Film ID:
YFA 525



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This is a film made by Charles Chislett film commissioned by the Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham. With the use of intertitles, it shows the process of steelmaking at the Rotherham works. The film is in two parts.

Part One

A Parkgate Production - The story of steel at the works of the Parkgate Iron and Steel Co., Rotherham.
Photographed and Edited by Charles J. Chislett, ARPS, FRGS
The company wishes to express its appreciation to all who have assisted in the making of this film.

Intertitle - First let us consider how iron is made. In this example the iron ore comes from the Company's ironstone mine at Sproxton in Leicestershire.

Iron ore is loaded onto rail wagons by a large crane. A hole is drilled into the ground and a tube of explosives is lowered into it. A section of wall is blown and the ore falls to the ground. The rocks are moved to one side and the ore is loaded into wagons.

Intertitle - After the removal of the iron-ore the land is restored for agricultural purposes.

The open mine is made flat again, and the resulting fields are shown.

Intertitle - When the iron ore reaches the furnaces it is smelted in the Blast Furnaces.

The outside of the works are shown from various places and then the conference centre at which arrive a party of school children. More of the works are shown, including railway wagons being tipped up to unload their contents of iron ore, with a railway worker splinting the wagons with a shunting pole. The ore goes onto a sieve, with the larger pieces being broken up. It then goes along a conveyor and into a machine where rocks are added. Wagonloads of iron turnings are transported to another part of the factory. A small model shows how the iron ore is layered with rocks in large steel circular containers to be heated.

Intertitle - The slag which floats on the surface of the molten iron is tapped every two hours.

Molten iron is poured into wagons, and again the model is used to demonstrate the process.

Intertitle - The molten iron is tapped every four hours.

Workmen make a small hole in the bottom of the furnace and molten iron pours out into a channel, which is helped along its way by a workman with a long pole.

Intertitle - Molten iron not required for the Open Hearth Furnaces is transported to a Pig Casting Machine.

Molten iron is being poured into ingot size containers. These pass along a conveyor belt where they are cooled. A workman holds up a cooled example. These are then loaded onto railway wagons with a magnetic crane.

Intertitle - Most of the molten iron is conveyed in refractory lined ladles to the 400 ton Mixer Furnace.

As a shunting engine approaches a row of wagons a railway worker hooks on the coupling using a shunting pole. Molten iron is transported in containers by rail to another part of the factory where it is poured out. There is a diagram for The Open Hearth Furnace.

Intertitle - The Open Hearth Furnaces are oil fired. This is how the fuel reaches them.

Various parts of the furnace are shown, with pistons, boilers and pipes.

Intertitle - Before charging commences the furnace hearth is fettled with dolomite.

A workman shovels dolomite into a furnace.

Intertitle - In addition to iron large quantities of steel scrap are used for steelmaking.

Wagons full of steel scrap arrive by train. A magnetic crane transfers it and some is cut into smaller pieces. This is then fed into a furnace.

Intertitle - Molten metal from the Mixer Furnace is added to the partly melted scrap.

Molten metal is poured into the containers with the scrap. A board on the wall for 'T. Furnace' has the times of the various processes chalked on it. A long thermometer is placed into the furnace to record the temperature, at just over 1650 cent.

Part Two

Molten metal is being poured into small containers. Once cooled these are drilled and the shavings placed into envelopes, and then into test tubes and mixed with a liquid for analysis. The resulting product is then placed into another tube to undergo further tests. A group of men huddle around a clipboard and go off, one of them appearing to whistle.

Intertitle - The steel is tapped into a refractory lined ladle.

Several workmen allow the molten metal to flow out from the furnace, using a long metal pole. It pours along a trench and into a large vat.

Intertitle - The molten metal is teemed through a single nozzle in the bottom of the ladle into ingot moulds.

The process is demonstrated using a diagram. A workman puts together the mould. The molten metal is poured into the moulds, and then the cases are removed once it has partially cooled, revealing the red hot ingots.

Intertitle - When the ingots have ben reheated to rolling temperature they are transferred to the Cogging Mill Rolls.

The red hot ingots are lifted up by crane and put onto a conveyor belt to go through the rolling mill, being remotely turned and placed into each different size mill in turn. Once at the required thickness they are cut and transported for stacking.

Intertitle - Billets and Blooms are inspected after rolling.

A finger traces a white chalk mark along one of the billets (bars).

Intertitle - After the inspection and removal of any surface defects billets are despatched to one of the Bar Mills for further rolling.