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Reduce the metal ore with a reactive agent to separate it from impurities
Smelting is an ancient craft that has continued to develop with new metal manufacturing equipment. Treat the ore to high thermal pressure in a blast furnace until the heat exceeds the melting point of the metal.
Add a reducing agent such as coke to strip away the oxides in materials and separate the metals from rock and gangue. The coke reacts with oxide and splits it into carbon dioxide and metallic content.
Cast the molten metal to form an ingot
The molten metal is channeled out of the furnace and deposited in molds. Allow the material to cool down and solidify into casts.
The two main types of mold casting are expendable casts and permanent casts. The former class needs to be broken to release the cast metal, while the latter type is fabricated out of ductile material and can be reused.
Finish metals for bulk manufacturing with the deformation process
Metal deformation prepares the material for the intended industrial application. One method for bulk deformation is rolling the metal to reduce it to a uniform thickness and smoothen the surface.
Extrusion and drawing are more suitable for alloys. The blend of metals is moved through a die opening by a ram. In the case of extrusion, no tensile forces are exerted, and the material is pushed out. On the contrary, drawing applies tensile force and pulls the metal out of the opening.
Manufacturing metal powder from the ore
An alternative way to finish metal for further production is to process it into powder. The atomization technique passes the molten metal through a narrow opening against a jet of air or liquid.
The pressure causes the liquid metal to split into droplets, quickly turning into solids as the temperature decreases.