How Is Steel Made from Iron Ore?

Steel Manufacturing from Iron Ore

Everyone knows that steel is made from iron ore, but how is it made? Do you know it? If not, this guide is for you, where you will learn how iron can be converted into shiny stainless steel. Two processes of converting iron ore into steel are discussed here.

Step-By-Step Guide to Making Stainless Steel

Here is the complete guide on how stainless steel is made from iron ore.

Extraction Of Iron Ore

The earth does not contain pure iron but iron ore. Different types of iron ores are extracted from the earth and converted into pure iron. For stainless steel manufacturing purposes, iron ore is used.

Primary Steel Making

There are two processes of steelmaking to remove impurities from iron ore. The first one is the Blast Furnace, and the second is Electric Arc Furnaces.

Blast Furnace 

Mr. Henry Bessemer invented the blast furnace method. He is known as the man who introduced the manufacturing of steel affordably. The blast furnace is a large cylinder-shaped furnace lined with heat-resistant bricks.

Iron ore, limestone, and coke are poured into the furnace. The items are heated while they reach the bottom half of the furnace. Coke is a type of coal that is used for steel manufacturing and is considered hazardous for the environment as it produces a massive amount of greenhouse gases.

This coke, when burned, releases oxygen from the iron ore. In the bottom half of the furnace, the limestone reacts with iron ore and extracts impurities from iron ore. These impurities float above the iron ore as slag, and a slag notch drains them from the furnace.

Electric Arc Furnaces 

Unlike blast furnaces, electric arc furnaces are used to create special alloyed steel, ordinary steel and recycle scrap steel, etc.

Scrap steels are dropped into the furnace by an overhead crane. Then the lid is closed, and the attached electrodes are lowered, producing heat and melting the scrap steel. Then, other metals and alloys are added depending on the steel produced.

Limestone and fluorspar are added, and oxygen is blown through the melted steel, turning the impurities into slag. The furnace is tilted, and the slag is removed. Stainless steel is produced using this method.

Secondary Steel Forming

When the metal is melted and ready, the perfect steel composition requires lowering the temperature or adding other metals. Different processes are used to bring the steel to its desired composition.

Vacuum Degassing– After melting, vacuum degassing is used to remove the gases from the liquid metal.

Stirring– Stirring is the process of blowing air from the bottom to refine the metal further.

Ladle Injection– It is a process of reheating the steel by injecting oxygen into the ladle.

Argon Bubbling- Argon is injected from the bottom of the furnace, bubbles up into the furnace, and creates an eye through the slag layer.


Different stainless steel manufacturing plants use different methods to make different steel types.


Casting is pouring the melted metal into large molds where it is cooled down. The metal is poured into different types of molds based on their application.

Hot Rolling

The cooled-down metals are hot rolled and shaped into, slabs, tubes, flats, etc.


At this stage, the metal is prepared for final use by shaping, cutting, bending, and notching. Here, the metal products attain their individual properties.

Which is Better- EAF or Blast Furnace?

Whenever steel manufacturing is discussed, the two methods of steel manufacturing are also discussed and argued as to which is better- blast furnace or EAF. Here are some key points.

  • The blast furnace uses coke as the main ingredient, a coal type. As a result, it produces a large amount of carbon dioxide, which increases greenhouse gas emissions.
  • EAF uses electrodes to heat the metal, which is more efficient than coke and air blasting, but electricity fluctuation poses a challenge. Also, the electrodes require regular changing as they have a small life.
  • Blast furnaces have been widely used in the steel manufacturing industry for decades and have become a synonym for steel making. But its hazardous environmental impacts are alarming and have compelled the steel manufacturing giants to use EAF as the leading furnace.

Best Stainless Steel Supplier in Albuquerque

There are many suppliers in the market, both online and offline, but you only need high-quality steel. Thus, you must source the metal from a quality supplier.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico Metals LLC is the synonym of excellence and the best stainless steel supplier in town. We offer all kinds of steel, including alloy steel, stainless steel, tool steel, etc., and a complete range of metal fabrication services. All your metal needs are fulfilled at New Mexico Metals LLC, Albuquerque.