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US Patent: 16,082
Improvement in the manufacture of iron and steel
Henry Bessemer - London, England

USPTO Classifications:
266/240, 266/248, 75/556, 75/557, 75/559

Tool Categories:
trade specific : foundryman


Not known to have been produced

Thomas Brown
John Alcock

Patent Dates:
Granted: Nov. 11, 1856

Patent Pictures: [ 1 | 2 ]
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"My invention consists in the decarbonization or partial decarbonization and refinement of the crude iron which is obtained in a fluid state from the blast-furnaces in which the iron ore is usually smelted, or the decarbonization and refinement of crude pig-iron or finery iron, by first smelting the pigs of crude iron or the plates of finery iron in any suitable furnace, so as to obtain fluid metal for the purpose of being treated by my improved means; and which consists, first, in running the fluid iron into a close or nearly close vessel or chamber, formed by preference of iron, and line with fire-bricks or other slow conductor of heat. When the chamber or vessel is about filled, I blow or force into and among the fluid metal numerous small jets of atmospheric air in a cold or in a previously-heated state, or I use any other gaseous fluid or matter containing or capable of evolving sufficient oxygen to cause the combustion of the carbon contained in the iron, and thereby to keep up the required temperature during the process. The size or number of the jets or tuyere-pipes by which the air or other gaseous matters are conducted into the molten metal should be proportioned to the quantity of fluid metal operated upon at a time, and may also vary with the condition or quality of the metal. Thus forged pig or refined plate metal will not require so much oxygen to complete is decarbonization and conversion into steel or malleable iron as is required for the conversion of crude iron of the qualities known as 'No. 1' or 'No. 2' foundry-iron, to which last-named qualities of iron I prefer to use tuyeres having an outlet of about twenty per cent more in area than those which are used for the white qualities of iron."

After some years of refinement of Bessemer's steel-making process, it substantially reduced the cost of steel and increased its quality.

Bessemer applied for an extension to this patent but the Commissioner of Patents rejected the application because Bessemer had already been amply rewarded for his invention.

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