Shift Happens

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by entropic remnants, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    In this case day shift.

    Underneath these ladles which typically carry 170+ tons of molten steel is a ceramic gate valve called a "ladle gate". It's job is to seal off a nozzle on the bottom of the ladle and provide control of the flow of molten steel into the tundish when casting.

    This one failed to open enough to operate the caster machine, and then failed to close back up. A "leaker".

    Ultimately the crew was able to prepare another ladle and pour the steel from this one into it so it could be reprocessed and cast successfully -- and it was.

    Shot with my trusty and everpresent Fujifilm X100S and all frames processed from JPG -- which with these scenes is very impressive IMO.

    Shift Happens: The Adventure Begins by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Examining the Ladle by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Melting Supervisor Guides the Ground Crew by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Reladle Approach by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Casting Supervisor Watches Final Pour by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Reladle Process by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Shift Happens: Inspecting the Damage by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 21
  2. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Really cool shots! Not sure I understand everything that was wrong or needed fixing, but it looked great :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs

    We're a steel mill that melts old steel scrap, processes it to the correct chemistry for new steel grades, and then casts that steel into 10" thick raw steel slabs that are rolled into plate steel from 1/4" to 5" thick.

    What this is, is a large steel vessel lined with ceramic that is used to transport molten steel around the mill. It's called a ladle.

    The ceramic valve underneath allows us to drain the steel into the machine that casts the steel slabs -- and it malfunctioned neither opening enough to use the caster nor did it seal back off again. It makes a hot mess, lol.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    isn't that stuff like a couple thousand degrees? That sure doesn't seem safe.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Here about 2900 Fahrenheit. No, it's not inherently safe but it can be dealt with. The danger is part of the charm of being a steelworker and yes we're ALL crazy.
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Steel is COOL!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Fiddler

    Fiddler Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Great images - I love this stuff.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Neat shots
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RT Panther

    RT Panther All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    Hey...You did "The Terminator Judgement Day" :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. donlaw

    donlaw All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    Looks like you sure did get close. Seems dangerous. But I am sure everyone around there must be well protected.
    Really great photos.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. pniev

    pniev Student for life

    May 13, 2013
    Haha. I was convinced I responded already but that turned out to be at FujiXspot. But they're so beautiful, I'd like to repeat my comment here: AWESOME!!
    I also like the industrial theme a lot.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    It certainly produces some beautiful light! Great shots but rather you than me;)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks all.

    True it is potentially very dangerous but though this was a somewhat dramatic situation it was not as bad as it looks. The ceramic lining of the ladle was intact -- this was not an urgent "breakout" where the lining has failed and the inches thick steel wall of the ladle is melting.

    It was really a pain in the neck where we were trying to keep from wasting a valuable product and repair the ladle and return it to service. The guys did an outstanding job doing that.

    When people come to work at the mill they either really get into it, or run from it. There is a fair bit of turnover in new hires but the ones that stay tend to stay a long time.

    I myself have been there 22 years. I took a position there in 1991 after a layoff during a recession that year which left me jobless. I took it out of desperation intending to leave as soon as possible. You see how that worked out, lol.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Those orange colours are spectacular
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    And what's this nonsense about an "information economy?"

    Give me hot molten steel! You can make things with it.

    cheers, Jock
    • Like Like x 1
  16. KianO

    KianO Top Veteran

    Jun 27, 2012
    Wow, I can feel the heat watching these photos, the orange color I like a lot, it is supposed to be color of communication, it gives vitality to the spirit.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. CM_SK

    CM_SK Regular

    Apr 23, 2013
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Every industrial plant like this should have a John Griggs type, with a quality camera, and the skills required to take these kinds of shots. This might do something to help people realize where all the things we purchase really come from, and be more supportive of primary industry...
    • Like Like x 2
  18. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Thanks! With regard to the color orange, your post made me think of this (not that it's relevant, lol)...

    "My Red is so confident he flashes
    Trophies of war and ribbons of euphoria
    Orange is young, full of daring
    But very unsteady for the first go round
    My yellow in this case is not so mellow
    In fact I'm trying to say, he's frightened like me"

    -- Jimi Hendrix from "Bold as Love"

    Thank you and amen!!! The decline of American industry and the substitution of a "service economy" is shameful and ultimately self-defeating. But then I would feel that way, wouldn't I, lol?...