Middletown, Ohio

Blast Furnace Large Bell Replacement

Client / Owner

AK Steel Corporation

Architect / Engineer





Graycor Industrial

Project Scope

AK Steel called upon Graycor Industrial to replace a large bell—a component used to control the entry of raw material into the blast furnace—that had broken and caused the hot side of the steelmaker’s Middletown Works mill to shut down. The rod holding the large bell had broken off, sending both the rod and bell into molten iron, which completely destroyed the components. Graycor’s team retrieved the remainder of the rod and large bell by removing a conical-shaped shell piece including refractory from the blast furnace shell. At an elevation of 191 feet, a section of the blast furnace shell was removed, and a new large bell and rod were flown in as replacements.

The project was completed ahead of schedule in just 21 days, from the day the large bell rod broke, to the day the blast furnace was restarted.

Graycor self-performed all demolition work (with exception of shell piece removal), piping removal and repairs, scaffold support, and installation of new large bell rod and large bell. Trades used were laborers, ironworkers, carpenters, Teamsters, operators, pipefitters and bricklayers.