From raw material to finished product – our business extends globally from iron ore and coal mining to a wide range of steel products and services. In 2014 we mined 63.9 million tonnes of iron ore and 7 million tonnes of coking coal, overall we produced 93.1 million tonnes of crude steel.
To manufacture steel, it is first necessary to produce pig iron. This is produced from iron ore by beneficiation with carbon. The carbon is obtained from coal (coke). The process starts with the processing of iron ore which is milled first. Ore is extracted in the process. The fine-grained iron ore thus obtained can then be processed into coarse-grained clumps, known as pellets, sinter or lump. The coal is purified of contaminations in a coke oven in order to obtain a virtually pure form of carbon.
The mixture of iron ore, coal and other auxiliary substances is heated up in a blast furnace. Pig iron is thus manufactured during the fabrication process, known as the blast furnace route. Slag (used in road construction) and carbon monoxide (mainly routed to the conversion of waste materials into electricity) are produced as by-products.
The pig iron still contains a very high proportion of carbon and must therefore be further treated with oxygen. Liquid steel is produced in the process. When the steel is treated in the converter, other substances are added depending on the steel’s desired properties. The steel is then shaped: it is cast continuously or poured into moulds. It is then referred to as a semi-finished product. If the steel is rolled again, it is rolled up into a coil and used, for example, for the production of cars or white goods.
ArcelorMittal has a diversified range of production facilities for steel. The Linz-Donawitz process (LD process) is used in the blast furnace process described but the electric arc furnace is also used. In this case, the most important raw material is not unsmelted iron ore but rather recycled steel scrap which is smelted straight into new steel and refined with alloys. Our plants in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt produce flat carbon steel based on blast furnaces in integrated plants while the rolling mill in Duisburg is supplied with crude steel from the electric furnace production and in Hamburg scrap metal is smelted in the plant’s own electric furnace and processed into wire.
Molten steel from the furnaces runs through continuous casting mills and is shaped into slabs, blooms and billets. These primary steel products are transformed by means of hot and cold rolling processes into a wide range of finished steel products. The slabs are rolled into flat products, the blooms are processed to become girders and other structural shapes, billets are formed into bars and rods.
Our steel is used in a huge number of industries, including the automotive, construction, domestic appliance and packaging industries. From basic steel to advanced products, from long carbon products to flat carbon products, from standard to special products, from “simple” carbon steel to stainless steel alloys – ArcelorMittal is able to satisfy a wide range of customer requirements in a variety of industries.