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Extra resources for British iron and steel : AD 1800-2000 and beyond
Ewald Riepe lodged a British patent application on their behalf in the following year and because of this action the technique is sometimes erroneously described in the English literature as Riepe's process. In comparison to the conventional wet puddling procedure, the modified practice differed mainly in the addition of manganese oxide, mixed with common salt and dry clay, to lower the fusion point of the slag and allow the process to be operated at a lower temperature. The manganese oxide addition also replaced part of the iron oxide added as an oxidant.
2 Gas Firing Charles William Siemens and his brother, Frederick, took out the first patent for a regenerative furnace in 1857 and the gas producer was patented four years later. Initially the principle was applied to the manufacture of glass, but a decade later he began to explore designs for regenerative furnaces which could be used for crucible steel melting. In the form that was eventually adopted (Fig. 6) a double row of crucibles was set on an elongated hearth. The crucibles were inserted and removed through lids in the furnace roof.
This theme was carried further by Isaac Rogers, whose 1855 patent described the use of a horizontal kiln which was heated externally. A mixture of pulverised ore and charcoal was moved through the kiln by a helical screw conveyor and the reduced ore was fed directly to a reverberatory furnace. None of these proposed methods achieved commercial success during the lifetime of their inventors. After he had developed the open hearth steelmaking process, C. W. Siemens reactivated some of the earlier direct reduction ideas in an attempt to produce a feedstock, suitable for use in his furnace, direct from iron are without the need for a blast furnace.