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Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.

Steel can be smelted at a smelter by a dwarf with the furnace operator labor activated. It is an extremely durable metal and is highly valuable, worth just as much as gold.

Steel is one of few materials that can resist melting when immersed in magma. Weapons and armor made from steel are 33% stronger than equivalent iron objects, making it second only to Adamantine for creating military equipment.

The method for making steel may seem complex but it is an accurate representation of the process, and not too bad when the overall utility of the resulting material is considered.


The recipe for steel is:

When the above items are combined at a smelter, the product is two bars of steel; the coke/charcoal and flux are consumed in the reaction, but the pig iron and iron are combined into steel.

In this version, making steel at an ordinary Smelter only requires one piece of fuel, serving as both a source of heat and a source of carbon. In both earlier ( and later (0.31.01+) versions, two pieces of fuel are required instead.

Production chain[edit]

(This assumes you have 2 iron bars, from either smelting iron ore or trading for them.)

The following amount of materials are needed to produce two steel bars:

The following steps are performed to produce two steel bars from the above materials:

  1. Make pig iron bars (creates one pig iron bar)
  2. Make steel bars (creates two steel bars)

The tasks Make Pig Iron Bars and Make Steel Bars use the same materials at either smelter. At a normal smelter, the refined coal is needed as a reagent but will also act as the fuel needed for the smelting operation. At a magma smelter, the refined coal is needed only as a reagent.

Once steel bars are produced, they are used just like other normal metal bars. The flux and refined coal reagents are only needed during the smelting.

If you have embarked on a map which does not have ready access to coal or flux, another possible, though expensive, way to obtain Steel is to buy out all the low quality steel weapons and armor from the Dwarven caravan and designate them for melting. For more information on melting recovery rates see Melt item