Re: Limestone for the Steel Industry (was. . . Kline & Culotta's book)

Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>

From my discussions with steel workers, and observations over many years of
integrated plants, it is true that the ratio of limestone to lime in industry
use was very large. Limestone was one of the three "big" ingredients in hot
metal making (iron), as flux stone, sometimes substituted or mixed with
dolomite, depending on the properties of the iron desired, so they typically
brought lots of it in, in open hoppers, but since it was heavier than coal,
also not filled to the top. I remember most of it coming in in twins, rather
than the larger triples or quads, which seemed, in my area, to be hoarded for
bituminous. B&O and RDG had dedicated twins for "stone" loading that went to
Bethlehem Steel, ands perhaps elsewhere.

Lime was ground to powder off-site, and as Tony stated, sometimes bagged. I
also remember it coming in in covered hoppers or, like powdered dolomite, in
bulk containers in gons. The B&O shipped in powder lime in wagontop covered
hoppers, to USS in Pgh. Bulk containers made it easy to manage in-plant, and
there were certain customers that insisted on it that way. You already know
about the NKP, P&WV, WM, and PRR bulk containers cars. Lime was used to
change the chemistry of the heat, and could be dumped in in scoops, or bags,
as the highly-skilled iron and steel makers knew what proportions that needed
to alter the product after they had taken samples of the in-process metal.

Lime was also mixed with water on-site and sprayed onto molds and ladles,
again, depending on what they wanted to do with the hot metal or the
properties of the ingots. There were de-sulphurization and other processes
that required many minerals to be kept on site to treat the metal that we
don't commonly think about in modeling loads. I have a couple drop-in loads
that I made from crummy "coal" loads provided in kits, that I added various
colored powders to the top of, to represent a few of these interesting
additive loads. I also have several bulk container cars that I have had a
blast creating, that will represent lime and powdered dolomite shipments.
Anyone modeling iron or steel-making, foundries, or even pipe-making
facilities or their traffic, might want to consider some of these cars.

We are very lucky we have models in HO for both the cars, and containers.
Westerfield's HB-1A and Youngstown container loads are particularly nice, but
the Walthers bulk containers are also nice, though very pricey.

Take care,

Elden Gatwood


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Anthony Thompson
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 12:46 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re:Limestone for the Steel Industry (was. . . Kline &
Culotta's book)

Malcolm Laughlin wrote:
Lime or limestone for blast furnaces. We're looking at taking some of
that Shenadoah Valley product originating on our Waynesboro Branch
going to Hurlin Steel at Charleston, WV. Was it hauled in covered
hoppers or open top cars ?
Limestone is fine in open-top cars. Lime tends to absorb water
happily, so covered hoppers would certainly be preferred. Of course,
being used in smaller amounts, pallets of 100-pound bags are possible
too. (When charging such things, usually you throw in the pallet, paper
bags, strapping, and everything.)

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

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