The blast furnace casting Hematite pig iron

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Molten iron in sand-lined runners on the cast house floor

The blast furnace casting Hematite pig iron. The clay plug has been breached and iron is running down the sand lined trough to a ladle below the cast house floor. The plate is skimming slag off the top of the iron. It will be lowered in to the trough later on to divert the iron to another runner when the ladle is full.

Prior to this, the blast furnace slag, containing unwanted impurities, was removed via the slag notch. Slag floats on the top of the molten iron and is directed via a different route to slag ladles below the cast house floor.

Over 100 years of ironmaking has created a slag bank on the shore line which dominates the town.  Derwent Howe, as it is now called, is slowly being consumed as the demand for crushed and graded slag continues. 


  The Derwent Blast Furnaces were unusual because the cast house floor was at ground level. Most other ironworks elevated the cast house and ran the hot metal ladles and slag ladles on rails at ground level.  This meant that at Workington,  powerful locomotives had to be used to lug the heavily laden ladles out of the bogey road.

When the furnaces were demolished it is believed that the electric ore car and some of the ladles were buried in the bogey road.

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