There are four major steelmaking processes that use furnaces to burn off the excess carbon and other impurities. They are basic oxygen, open hearth, Bessemer, and electric furnaces. The open hearth process is the most common in the United States to produce high quality steel. As the molten steel comes out of the furnaces, it is poured into cast iron ingot molds where it solidifies as it cools. The ingots themselves are shaped into one of three different shapes dependent on their final products. These basic shapes are slabs, blooms, or billets.
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