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Rolling wire rod.

By paulbroad
I keep referring to my industrial photography past, so I thought I would put some in for comment. This is a stand in a wire rod mill rolling 4 steel bars at once. The main output of this mill is tyre cord steel in 5mm, two tonne coils. High value stuff. About 1400 a tonne. That's why tyres cost so much. Very strong yet pliable. Then cold drawn at customers works to 0.12mm diameter for cars, 0.18 for lorries and buses.

Canon EOS 300D with 28/135 mm IS lens on tripod. 1/60 @ f5.6. ISO400. Care needed due to airborne dust and foreign bodies. One of the main problems that even the walkways vibrate. I was about 3 metres up on a steel grid walkway for this shot at the full 135mm. Quite a few show movement due to vibration. The buildings are designed to move slightly otherwise they would soon suffer fatigue fracture of columns.


Tags: Camera General Water Clean Danger Mill Roll Heat

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


alistairfarrugia 4 164 88 Malta
3 Feb 2013 9:52AM
An interesting shot Paul, and the colours here really put you in the midst of the process. You can almost feel the heat here!

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debu 6 India
3 Feb 2013 9:52AM
Superbly captured.
6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 9:56AM
A wonderfully interesting insight into this steel making process.
Regards Nathan Grin
3 Feb 2013 10:14AM
Great shot Paul - it has super colours and texturesSmile
6 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 10:23AM
Just uploaded a little mod Paul, nothing drastic as for me the image worked well. I simply softened the rather harsh shapes and forms of the machinery and the steam, thus creating a rather more appealing image. Hope you like the result mate.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 1:06PM
Interesting mod, Nathan. It is pictorially better, focusing the attention on the hot rod. Technically, the image needs to be as sharp as possible for industrial use, but as a pictorial image, you have improved things.

3 Feb 2013 1:53PM
Very interesting subject Paul,different.GrinGrinGrin
iancrowson 6 211 142 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 2:37PM
Fascinating insight in what for me is an alien world. Looks like a hot and potentially dangerous place. Is that heat or steam shown by the mist?
These are very interesting images to the likes of me, totally different
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2013 3:12PM
Both, Ian. It is not safe to approach high speed rolling closely. I was about 30 metres away here. The rod is at about 1100 degrees centigrade at this point and actually gets hotter to to heat generated by deformation. The water is there to cool the rolls. If they suffer thermal cycling, hot, cold, hot, cold, as steel passes through, then stops, they would shatter.

Operates under VERY strict rules. Believe me!

banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3534 Canada
3 Feb 2013 3:36PM
Ive worked in area like this many years ago, - this one brings back a unique smell you find here. The colours are really nice.

Mike43 5 17 21 England
4 Feb 2013 9:01AM
In my younger days I worked at Workington Steel Plant, and your picture brings back those terrifying days when I had to go and collect tests from the Rolling Mill. So great photo when you consider the conditions, mind you I do think Nathan Mod is more pleasing to the eye.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2013 5:27PM
Visited Workington just before it closed. A pity. The mill facilities there were well out of date though and replacement cost would be prohibitive.

xwang 7 55 8
5 Feb 2013 11:48AM
Wow.. It's a scary place... only for blokes... Brave blokes... Grin
You are good at this, Paul. I remember one of these of yours before... the colour is really beautiful. Apart from the metal bars, what are the things behind,please? There are some steam, I wonder what is the vertical one pouring down to the ground. I noticed that you didn't use the "Milky" shutter speed, it is nice to have the contrast of the smooth bars and the sparking vertical.. (I don't know what it is...) They are certainly rare images and interesting to look at..What the temperature of the steel Bar? Is it perfectly safe for the sensor and eyes when you take the photo?
BTW, thank you for the helpful critique on the lamp.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013 8:25PM
Have a look back a few comments, Jas. Some questions answered there. Not actually as dangerous as it looks. Once was and serious injury and even death was not uncommon. I ws involved to some degree in dealing with accidents and, hopefully, preventing them. The safety features now involved are so complex and the rules so stringent that it can be difficult to do the job.

This is only dangerous if you get too close and, as with many industrial processes, is only dangerous if things go wrong. Noise, dirt, moisture etc. are all difficult to deal with as a photographer and I had to clean my gear after every on plant session.

xwang 7 55 8
7 Feb 2013 9:41AM
Thank you very much, Paul. Glad to know something that it would never occur to me in my life. But it's all about photography,and some kind of special knowledge..Smile

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