T O P

The last remaining, but abandoned, blast furnace in Belgium.

The last remaining, but abandoned, blast furnace in Belgium.

AwesomeDutchEngineer

That's hot as fuck, do you have anything to scale?


FBI_03

Banana


Arnoldthehawk

Banana? 👀


OverlyAdorable

Orange you glad they said banana?


ianthrax

For scale


FBI_03

For scale


buddybonesbones

Banana measuring tape/level?


[deleted]

I think I've been to this very place, and I seem to recall that those firebox holes on the bottom are around half the height of a person


AwesomeDutchEngineer

Thanks! That does put some size to it


PearlJam10

Which person?


Drduzit

The one he remembers standing next to it.


EuphoricWrangler

The one holding the banana.


DaveInDigital

so one Dinklage tall


mczero80

I still "interpeter" this as full throne height


snadman28

No idea whether to upvote this


Alexi_v_l

Where in Belgium is this?


dantejanssens

Let me know too


Michafiel

Liege


[deleted]

I went years ago on a german exchange with school, I really can't remember, sorry!


Hex0811

So they are 1/4 of a Utah Monolith tall?


phuchmileif

So about the right size for shoving people into. Got it.


CargoHound

They're not, Thats not a fire box, its the [tuyere](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuyere) deck of the furnace. Nozzles were seated inside each of those ports and injected the "hot blast" air into the furnace. Judging by the number of ports you can see in this photo, I would say the furnace was less than 1,500 m^3 in volume. Heres an old [picture](https://usa.arcelormittal.com/~/media/Images/A/Arcelormittal-USA-V2/news-and-media/our-stories-content/2019/Aug/MadelineBF_FB.jpg) of a slightly smaller furnace (much older obviously).


[deleted]

Ah, that's very interesting. I had absolutely no idea what to call those things, but I assumed the debris in there was ash, so I thought it was the firebox


CargoHound

The iron ore and coke are actually poured in from the top in alternating layers. The tuyeres act as a modern bellows. The advantage is that the air is heated to between 1000-1300 C before it is injected at the bottom. The whole furnace acts like a reverse flow heat exchanger on top of everything else. The molten iron and slag then accumulate at the bottom where the furnace is tapped allowing it to flow out. Then it is plugged to allow it to fill up again. If you leave the tap open too long you can get a dry cast which means you are shooting hot furnace has and a spray of iron/slag all over your cast house.


mrplinko

This guy furnaces


adam123453

Those apertures at the bottom are probably about 2-3 feet across.


[deleted]

What’s a blast furnace?


RockyDify

It’s for smelting


wuzupcoffee

What’s the difference between smelting and melting?


Ongo_Gablogian___

It's a process to extract metal from its ore by melting.


UniversityOk4638

Smelting is for s'mores


calligraphic-io

s'more metal, you mean


v27v

Cue Black Sabbath 'Iron Man'


db2

Iron Man, Iron Man, does whatever an iron can


orthecreedence

That's Spiderman. Black Sabbath did Iron Man.


db2

What, you think you're some kind of rocket scientist or something?


houlmyhead

I read this in Fred Colon's voice


wuzupcoffee

Cool, thanks!


ExtremelyOnlineG

Tehcnically you don't have to melt it see [bloomeries and wrought iron](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomery) (unless I'm mistaken)


wikipedia_text_bot

**[Bloomery](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomery)** A bloomery is a type of furnace once used widely for smelting iron from its oxides. The bloomery was the earliest form of smelter capable of smelting iron. Bloomeries produce a porous mass of iron and slag called a bloom. The mix of slag and iron in the bloom, termed sponge iron, is usually consolidated and further forged into wrought iron. [About Me](https://www.reddit.com/user/wikipedia_text_bot/comments/jrn2mj/about_me/) - [Opt out](https://www.reddit.com/user/wikipedia_text_bot/comments/jrti43/opt_out_here/) - OP can reply !delete to delete - [Article of the day](https://redd.it/k4xild)


FelicityLennox

With smelting (depending on the desired metal) you add iron silicates or another material to help chemically separate the matte (desired metal) from slag (what the added material + undesired elements from minerals turn into). Melting insinuates that the chemical composition of the minerals you're melting down stay the same. Nothing is added or removed from the process.


