11 thoughts on “A ladle on a bogey on its way to British Steel

  1. I realise that I may have made a mistake. This is a slag ladle for taking molten slag out a blast furnace. The slag is hotter than iron, but more viscous, like molten glass, so there was little risk of much slag slopping over the sides of the ladle. Molten pig iron and molten steel behave more like mercury.

    It didn’t matter too much that the slag lost heat from the wide open topped slag ladle. In transporting molten pig iron, heat had to be retained as the molten metal was poured into a mixer furnace, before being then used in an open hearth unit.

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  2. It looks like anon worked in the bridge yard with Billy Price who was my uncle and whose wife gave me the photos when he died. My dad also worked in the bridge yard for many years he was also called Bill but on occasions answered to Bob. There are a few other photos on this site somewhere from the bridge yard.

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  3. These ladles were used for transporting molten pig iron from the blast furnaces in Dorman Long at Clay Lane, over to the steel plants in the Cleveland works, and to those at Lackenby. I would guess that the total time from casting the pig iron to getting it to the steel plants would be 1-2 hours.The pig iron temperature was about 1300-1400 deg C, I think. So it would not be difficult to get refractory bricks to stand this temperature It requires a lot of energy to melt iron, so it takes a long time to freeze.But it could happen…..If one of these ladle trucks came off the tracks, I don’t think they could do much until it went solid.

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  4. Surely the Ladle wagons, Torpedo Cars, Scale Cars and the like consisted of components contructed in various HW Departments and were brought together for final assembley (in the most convenient place, probably the Teasdale Fitting Shop). This one was obviously photographed in the Heavy Plate Shop.
    As a member of HW photographic section from 1963-68 I never ceased to be amazed at the Scale, Quality & Diversity of the products that left the Various departments of Heads, a lasting tribute to the skill of the Workforce.
    Kaldo Convertors were also installed in GB at Parkgate (Rotherham) and Stanton & Staveley (Ilkeston)

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  5. It was always my view what a wonderful invention this was, to be able to transport molton metal by rail. It must have been a reliable delivery service because it would have been an expensive business trying to recycle the solid metal if it had solidified.
    It must have been good insulation, perhaps someone can explain this to me. I used to cast molton Cobalt Chromium, gold and silver using oxy acetylene and induction melting methods. The metals would soon reach the solid state when the heat source was removed from the crucible. We used mainly centrifugal force to cast them into the molds. In the old days we would use steam pressure from a wet asbestos pad to force the metal into the mold. This latter method was used in Armitages Practice in the Dental Laboratory in 1950.

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  6. The ladle wagons in this photo were built in Billy Price’s Shop in the bridgeyard, the torpedo cars were built in the fitting shop,the 200ton ladles were built in the heavy plate shop where we also built some Kaldo converters for Australia.

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  7. I find the information about the trunnions very interesting. A lot of people thought that the large furnace on the Redcar skyline produced steel, not so, it produced iron which was then sent to the steel furnaces to be converted into steel hence the name converter furnaces. The steel produced for steel castings in steel foundries is made from steel scrap with various additions to make the type of steel required for the various The torpedoes also made at Heads where used to transport the molten iron to the steel furnace to convert into steel. I’m sure Bob or anon can put me right if i’ve dropped a clanger on this.There is a picture of a Torpedoe somwhere on this new sight when I can work out were everything is.

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  8. As mentioned above, Head Wrightsons built a lot of ladles. On a roundabout on the A66 at South Bank there is a replica of a 200ton ladle. On the actual 200ton ladle the trunnion pins were 28 inches in diameter & were a 14thou interference fit into the trunnion,the pins were shrunk in liquid nitrogen & placed in the trunnion prior to welding.

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  9. One of the many large ladles with its bogie made at Head Wrightsons.All the main body of the ladle was i understand made in the HW Bridge Yard with the cast steel Trunnions(i think they call them)being made in the HW Steel Foundry.I helped on one or two occasions to make the wooden patterns for them

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