Technical Term Index

Alloy Two or more metallic elements combined to produce a new metal.
Auxiliary Plant A term to describe the equipment used in combination with the main power-generating source.
Basic Oxygen Furnace A pear-shaped furnace used in the process of making steel through the BOS method.
Basic Oxygen Steelmaking (BOS) A method of producing steel whereby pure oxygen is blown into the furnace.
Blast Furnace A tall cylindrical furnace used in the production of pig-iron.
Boiler A closed vessel used for generating steam.
By-Products Plant The area within a steelworks where secondary products resulting from steel production are processed or re-cycled.
Blowout An eruption or uncontrollable overspill of molten liquid.
Burr A rough or sharp edge left on metal by a cutting tool.
Carbonisation The process of removing volatile matter using water on heated coals to produce coking coal.
Charge The required combination of materials that go into a furnace for smelting.
Coke Fuel produced from the carbonisation of coal.
Coke Oven Battery A set of large scale ovens used to turn coal into coke.
Cold-Rolled Strip Sheet metal that has been pickled and run through a cold finishing process resulting in a stronger and thinner finished product.
Continuous Casting A casting technique where the metal ingot is continuously solidified as it moves through the process and the length of the final product is not determined by the normal confines of a mould.
Cooling Tower A tall open-topped tower used to condense steam generated by industrial processes.
Descaling The removal of ‘scale’ or oxide from the steel before it is rolled.
De-sulphurising Unit Equipment used to remove sulphur (using chemicals) from molten iron before introducing it to the steel furnaces.
Electric Arc Furnace Steel making furnace using solely scrap metal and electric current.
Ferrous Metals which consist primarily of Iron.
Finish The condition of the metal’s surface after its final treatment e.g. polishing or cold-rolling.
Flux An iron cleaning agent, usually Limestone.
Gas Holder A large cylindrical metal tower used to store gas produced by industrial activity.
Gauge The thickness and/or weight per unit area of sheet or strip metal.
Hot Metal Pig iron in its molten form.
Hot-Rolled Strip The resulting product from a slab of steel hot-rolled and then formed into coils or thin flat lengths.
Impurities Elements such as silicon or sulphur found in iron that need to be removed to produce a good quality steel.


Ingot A mass of metal which has been cast into a mould
Integrated Works An industrial site which possess the facilities in which raw materials can be processed and then used to manufacture a finished product.
Iron Ore A mineral found naturally in the earth’s crust.
Ladle A vessel which is used to pour the molten metal to and from the furnace.
Lance A long thin pipe connected to a supply of gas or pure oxygen.
Open Hearth Furnace A broad shallow area construction used to make steel. The charge is placed on the hearth and heated from above. This process of converting iron to steel was very time consuming and was eventually replaced with the BOS method.
Oxidation Chemical reaction on a metallic surface from exposure to oxygen.
Pickling The process of chemically removing scale or oxide from metal ingots.
Pig Iron The name given to the iron produced in a Blast Furnace, so called because the iron was originally cast into pig-bed moulds.
Plate A flat sheet of metal measuring at least 1/8 inch in thickness.
Power Station Central location for all energy sources within an industrial workplace.
Refractory Brick A ceramic type brick which has the property to resist extreme high temperatures, used in the linings of blast and coke furnaces.
Reversing Mill A stand of rollers where metal is passed back and forth numerous times – each time the metal passes through the rollers the space is reduced and the metal is rolled thinner.
Roughing Stand Used for preliminary rolling. Usually consists of vertical edging rolls and horizontal reduction rolls.
Scale The oxide that forms on the outer layer of metal after hot working or exposure to air and steam.
Scrap Trimmings and waste metal used for re-melting.
Sinter A mixture made usually from iron ore, coke and limestone used to make pig iron.
Slab A semi-finished hot rolled product, intended for further processing into plate or strip metal.
Slab Shear A hydraulic cutting device used to cut slabs of metal to length.
Slag A non-metallic layer of impurities which float on top of the molten metal. The slag is removed separately from the metal.
Switchgear An electrical device used for opening and closing electric circuits.
Tapping The process of removing or pouring the molten metal from the furnace, traditionally done through a ‘tap-hole’.
Tempering The process of reheating and then cooling the metal to the correct temperature at a suitable rate to ensure the correct degree of strength in the finished metal.
Top Charging The charge materials are filled in from the top of the furnace.
Torpedo  Cars Specially designed enclosed train wagons used to carry molten liquid from one area to another.
Tundish A shallow basin on top of the continuous caster which allows precise regulated flow of the metal into the mould.
Turbine Plant Area where energy is converted from steam and used to power rotary bladed equipment.