Iron ores mined from the earth are the primary raw materials from which pig iron is produced. Iron ore is combined in a blast furnace with coke and limestone in a continuous process. About two tons of ore, one ton of coke and half a ton of limestone will yield a production of one ton of iron. However, pig iron contains many impurities and to be useful it must be further refined to produce a useable cast iron or steel. Steel is simply an alloy of iron with most of the impurities removed. Over 90% of the steel produced is plain carbon steel, with a controlled amount of carbon content, usually less than 2%.
Page 2 of 25