Dry Bulk

A Closer Look at Slag and Its Importance

Posted by on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 in Dry Bulk, News

By definition, slag is a seemingly undesired by-product created by the smelting of raw metal ores. Slag can have many appearances depending on its overall makeup and the methods used to cool it. Slag can take three forms:

  • Glassy – A combination of high amounts of silica and rapid cooling results in slag that is smooth, shiny, and glass like. It can be dark black, blue, or green depending on what ore is being drawn from it.
  • Porous – A porous and lightweight slag product is generated using a ‘foamed slag’ technique. This is achieved by adding quantities of air, steam, or water to the molten slag, hastening its cooling time. This produces an expanded ‘foam’ product, which is less dense than other forms.
  • Pelleted – Slag that is rapidly cooled into crystallized pellets by water or air while inside a spinning drum. The crystallization can be increased or decreased by adjusting water and air exposure.

The earliest use of slag was found in ancient Egypt where a glassy slag runoff from copper smelting would be collected then melted into glassware or jewelry. This runoff was a deep greenish blue and was prized for its rich colors. Additionally, it was also powdered and used as a glaze for glassware. Today, slag plays a big part in the industrial field. It is a main ingredient in many building materials such as mortar, portland cement, and even asphalt. Slag cement/concrete is an excellent building material as it builds up strength over time, boasting excellent durability and strength. It is also resistant to sulfate and alkali-silica attack, which makes it ideal for use in marine areas.

Slag is also a leading component in a material known as slag wool. This “wool” is what’s known as stone fiber insulation. The slag is melted then spun into ultra-fine fibers. It is then pressed into a sheet and used as insulation. Slag insulation is naturally flame resistant, and does not harbor moisture or mold.

With all of these uses, it’s no wonder that thousands of pounds of slag find their way around the country every day. At CCC Transportation, we can handle all of your granulated or otherwise cooled slag transporting needs. Our dedicated fleet is punctual, reliable, and above all, safe. For more information about our fleet transportation services, we welcome you to email us or give us a call.

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