McLouth Steel Mill of Trenton, MI - 500,000,000 BTU/hr Gas Reheat Furnace
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These are some pictures of the largely intact 500,000,000 BTU/hr reheat furnace, used to heat 12" x 60" x 26' steel slabs from room temperature to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit in about an hour.
After iron ore is made into liquid iron metal and the liquid iron is made into liquid steel then cast into steel slabs, the slabs were placed into storage and allowed to cool to room temperature. When the mill was ready to process a steel slab into a saleable finished product, the slab needed to be heated to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit before it could be rolled into the desired thickness. In 1968, McLouth installed electric induction furnaces to perform this task, but they were found to be wanting and were later replaced by the natural gas furnace featured on this page.
I found and photographed a seminar on the operation of this furnace. It is pretty interesting reading!
The charging side of the reheat furnace. This is the end on which the slabs entered the furnace. The elevated orange structure is the charging pulpit (control room) for the furnace.
This diagram depicts the flow of slabs through the reheat furnace.
The slabs were placed onto the other end of this line of rollers (the "entry table") by crane, then rolled to the visible position here in front of the furnace. From here, they were picked up by the walking beam mechanism and moved into the furnace for heating.
Describe the walking beam mechanism here