3 Industrial process

Industrial process

Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacture of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale.

Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.

Most processes make the production of an otherwise rare material vastly cheaper, thus changing it into a commodity; i.e. the process makes it economically feasible for society to use the material on a large scales, in machinery, or a substantial amount of raw materials, in comparison to batch or craft processes. Production of a specific material may involve more than one type of process. Most industrial processes result in both a desired product(s) and by-products, many of which are toxic, hazardous, or hard to deal with. Very, very few processes are self-contained.

General processes

These may be applied on their own, or as part of a larger process.
* Liquefaction of gases - for ease of transportation
* Supercritical drying, Freeze drying - removal of excess liquid
* Scrubber - removing of pollution from exhaust gases

Physical reshaping

There are several processes for reshaping a material by cutting, folding, joining or polishing, developed on a large scale from workshop techniques.
* Forge - the shaping of metal by use of heat and hammer
* Casting - shaping of metal by melting, pouring into moulds and solidifying
* Machining - the mechanical cutting and shaping of metal
* Progressive stamping - the production of components from a strip or roll
* Hydroforming - a tube of metal is expanded into a mould under pressure
* Sandblasting - cleaning of a surface using sand or other particles
* Soldering, Brazing, Welding - a process for joining metals
* Tumble polishing - for polishing
* Precipitation hardening - heat treatment used to strengthen malleable materials
* Work hardening - adding strength to metals, alloys, etc.
* Case hardening, Differential hardening, Shot peening - creating a wear resistant surface
* Die cutting - A "forme" or "die" is pressed onto a flat material to cut, score, punch and otherwise shape the material.


The shaping of materials by forming their liquid form using a mould.
* Casting, Sand casting - the shaping of molten metal or plastics using a mould
* Sintering, Powder metallurgy - the making of objects from metal or ceramic powder
* Blow moulding as in plastic containers or in the Glass Container Industry - making hollow objects by blowing them into a mould.


Many materials exist in an impure form, purification, refining or separation provides a usable product.
* Froth flotation, flotation process - separating minerals through floatation
* Fractional distillation, Vacuum distillation - separating materials by their boiling point
* Solvent extraction - dissolving one substance in another
* Frasch process - for extracting molten sulfur from the ground


The availability of electricity and its effect on materials gave rise to several processes for plating or separating metals.
* Gilding, Electroplating, Anodization, Electrowinning - depositing a material on an electrode
* Electropolishing - the reverse of electroplating
* Electrofocusing - similar to electroplating, but separating molecules
* Electrolytic process - the generic process of using electrolysis
* Electrophoretic deposition - electrolytic deposition of colloidal particals in a liquid medium
* Electrotyping - using electroplating to produce printing plates
* Metallizing, Plating, Spin coating - the generic term for giving non-metals a metallic coating

Iron and Steel

Early production of iron was from meteorites, or as a by-product of copper refining. Heating iron ore and carbon in a crucible at 1000 K produces wrought iron. This process gained popularity during the Iron Age. Temperatures of 1300 K were produced around the 8th century by blowing air through the heated mixture in a bloomery or blast furnace (12th century); producing a strong but brittle cast iron. Furnaces were growing bigger, producing greater quantities; a factor contributing to the Industrial Revolution. In 1740 the temperature and carbon content could be controlled sufficiently to consistently produce steel; very strong and very workable. The 19th century saw the development of electric arc furnaces that produced steel in very large quantities, and are more easily controlled.

* Smelting - the generic process used in furnaces to produce steel, copper, etc.
* Catalan forge, Open hearth furnace, Bloomery, Siemens regenerative furnace - produced wrought iron
* Blast furnace - produced cast iron
* Direct Reduction - produced direct reduced iron
* Crucible steel
* Cementation process
* Bessemer process
* Basic oxygen steelmaking, Linz-Donawitz process
* Electric arc furnace

Petroleum and organic compounds

The nature of an organic molecule means it can be transformed at the molecular level to create a range of products.
* Cracking (chemistry) - the generic term for breaking up the larger molecules.
* Alkylation - refining of crude oil
* Burton process - cracking of hydrocarbons
* Cumene process - making phenol and acetone from benzene
* Friedel-Crafts reaction, Kolbe-Schmitt reaction
* Olefin metathesis, Thermal depolymerization
* Transesterification - organic chemicals
* Raschig process, Ketazine process, Peroxide process - part of the process to produce nylon
* Formox process - the oxidation of methanol to produce formaldehyde.


Organized by product:
* Aluminium - (Deville process, Bayer process, Hall-Héroult process, Wöhler process)
* Ammonia, used in fertilizer & explosives - (Haber process)
* Bromine - (Dow process)
* Chlorine, used in chemicals - (Chloralkali process, Weldon process)
* Fat - (Rendering)
* Fertilizer - (Nitrophosphate process)
* Gold - (Bacterial oxidation)
* Heavy Water, used to refine radioactive products - (Girdler sulfide process)
* Hydrogen - (Steam reforming, Water Gas Shift Reaction)
* Lead (and Bismuth) - (Betts electrolytic process, Betterton-Kroll process)
* Nickel - Mond process
* Nitric acid - (Ostwald process)
* Paper - (Pulping, Kraft process, Fourdrinier machine)
* Rubber - (Vulcanization)
* Salt - (Alberger process, Grainer evaporation process)
* Semiconductor crystals - (Bridgeman technique, Czochralski process)
* Silver - (Patio process, Parkes process)
* Sodium carbonate, used for soap - (Leblanc process, Solvay process, Leblanc-Deacon process)
* Sulfuric acid - (Lead chamber process, Contact process)
* Titanium - (Hunter process, Kroll process)
* Zirconium - (Hunter process, Kroll process, Crystal bar process, Iodide process)

A list by process:
* Alberger process, Grainer evaporation process - produces salt from brine
* Bacterial oxidation - used to produce gold
* Bayer process - the extraction of aluminium from ore
* Chloralkali process, Weldon process - for producing chlorine and sodium hydroxide
* Crystal bar process, Iodide process - produces zirconium
* Dow process - produces bromine from brine
* FFC Cambridge Process
* Girdler sulfide process - for making heavy water
* Hunter process, Kroll process - produces titanium and zirconium
* Industrial rendering - the separation of fat from bone and protein
* Lead chamber process, Contact process - production of sulfuric acid
* Mond process - nickel
* Nitrophosphate process - a number of similar process for producing fertilizer
* Ostwald process - produces nitric acid
* Pidgeon process - produces magnesium, reducing the oxide using silicon
* Steam reforming, Water Gas Shift Reaction - produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide from methane or hydrogen and carbon dioxide from water and carbon monoxide
* Vacuum metalising - a finishing process

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