Skip to main content

I'm working on the details for operating sessions on my steel mill layout. I exhausted most of my resources for this question and thought someone here might know an answer:

How much dust did a blast furnace make at the dust collector in the 1930s-1950s? The MTH 30-75509 discharge hopper car is the car I would like to spot there. It's not exactly in my time period but my railroad is trying it out as a prototype It looks like the volume of that car is 2893 ft^3.

I'm trying to figure out how often a car will need to be spotted at the dust collector for each furnace. My searching on the internet came up empty. I have a few books and articles but they didn't cover dust collection amounts. My next step will be heading to the museum to raid their books. I'm betting the answer is there. It's just the museum option is tough at the moment because you need an appointment and they prefer weekdays (I work during that time).

The back up plan is just make it a value that makes sense for operation. I just prefer to have a more realistic idea.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hi BillYo414,

I don’t really have an answer to your question other than “a lot”!  I grew up in Wyandotte, MI which is a Downriver suburb of Detroit.  There were two large steel mills within a 2 mile radius. Back in the 60’s, long before the EPA, you could drive down the street and tell who worked at the mill. Their car was covered in a rust colored ash that many wouldn’t bother to wash off because it would just get covered again in a day or two. After high school, the two easiest jobs to get were pushing a broom around the mill or banging out car parts in a stamping plant. I went to the stamping plant. It was louder but cleaner.      

John

How big are the dust collection bins?  And how many?  This would give you an idea as how much dust you'll need to carry away.  If they are small compared with the capacity of the car then I'd say not often.  Also, steel mills have more than one furnace so you many have to move ans spot the car several times in a day.

JJan

@BillYo414 posted:

I'm working on the details for operating sessions on my steel mill layout. I exhausted most of my resources for this question and thought someone here might know an answer:

How much dust did a blast furnace make at the dust collector in the 1930s-1950s? The MTH 30-75509 discharge hopper car is the car I would like to spot there. It's not exactly in my time period but my railroad is trying it out as a prototype It looks like the volume of that car is 2893 ft^3.

I'm trying to figure out how often a car will need to be spotted at the dust collector for each furnace. My searching on the internet came up empty. I have a few books and articles but they didn't cover dust collection amounts. My next step will be heading to the museum to raid their books. I'm betting the answer is there. It's just the museum option is tough at the moment because you need an appointment and they prefer weekdays (I work during that time).

The back up plan is just make it a value that makes sense for operation. I just prefer to have a more realistic idea.

Bill,

I consulted my (actually my father's) 1957 edition of The Making, Shaping, and Treating of Steel, but was unable to discover any reference to quantities of dust created.  The process is described, but the numbers are not included.  Sorry.

I think you should take a big swallow of modeler's license and make an executive decision.

George

@G3750 posted:

Bill,

... The process is described, but the numbers are not included.  Sorry.

I think you should take a big swallow of modeler's license and make an executive decision.

George

I had the same experience everywhere I turned. Maybe I'll get lucky and stumble across a list from P&LE on eBay or something.

Until then, some license is the cure. I'll probably leave it hang until I get the track laid. Then I'll decide if it's a busy job or not.

My slag line is on the same track as my dust collector so it is more of a logistic situation for me.  I admire what you are doing!

Thanks Dave! Talking about your mill at your shop helped me decide it was a project worth pursuing. I enjoy the history of the industry/my hometown so putting that knowledge to work is just bonus for me.

My dust collector has a dedicated track behind the furnaces. You just made me realize though, that I have 3 dust collectors on one track. Hopefully that turns out to be an operational opportunity instead of a crisis. Somebody in another thread advised against a fast clock (which was my original plan). They basically said an event driven schedule might add flexibility to the layout and I'm inclined to agree with them. The tricky bit is that dust collection isn't in the flow of raw material becoming steel. Like you tap the furnace, now it's time to take the iron to the open hearth, pick up slag cars, and so on. Dust collection sort of happens on its own. I can pick how often but I gotta find that happy medium where it isn't a nuisance. I suspect I'll just work it out in operation. That's probably the best case.

Bill,

In my copy of Dean Freytag's book "THE HISTORY,  MAKING AND MODELING OF STEEL ", I found a one sentence reference (pg 67) to the amount of dust created in a blast furnace.  "For each ton of iron,  there may be from 100 to 300 pounds of flue dust suspended in the gas."

So depending on the size of the furnace you're modeling,  you can estimate how often you need to switch out a hopper from under the dust catcher.

For example,  if you say your furnace puts out 3000 tons of iron per day, (about  1 million ton/yr),  which is average for a modern furnace, and you tap it 3 times a day, (1000t/ tap), then you will find anywhere from 100k-300k of  pounds of dust per tap.    1000tons X 100#/ton=100,000# or 50 tons of dust. Obviously 300k pounds for the upper limit. So you're moving about 3 to 9 hoppers a day based on a 50-70 ton hopper.

