Steelmaking technique that for most of the 20th century accounted for most steel made in the world. William Siemens made steel from pig iron in a reverberatory furnace of his design in 1867. The same year the French manufacturer Pierre-Émile Martin (1824–1915) used the idea to produce steel by melting wrought iron with steel scrap. Siemens used the waste heat given off by the furnace: he directed the fumes from the furnace through a brick checkerwork, heating it to a high temperature, and then used the same path to introduce air into the furnace; the preheated air significantly increased the flame temperature. The open-hearth process furnace (which replaced the Bessemer process) has itself been replaced in most industrialized countries by the basic oxygen process and the electric furnace. See also reverberatory furnace.
Variants of OPEN-HEARTH PROCESS
open-hearth process or Siemens-Martin process
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on open-hearth process, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up open-hearth process? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.