IAmSnort

I had to add money to separate from my slag. Worth it though.


FelicityLennox

Username relevant. I snorted. XD


RaymondLuxuryYacht

The s


patb2015

Smelting is a purification process to take ores into a pure metal so it usually involves chemical reactions as well as thermal meltdown


Travisx2112

He who smelt it dealt it.


SouthernSmoke

Why are they obsolete?


[deleted]

because China


No_Good_Cowboy

Because recycling and electric arc furnaces are capable of meeting our demand for metals.


ElSummonero

Not necessarily. China overwhelmingly uses blast furnaces to produce steel, while the rest of the world’s countries predominantly use or are shifting to steel mills that melt old steel to make new steel (known as an EAF mill, or electric arc furnace). It’s more energy efficient to just zap a giant pot of old steel and melt it than it is to mine iron ore, create pig iron from the mined ore, and melt pig iron into steel. China is in the process of converting their blast furnace capability to EAF tech though as it becomes less efficient to maintain blast furnaces running on iron ore.


BierGurl

They aren't, you can find plenty of them in Indiana still


luv_____to_____race

Gary has entered the chat.


BorsTheBandit

Food for thought; I was touring an oil pipeline parts manufacturing plant once upon a time(they made giant metal pipes, pipes large enough a 4wd could drive through them) and was bewildered when I saw how they the cut the pipes... Basically picture a conveyor belt and at the end of the belt wrapped a massive electrified coil that looked like a giant stretched spring. When the pipes starting passing through the loops of the coil it would rapidly heat up and cleanly 'cut' itself with the speed of the belt determining the length of the pipes, where they would then simply fall unto the floor in an almighty boom to be removed/collected by workers.


Skullfurious

A good way to farm strength XP without getting hit points XP.


Pungtunch_da_Bartfox

r/outside


Notwafle

/r/2007scape specifically


metaphorical_badger

🦀🦀 Gagreflex won't reply to this 🦀🦀


Skullfurious

13 dollars


Khsparkie

Found the scaper. Hello friend


[deleted]

[удалено]


Khsparkie

'Scaper. Like runescaper.


IReallyhateGeorgia

Best smithing xp in the game tbh


spacebandido

Which game


Lack_of_intellect

Run Escape


AFrostNova

I prefer to Swim Escape. The Alcatraz map was a nice touch


CargoHound

A blast furnace converts iron ore and coke into iron, slag, and a mixure of gases primarily consisting of CO and CO2


babywantsock

Don’t forget to wear your gold gauntlets dawg


another_busted_robot

Looks like where they filmed Blade Runner 2049...


NihilisticAngst

I noticed that too, it looks very similar to the orphanage scenes from 2049! Although I read apparently that was filmed in Hungary, so I guess it’s not the same place.


[deleted]

I get a bioshock feel by looking at this


Richard_Gere_Museum

Mario Tennis vibezzzz


TheStarfleetWizard

I came looking for this comment


youwannawiniwannawin

We need a human for scale! This looks like it could huge! At the same time, it looks very micro.


CargoHound

[Here you go](https://usa.arcelormittal.com/%7E/media/Images/A/Arcelormittal-USA-V2/news-and-media/our-stories-content/2019/Aug/MadelineBF_FB.jpg)


FeculentUtopia

Why's it abandoned? Foreign competition?


