Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Heaton Process

Heaton Process. A process, also known as the nitrate process, for the production of steel from "pig-iron." This is effected by the oxidation of the carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus and of the iron by means of sodium nitrate, and is carried out as follows: The iron is melted in a cupola, and the molten metal is poured into a cylindrical wrought-iron vessel, lined with fireclay - the converter. The bottom of the converter contains a charge of nitrate of soda, iron ore, sand, and oxides of manganese, and is covered by an iron grating to prevent the mass from rising to the surface of the melted iron. A vigorous action takes place, and large quantities of fumes escape from the top of the converter, the action being completed in about ten minutes. The bottom of the converter is movable, so that the mass of "crude steel "can be removed, and afterwards reheated, hammered, and rolled into bars.