Molten cast iron. Image credit

Molten cast iron. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Combined Science Notes:  Cast iron and the oxygen lance process

  • The iron that is produced in the blast furnace contains about 4% carbon in mass terms
  • It also has other impurities such as phosphorus and sulpher
  • These impurities make the iron brittle if it is used as a structural material
  • It also rusts rapidly
  • This iron can be used as cast iron
  • It is used to make casting moulds for such items as gas stoves and railings
  • For it to be useful it has to be purified further
  • This is done using the oxygen lance process

The oxygen lance process

  • The impurities in cast iron can be removed using the oxygen lance process
  • This takes place in a basic  oxygen furnace
  • Oxygen is blown  into molten iron through a tube called a lance
  • This increases the temperature and all the impurities are oxidised
  • No fuel is required as the reactions involved are exothermic

To access more topics go to the Combined Science Notes page.

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