The steel making process involved many different types of furnaces and ovens, all of which were lined with asbestos insulation. Asbestos refractory materials were used as an insulator and binder in the following units:
- Coke Ovens – The function of the coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel was to take the raw material, coal, and convert it into coke. The coke in turn was used for the process of making the end product, iron.
- Blast Furnace – Refined iron ore by taking the coke, charging it into the blast furnace along with iron ore, adding limestone as a flux, and making it into molten iron.
- Open Hearth Furnace – The open hearth furnace is the final phase of making the raw steel product.
- Soaking Pit – A soaking pit is a refractory-lined chamber used to heat steel to a uniform temperature for rolling or forging.
- Heating Furnaces – Heating or reheating furnaces are used to heat either cold or partially heated slabs, bars, or rods to the temperatures required for further processing.
- Boilers – A commercial boiler is that portion of a steam generator in which water is changed into steam.
- Basic Oxygen Furnace – Takes the molten raw materials from the blast furnace and turns it into steel.