Pig iron of a type used to make
ductile iron, stored in a bin
Pig iron is an intermediate product of the iron industry. Crude iron as first obtained from a smelting furnace, in the form of oblong blocks. Pig iron has a very high carbon content, typically 3.8–4.7%, along with silica and other constituents of dross, which makes it very brittle, and not useful directly as a material except for limited applications. Pig iron is made by smelting iron ore into a transportable ingot of impure high carbon-content iron in a blast furnace as an ingredient for further processing steps. The traditional shape of the molds used for pig iron ingots was a branching structure formed in sand, with many individual ingots at right angles to a central channel or runner, resembling a litter of piglets being suckled by a sow. When the metal had cooled and hardened, the smaller ingots (the pigs) were simply broken from the runner (the sow), hence the name pig iron. As pig iron is intended for remelting, the uneven size of the ingots and the inclusion of small amounts of sand caused only insignificant problems considering the ease of casting and handling them.
Pig Iron refers to the metallic product of a furnace that contains over 90% iron. This term arose from the old-fashioned method of casting blast furnace iron into moulds arranged in sand beds in such a manner that they could be fed from a common runner. Because the groups of moulds resembled a litter of suckling pigs, the individual pieces of iron were referred to as pigs and the runner was referred to as a sow. Modern pigs are produced by a continuous pig casting machine.
Pig iron is used in Steelmaking as a high quality source of pure irons units. Demand for pig iron has increased in recent years as Steelmaking operators realise that it offers distinct advantages over other alternate iron sources. Pig iron contains low residuals, produces lower nitrogen steels, has a consistent chemistry, promotes optimal slag conditions and improves process control. Because of the advantages of pig iron it attracts a premium over scrap prices.
Gee Mom, look what else I've found!
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