hot that when it pours into the caster you can't watch it with your naked eye. It's like staring into the sun. You have to wear special sun glasses to even look at it. It makes these crazy sparks that literally fly 5 - 10 feet from the pour. The billets come out red and cool to gray within 5 seconds or so but are still so hot that you can't touch them for hours.

I have a cool job.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way cool. I would love to see that sometime. I love seein how things are made. I am a factory junkie.


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