|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon (refined coal), made at a smelter. It is the best common metal for smithing most weapons and armor. Steel also has the third highest value of all metals, tied with that of gold.
To smelt steel, you will need iron bars, flux stone, and fuel. Flux is used to remove impurities, including carbon, during the smelting process, while fuel (charcoal or coke) removes oxygen and puts back in a small amount of carbon. The end result is steel: iron with just the right amount of carbon in it. The three ores of iron (hematite, magnetite, and limonite) can only be found in sedimentary layers, with the exception of hematite, which can occasionally be found in igneous extrusive layers. Furthermore, four of the five flux stones (calcite, chalk, dolomite, and limestone) are found only in sedimentary layers, as well as both coal ores (bituminous coal and lignite).
If you have no sedimentary layers at your fortress site, your only hope to make steel is with:
- hematite from igneous extrusive layers, or iron ore imported from trade caravans, or melting iron items brought by siegers (goblinite) and caravans
- marble from metamorphic layers, or imported flux
- charcoal from wood, or coke from imported bituminous coal or lignite
If you embark in a forest biome, you can produce thousands of units of wood from the surface trees alone, without even tapping into the caverns. Charcoal requires more labor per unit than coke, but is often easier to acquire.
Note that bituminous coal and lignite, like most stones, cost only 3☼ at embark or from caravans. With a cunning-enough starting build, it is possible to embark with enough coal boulders to produce several hundred units of coke, but only if your parent civilization has access to coal; otherwise, it will not be available at all.
Steel production is fairly complex compared to the creation of other alloys, which only involves one step to combine bars of different pure metals to create the final product. Steelmaking from iron bars* has 2 steps, and both steps require coke or charcoal as part of the actual reaction, combining that "fuel" with the other ingredients. This is required in addition to any heating source, if using a non-magma smelter (full details below).
- (* If starting from iron ore, you will first need to create iron bars. Steel (or Pig Iron) cannot be created directly from ore. 1 ore creates 4 bars, but the recipe only requires 2 at a time.)
Necessary ingredients; produces 2 bars of steel:
- 1) If non-magma smelter: Smelting iron ore to create iron bars also requires +1 unit of fuel at a conventional smelter, producing a total of 4 bars of iron, twice what the recipe uses. This translates to also needing "half a unit" of additional fuel to the ingredients above for each recipe. Since you cannot use "half a unit", you will need a full unit up front, producing 4 iron bars to start, so add that in to any larger, long-term calculations for ore -> steel.
- 2) Calcite, Chalk, Dolomite, Limestone, and/or Marble
- 3) If non-magma smelter: For larger production runs, you may also have to create more fuel. This means either burning wood at a wood furnace, or using 1 fuel to turn bituminous coal into +8 fuel each or lignite into +4 fuel each. Add this to any larger, long-term calculations for steel production. (Read: Don't get caught short, and don't consume your very last fuel without a way of producing more!)
Step 1: Use one iron bar to create pig iron:
- 1 bar of pig iron
Step 2: Combine the pig iron bar with the second iron bar to produce steel:
- 1 bar of iron
- 1 bar of pig iron
- 1 flux stone
- 1 unit of fuel (as a source of carbon)
- 1 unit of fuel, or magma (to heat the forge)
- 2 bars of steel
To go from raw materials to finished products (assuming 1 bar per crafted item) at a conventional forge, a total of...
- 8 iron bearing ore (= 32 iron bars)
- 32 flux stone
- 13 bituminous coal (or 26 lignite or 104 logs)
... will have no leftover raw material and will yield 32 single-bar steel items. This is assuming, of course, that your dwarves can time travel and use the last remaining piece of coke to fire the furnace to create the first fuel to get things rolling.
Automated steel production
You can fully automate the production of steel via the use of a work order. The arrangement of these orders would be:
- Make 9 coke from bituminous coal (or 18 lignite, or make 72 charcoal), then add the ondition to restart if completed, checked daily.
- Smelt 8 magnetite (or hematite) ore, then add the ondition to restart if completed, checked daily. then set the rder condition to "Make 9 coke from bituminous coal"
- Make 16 pig iron bars, then add the ondition to restart if completed, checked daily. then set the rder condition to "Smelt 8 magnetite ores"
- Make 16 steel bars, then add the ondition to restart if completed, checked daily. then set the rder condition to "Make 16 pig iron bars"
- Wait until the "Smelt 8 magnetite" order activates (once the coke or charcoal is done) to set it's rder to "Make 16 steel bars"
This automated process would produce 32 steel bars every 4 days (assuming you have a constant flow of ore, coke-producing stone, Flux stone and labourers). You can also make multiple work order sets to increase production as much as necessary.
|"Steel" in other Languages
[INORGANIC:STEEL] [USE_MATERIAL_TEMPLATE:METAL_TEMPLATE] [STATE_NAME_ADJ:ALL_SOLID:steel] [STATE_NAME_ADJ:LIQUID:molten steel] [STATE_NAME_ADJ:GAS:boiling steel] [DISPLAY_COLOR:0:7:1] [BUILD_COLOR:0:7:1] [MATERIAL_VALUE:30] [SPEC_HEAT:500] [MELTING_POINT:12718] [BOILING_POINT:14968] [ITEMS_WEAPON][ITEMS_WEAPON_RANGED][ITEMS_AMMO][ITEMS_DIGGER][ITEMS_ARMOR][ITEMS_ANVIL] [SOLID_DENSITY:7850] [LIQUID_DENSITY:6980] [MOLAR_MASS:55845] [IMPACT_YIELD:1505000] [IMPACT_FRACTURE:2520000] [IMPACT_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:940] [COMPRESSIVE_YIELD:1505000] [COMPRESSIVE_FRACTURE:2520000] [COMPRESSIVE_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:940] 160 [TENSILE_YIELD:430000] [TENSILE_FRACTURE:720000] [TENSILE_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:225] 200 [TORSION_YIELD:430000] [TORSION_FRACTURE:720000] [TORSION_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:215] [SHEAR_YIELD:430000] [SHEAR_FRACTURE:720000] [SHEAR_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:215] no data, used 200 [BENDING_YIELD:430000] [BENDING_FRACTURE:720000] [BENDING_STRAIN_AT_YIELD:215] [MAX_EDGE:10000] [ITEMS_HARD] [ITEMS_METAL] [ITEMS_BARRED] [ITEMS_SCALED] [STATE_COLOR:ALL_SOLID:GRAY]
|Base||Aluminum • Bismuth • Copper • Gold • Iron • Lead • Nickel • Platinum • Silver • Tin • Zinc|
|Alloys||Billon • Bismuth bronze • Black bronze • Brass • Bronze • Electrum • Fine pewter • Lay pewter • Nickel silver • Pig iron • Rose gold • Steel • Sterling silver • Trifle pewter|
|Special||Adamantine • Divine metal|