furnace casting Hematite pig iron
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.
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.