We were asked by the manufacturer of high temperature insulation materials to determine where its products would have been used in several steel plants during the 1940s and 1950s. This required that the equipment and processes in the plants at that time be determined, a task made more difficult because some of the plants had gone out of production and had been completely demolished, and others had ceased use of equipment, such as the open hearth, or blast furnaces, and those facilities had been abandoned or torn down. Some technologies, such as the open hearth furnace, had been supplanted long ago by newer steel making processes and no longer existed in this country at all.
This meant that a description of the plants, as they existed at the time, had to be recreated from historic materials. To accomplish this, we secured historical aerial photographs of the plants, and used this, together with our library on iron and steel making processes and history, and our archive of historical records, to determine the nature and location of equipment in use at the time at each of the plants. This information combined with our knowledge of steel plants, their equipment, and operation allowed a detailed description of the plants and their operation at the time to be developed. Using our library on insulting materials, and insulating practices, and our archive of product data, we were able to determine where high temperature insulation would have been used in the plants during the period of interest.
All of this information was summarized and graphically presented so that all parties could readily see where the high temperature insulating materials were used.