The dust catcher will not remove all of the flue dust,  that's what the gas washers are for.  They extract the balance and send it to the Dorr thickener. Lower the amount collected by the catcher to 200 pounds per ton average. Then  a 100 ton hopper would be needed 3 times a day.

Hope this helps you.

@third rail you da man!!!! That's more than enough info more me to make a guess. My furnaces are 500 tons per day and I have them tapping every 6 hours. That's not exactly historical but it works until I get to actually operate under that schedule. Plus 90% of future layout visitors will be wondering what a blast furnace is before they ever question my numbers haha

So that comes out to roughly 50 tons per day for each hopper at 200 pounds per ton. So a hopper a day for each dust catcher (there are 3 at the moment).

I will have to read up on this thickener. It must be the extra equipment I've seen in a few photos of furnaces. It looks like the original was patented in 1906 based on a quick Google search. It could generate some extra traffic. I like the idea of a lot of traffic in a small area. I think that adds visual interest.

Any chance that book mentions fuel consumption for the open hearths, boilers, and blowers? That'll be my next logistical item to solve. I was planning to deliver fuel via tank car and coal for those three places.

@BillYo414 posted:

Thanks Dave! Talking about your mill at your shop helped me decide it was a project worth pursuing. I enjoy the history of the industry/my hometown so putting that knowledge to work is just bonus for me.

My dust collector has a dedicated track behind the furnaces. You just made me realize though, that I have 3 dust collectors on one track. Hopefully that turns out to be an operational opportunity instead of a crisis. Somebody in another thread advised against a fast clock (which was my original plan). They basically said an event driven schedule might add flexibility to the layout and I'm inclined to agree with them. The tricky bit is that dust collection isn't in the flow of raw material becoming steel. Like you tap the furnace, now it's time to take the iron to the open hearth, pick up slag cars, and so on. Dust collection sort of happens on its own. I can pick how often but I gotta find that happy medium where it isn't a nuisance. I suspect I'll just work it out in operation. That's probably the best case.

Bill, that sounds like a good plan.  Maybe you can add some sort of random event generator to run with the fast clock, creating something close to a "real world" situation.

Oh that's right!  Nothing ever goes "wrong" in the real world, right?     

Might make for an interesting "bump in the night" in an operating session.

George

@third rail posted:

After checking my books I have,  I couldn't find any information on fuel consumption.  Sorry

@G3750 posted:

Bill, that sounds like a good plan.  Maybe you can add some sort of random event generator to run with the fast clock, creating something close to a "real world" situation.

Oh that's right!  Nothing ever goes "wrong" in the real world, right?     

No sweat. This is information I would say is less important and less likely to be recorded. I could probably find it in time booklets and stuff from the local railroads if I can find them. I know I've seen Lowellville P&LE booklets on the bay but I'm not sure it's that important to me. The steel operations need to work together in lockstep but deliveries of fuel and supporting supplies is less important. I can imagine operating scenarios where the new guy failed to correctly hook up the tanker and there's a fuel spill. Now we need another tanker of oil ASAP haha so there's flexibility there and that kind of scenario could be fun. A lone steam high balling down the rails with a tanker full of fuel

The book I have says similar things. The open hearth on the layout is too far away to use the gas from the blast furnaces so I figure I'll use the tankers. That'll add some variety to the rolling stock.

It might be modelers license but it also plays in the narrative that the mills in Youngstown weren't entirely upgraded as the years went along. They lagged behind some. Mary Furnace, in Lowellville, was hand fed all the way into the late 50s. I think it ended life being hand fed. They had an elevator to take the barrows up top. My modelling time period is 1940s-1950s so having outdated equipment/methods works for me. In this case, I'll be saying that the blast furnaces were never upgraded to feed the boilers or open hearths fuel needs.

Thank you everyone for the help!! I appreciate it!

On my layout, they'll be headed off layout.

In real life, some of dust would be taken to a place called a sintering plant. This plant would collect iron particles from the dust and send it back to the furnace for melting. I've been told the sintering plant was a cut above the rest in terms of filth but I don't know much about sintering or the plant.

I know blast furnace waste products went to concrete/cement factories to be used in making concrete/cemet. I just don't know if the slag or dust was used in that process.

I would think the rest of the dust went to a landfill but I'm not sure. That wasn't in the book haha

Depending on your era, slag was substituted for gravel in road beds, road toppings, and construction blocks and tile pipes for building.  My best guess is that this was phases out around the fifties.

Flue gas and steam was moved around the plant in large pipes that had expansion loops ever do often.

Jan

Add Reply

Post
The Track Planning and Layout Design Forum is sponsored by

AN OGR FORUM CHARTER SPONSOR

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
www.ogaugerr.com

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×