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STEEL RAIL PASSING THROUGH A ROLLING MILL

After the liquid steel has been poured into the ingot mold and has cooled sufficiently to become hard, the mold is slipped off, and a long-armed crane picks up the ingot and sets it down in a small pit, where it is heated for an hour and a half, so that it will become of uniform texture and hardness throughout. Then the temperature is raised and it is tempered to rolling-mill softness. Then the crane comes back and lifts it over on the bed of the mill. Trembling and writhing as if in anticipation of the stress it is about to endure, it plunges in between two big rollers, each a yard in diameter and ten feet long. Once it gets through these, it is long and slim, mayhap like a pancake, mayhap like a rod, mayhap like a bar. Again and again it goes through rollers of varying shapes, finally coming out either as a steel rail, a rod, or a plate, according to the shape of the roller and the number of rollings.


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