24 inches X 48 inches
Steel can be shaped through several different processes, including casting, forging, and rolling.
Each process affects the properties of the material, and the process chosen will depend on what properties the metal will need to have for its intended use.
Once the steel has been formed into a rough shape (slab, billet, or bloom) in the roughing mill, it is brought to the finishing mills for further refinements to its shape.
Blooms are made into railroad rails or structural steel, like I-beams.
Billets become bars and rods (and sometimes even steel wire.)
Slabs can be rolled into steel plate or thin sheets. The thin sheets are often coiled into compact spools a few feet in diameter. This material is sold to manufacturers who use it to make thousands of different items, from automobile bodies and freezers to shovels and toaster ovens.
The roughing mill and finishing mills may be next door to each other, or many miles apart.
Diagram showing the general arrangement of this module.
The finishing mills.
A close-up of the finishing mill. The cars are pushed into the building for loading, but the locomotive stays outside.