STEEL: Faster & Cheaper

A sunlike ball of flame burst last week from a new cylindrical furnace in the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. works at Aliquippa, Pa. For half an hour it bathed an area 200 yds. around with white light. Then a shower of sparks sprayed from the furnace, and the light gradually subsided. Inside the furnace—where just 37 minutes ago there was only molten iron, scrap and slag-forming materials—there now bubbled 54 tons of high-purity steel.

So did the "basic oxygen" process of steelmaking go to work for a major U.S. producer, drastically cutting the time needed to make steel...

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