RomVan

Might be the end of the industrialisation era in Belgium


M4d_Martigan

The whole north of France / Belgium region was a heavy mining and industrial area until the the second half of the last century. Same thing happened with the rustbelt, foreign competition and economy shift toward service.


op-ale

This had many reasons, but it starts with the majority shareholders (Belgian government) pulling out. Most of the government owned Infrastructure was sold to other companies. What followed was a series of mergers between Belgian and French steel companies leading to closure of several hot production lines in order to optimise production capacity at the remaining sites. a decade later came another merger between The Belgian/French steel group and Indian steel company. They reopened several production lines but social unrest combined with the import of cheaper Chinese steel forced the holding to halt all improvements and production at the sites. one year later the curtain fell when the closure was announced. leading to 600 people losing their jobs at these 2 blastfurnaces.


hobowithmachete

Man how do you know this stuff??


op-ale

When looking for places I always do a deep dive into the history. That way when I go to a place I know what I'm looking at. In this case.. knowing the history of this one gave me 14 more locations to explore and some location to add to the soon list. The Belgian steel/coal history is well documented by former employees, museums and papers


tinyLEDs

This would be a wonderful youtube/vimeo series.


kuntfuxxor

Antique r/cableporn


kondec

/r/conduitporn /r/PipePorn both SFW :)


smoochie__boochie

Hard to judge the size, need a person for scale


Live-D8

When you see something like this with all these pipes and tubes, and knowing that they didn’t have computers to design them on, it’s really incredible.


Szwedo

Believe it or not, humans designed a lot of incredible things prior to the arrival of computers. In fact more things without than with.


Live-D8

Yes not doubting that, just registering my awe


Szwedo

The perfect looking geometry seems impossible to not be rendered by a computer


yalmes

Absolutely! But especially during the industrial revolution and the 20th century. Because prior to that if you built something wrong it either just didn't work or only blew up a little bit. Something like a blast furnace or a large boiler is one huge bomb. Scale has always existed for human construction. The complexity and consequences for failure are what makes all the crazy shit we built in the last 200 years so impressive.


cykloid

Even computers!


i_am_not_mike_fiore

> In fact more things without than with. I feel like it gave people a little more willingness to try weird shit since, hey- you're just doing it all by hand anyway. I think computers keep things a little too "safe" and in that, boring. \>*inb4 "not getting blown up is boring"*


Live-D8

It’s more about cost I guess, building scale models that are representative of the full sized machine is expensive and difficult


AllThotsAllowed

Including computers, which is mind-blowing in and of itself


MinimumWageLOL

Frostpunk content


AAACONSUL

Machinarium vibes


Richard_Gere_Museum

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 vibes!


Guidance_By_Gigi

Hollow bastion??


Wolflou007

Glad I'm not the only one


DaniilSan

So, if it is the last one and abandoned, does it mean that Belgium doesn't have local production of steel now? Or they just use another more modern technology?


dartmaster666

Actually there are others, misunderstood the source.


op-ale

lol, that's not the last one.


dartmaster666

Yeah, it was late and misunderstood the source.


op-ale

no worries. If you haven't been there yourself... you should really go. Even in it's current state it's an adult playground. I must have spent over 60 hours in that place and i still haven't seen everything.


tinyogre

[Lots more pictures](https://www.lostfordecades.com/en/hfb-hauts-fourneaux-b-blast-furnace/)


SittingInAnAirport

And lots more information about it!


godca_grema

My scroat neighbour would have that stripped and weighed in, in the blink of an eye.


thewatusi00

r/conduitporn


30characters

I feel like there's a small wooden horse hidden here somewhere.


Konjoknaller

r/unexpectedrunescape


Cowdog112

Unreal xp per hour if you have enough gold ore.


schrodingers_orifice

Pardon my language, but holy fucking shit this picture is awesome


I_H8_Teemo

Theres also one in Keldagrim


programmasters

Sorry but the arcelor steel mill in Gent still has one. So I wouldn’t say the last remaining in Belgium source :https://belgium.arcelormittal.com/en/blast-furnace-relining/


dartmaster666

Yes, the source says it is "**ONE** of the still remaining but abandoned blast furnaces in Belgium". It was late and I misunderstood it.


programmasters

No worries. Reason is I visited the Ghent mill some time ago, so I was perplexed this would have been the only one given I had seen the other one. Thanks for the correction:)


op-ale

indeed. 4 remaining in Belgium... Used to be 50. 1 active, one being relined, 1 in deconstruction and this one derelict


mediocrebastard

It looks like some infernal organ and it makes me wonder what sound it would make.


notagreatgamer

Came here to say something like this. Time to repurpose this place into a concert hall!


lupowo

My steampunk heart is pounding


ritchieee

Blade Runner 2049


LBbird24

This is beautiful. I photoshopped it to high contrast B/W Belgium blast furnace (not mine) https://imgur.com/gallery/KpzrRrP


ViaticLearner41

Looks like a really sinister organ (the instrument). Also the pipes at the top makes me think of hands reaching, grasping upwards.


kit_crew

Wow that's cool. Respect to the workers who installed this.


