It’s a machine that can deliver an injection of pure metallium ore in less than 20 minutes, and that’s all it takes to make steel.
It is so fast, in fact, that it can be used to produce steel in just two hours.
Inventor David Gee has designed a machine called the ‘Metallurgical Coke Steel Infuser’ (or MCCI) that can process the ore to make a high-grade steel in less time than a typical furnace.
“It’s the first machine that will ever do it,” said Gee.
“We’ve been working with the UK’s National Grid and the US’s Bureau of Reclamation to make sure they’re on board.”
The machine was created by a team of scientists at the University of Sheffield, who built a prototype of the machine in 2009.
The team of researchers and engineers, who are based at Sheffield’s University of Technology, developed a prototype that is capable of producing up to 50 tonnes of steel in a 24-hour period.
The machine is equipped with a pump that can pump in up to 1,000 litres of water per hour, to ensure that it’s never dry.
Once the steel is pumped through the pump, it is pumped back through a series of channels to be processed in the next stage of steel production.
The process uses a steam generator to heat the steel, which is then subjected to a high heat treatment to help remove the heavy metals and other impurities that have formed during the steel’s production.
This process will reduce the weight of the steel in the furnace and therefore, allow it to be produced more efficiently.
“This process has been going on for almost a decade, but the only thing we’ve ever done before was the first time in the United States, where it was the same thing,” said Professor Richard Smith from the University’s Metallurgical Science Institute (MSI).
“This is a major breakthrough, it’s a huge step forward, and it will give us a huge amount of control of the process.”
Metallurgists have long been interested in how to improve the quality of steel produced by making it from steel.
The UK is the only country in the world to have developed a system that can make steel from iron ore in such a fast way, which has been credited with helping to lower the cost of steel.
Gee’s team says that the MCCIs machine is the first of its kind, and the first to use a steam boiler to process steel.
“The process itself is very low temperature and it takes very little energy to process this steel,” he said.
“When it’s finished, it will produce about 50 tonnes per day, which makes it a very competitive product.”
Gee said the machine was also capable of removing impurities, which could lead to a more efficient process.
“If we could produce more steel that is less dense, we’d have a huge impact on the price of steel,” said Smith.
“So we’re looking to use it to reduce the cost.”
It’s been more than 20 years since the first MCCis machine was tested in the UK, but Smith believes that the company’s technology has already caught the attention of a number of companies.
“Steel producers around the world are starting to realise that it is a competitive process, and they’re beginning to use the technology,” he explained.
“Our aim is to help them to get it out to the rest of the world and make the technology available to the public.”