The practice of carrying melted cast iron direct from the blast furnace to the Siemens hearth or the Bessemer converter saves both money and time. It has rendered necessary the construction of special plant in the form of ladles of dimensions hitherto quite unknown. Messrs. Stevenson & Co., of Preston, make the construction of these ladles a specialty, and by their courtesy, says The Engineer, we are enabled to illustrate four different types, each steel works manager, as is natural, preferring his own design. Ladles are also required in steel foundry work, and one of these for the Siemens-Martin process is illustrated by Fig. 1. These ladles are made in sizes to take from five to fifteen ton charges, or larger if required, and are mounted on a very strong carriage with a backward and forward traversing motion, and tipping gear for the ladle. The ladles are butt jointed, with internal cover strips, and have a very strong band shrunk on hot about half way in the depth of the ladle. This forms an abutment for supporting the ladle in the gudgeon band, being secured to this last by latch bolts and cotters. The gearing is made of cast steel, and there is a platform at one end for the person operating the carriage or tipping the ladle.
Stopper gear and a handle are fitted to the ladles to regulate the flow of the molten steel from the nozzle at the bottom.
LADLES FOR CARRYING MOLTEN IRON AND STEEL.
Fig. 2 shows a Spiegel ladle, of the pattern used at Cyfarthfa. It requires no description. Fig. 3 shows a tremendous ladle constructed for the North-Eastern Steel Company, for carrying molten metal from the blast furnace to the converter. It holds ten tons with ease. It is an exceptionally strong structure. The carriage frame is constructed throughout of 1 in. wrought-iron plated, and is made to suit the ordinary 4 ft. 8½ in. railway gauge. The axle boxes are cast iron, fitted with gun-metal steps. The wheels are made of forged iron, with steel tires and axles. The carriage is provided with strong oak buffers, planks, and spring buffers; the drawbars also have helical compression springs of the usual type. The ladle is built up of ½ in. wrought-iron plates, butt jointed, and double riveted butt straps. The trunnions and flange couplings are of cast steel. The tipping gear, clearly shown in the engraving, consists of a worm and wheel, both of steel, which can be fixed on either side of the ladle as may be desired. From this it will be seen that Messrs. Stevenson & Co. have made a thoroughly strong structure in every respect, and one, therefore, that will commend itself to most steel makers.
We understand that these carriages are made in various designs and sizes to meet special requirements. Thus, Fig. 4 shows one of different design, made for a steel works in the North. This is also a large ladle. The carriage is supported on helical springs and solid steel wheels. It will readily be understood that very great care and honesty of purpose is required in making these structures. A breakdown might any moment pour ten tons of molten metal on the ground, with the most horrible results.