Cool1ah

Where is this? I want to visit it 😂


angryinsanebelgian

As a Belgian I can confirm we don’t give a fuck how long we worked on something aslong as it’s not needed fuck it


Zuesinator

Wonder how many people got 99 smithing there


someguynamedsteve

What a marvelous piece of engineering!


itsdilemnawithann

For scale: [https://adamxphotos.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/A4191.jpg](https://adamxphotos.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/A4191.jpg)


op-ale

You were late for the party... all the injectors are missing on your pictures. damn shame the copper trashed it so quickly https://www.flickr.com/photos/urbanexcentrics/25013283989/in/album-72157665155666582/


Fireonpoopdick

I work with big boilers and furnaces like this, I go into them a lot and some of them y'all would literally not believe how big a single piece of equi can be, some boilers and furnaces are literally bigger than 10 story buildings.


ONE3TX

As a former pipe fitter this pick is crazy!!! Blueprint has to be ill


25QS2

It looks absolutely Giger-esque.


Jack50517

I can't help but feel it isn't a great thing that a country doesn't have a blast furnace of its own any more.


dartmaster666

I was wrong. They still have some.


Jack50517

Ah...I did wonder. Didn't want to think of Belgium held over a barrel by overseas steel providers.


iahebert

Homebrewer here, my first thought was that's a helluva fermenter!


BadKole

Is that about a billion dollars in copper, or is it steel?


LeftyFlick3445

Wait what is this used for? I am confused


TheresPainOnMyFace

Purifying metals via melting, usually as a precursor for making steel. Impure metals would be put into a furnace with elements to separate the metal from the impurities through extreme heat. Blast furnaces like this one were abandoned/dismantled in the west during the 70s/80s because the ore and coke (purified coal) needed for the process became more and more expensive to extract and import and thus less economically viable to produce in the west. So blast processes moved to developing nations where the ore and coke could be extracted/produced for cheaper, while steelworks/ironworks in the west focussed on more economically efficient electrical furnaces to recycle scrap metal, which don't demand the same levels of material.


LeftyFlick3445

That is interesting, thank you for the explanation.


ICAPINKELEPHANT

Wow that's really cool looking


jmooneyham2004

Wow, that looks amazing!


mild_brew

Ah yes many late nights getting that Smithing XP.


jakeu1701

Feels very Blade Runner 2049.


Moneybagsmitch

Hollow Bastien?


bigchairboy

A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally pig iron, but also others such as lead or copper. Blast refers to the combustion air being "forced" or supplied above atmospheric pressure.


A_Cyd

Thanks!


gotham77

Turn off the gasoline turn of the kerosene Something burns inside of me Turn of this mean machine My thoughts are so obscene My head has no control of me


ANC_90

I've been there and its HUGE. Awesome picture!


Spooky_town

Unexpected RuneScape


Escatotdf

r/steampunk


[deleted]

I was just on this guy's Instagram page, weird


unclefishbits

This one blast furnace connected solely to my wife's side of the bedroom.


Bradalax

Reminds me of Magna, old steel works near Sheffield (UK) they built a science museum in. Used to take the kids there when they were small. I just loved the building, most of it was still unlit and empty, with these 4 science areas built around the place. The darkness, the feeling of cavernous was amazing. But this reminds of that because the converted an old blast furnace into an exhibit called the big melt. It was fitted with pyrotechnics and lights and they had film of the old workers there talking you through a melt, how it felt and was involved. The noise and vibration and light show was brilliant. Not been for years as my kids are all grown up, so no idea what it's like now, but hopefully still worth a visit because I'm looking forward to taking the grand daughter when she's a bit older!!!