STEEL: Expanding Furnaces

No. 1 material of war is steel; and the U. S., with some 81,000,000 ingots a year, has about half the world's steelmaking capacity. No foreseeable peacetime boom is likely to strain it. But for purposes of war, U. S. steel capacity is mostly of the wrong kind. Of its enormous furnace power, 90% is open-hearth, for run-of-the-mill steel. Only 2% is in electric furnaces, which are hotter, can be more precisely controlled, turn out steel ingots of the finest grade. Many an aircraft part, the guts of internal combustion engines, light armor...

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