Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)
Desy, D. H.
Iron and steel, pp. 507-527 ff. PDF (2.2 MB)
508 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1977 ger price mechanism to initiate immediate investigations of possible steel dumping, with resolution required in 60 to 90 days, to replace the existing procedure, which normally required more than a year. The task force also recommended tax incentives to encourage modernization of steel plants, rationalization of environmental policies and procedures, community and labor assistance, and other general measures, including a study of legal barriers to joint ventures and mergers, incrOased research and development, and government review of transportation systems serving the steel industry. PRODUCTION AND SHIPMENTS OF PIG IRON Domestic production of pig iron totaled 81.5 million tons in 1977, a decrease of 5.3 million tons, or 6% less than that produced in 1976. Shipments were 82.4 million tons, 5% less than in 1976. Average production of pig iron per blast furnace day increased to 1,935.8 tons, compared with 1,930.1 tons in 1976 and 1,837.4 tons in 1975, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). There were 107 furnaces in blast at the beginning of the year, compared with 134 at yearend. No ferroalloy blast furnaces were in operation at yearend. There was a total of 193 blast furnaces standing at the beginning of the year, declining to 179 at yearend~ Metalliferous Materials Consumed in Blast Furnaces.—For each ton of pig iron produced in 1977, an average of 1,645 tons of metalliferous materials was consumed in blast furnaces. The revised figure for 1976 was 1,654 tons. Total net iron ore and agglomerates consumed in blast furnaces was 126.7 million tons. The total tonnage of iron ore, including manganiferous ore, consumed by agglomerating plants at or near the blast furnaces in producing 34.9 million tons of agglomerates was 23.6 million tons. The revised 1976 figure for consumption of iron ore, including manganiferous ore, was 26.3 million tons. Other materials consumed by agglomerating plants included mill scale, flue dust, slag, coke breeze, and fluxes. Domestic pellets charged to the blast furnaces totaled 61.9 million tons, and sinter charged was 35.4 million tons. Pellets and other agglomerates from foreign sources amounted to 15.1 million tons. Blast furnace oxygen consumption totaled 28.9 billion cubic feet according to AISI, compared with 26.9 billion cubic feet in 1976 and 25.9 billion cubic feet in 1975. Blast furnaces, through tuyere injection, consumed 12.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas, 3.1 billion cubic feet of coke oven gas, 438 million gallons of oil, 109 million gallons of tar, pitch, and miscellaneous fuels, and 147,343 tons of bituminous coal in 1977. PRODUCTION AND SHIPMENTS OF STEEL Steel production early in the year was reduced by shortages of natural gas resulting from severe weather in January and February. One small integrated steel mill (Alan Wood Steel Co.) and several minimills went bankrupt during the year. Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. and Bethlehem Steel Corp. closed some of their facilities at Youngstown, Ohio, Johnstown, Pa., and Lackawanna, N.Y., and several other steel companies temporarily shut down some of their operating facilities. Foreign imports, including some allegedly imported at less than fair prices, were cited as the major reason for the cutbacks. The domestic steel industry produced 125.3 million tons of raw steel in 1977, 2% less than the 128 million tons produced in 1976. Production in 1977 was 78.4% of industry raw steel production capability, compared with 80.9% in 1976. Of the total, 61.8% was produced by the basic oxygen process, 16.0% by open hearth furnaces, and 22.2% by electric furnaces. Shipments of steel products for the year totaled 91.1 million tons, 2% more than the 89.4 million tons shipped in 1976. The increase in shipments, despite the decline in raw steel production, was attributed to inventory increases in 1976 and withdrawals in 1977. Shipments to the automotive industry totaled 21.5 million tons, slightly more than in 1976, and shipments to service centers rose 5% to 15.3 million tons. Shipments to the oil and gas industry increased 38%, and shipments to the construction industry increased 1%. Materials Used in Steelmaking.— Metallic materials charged to domestic steel furnaces in 1977, per ton of steel produced, averaged 1,230 pounds of pig iron, 1,025 pounds of scrap, 24 pounds of ferroalloys, and 20 pounds of ore and agglomerates. According to AISI, steelmaking furnaces
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