blast furnace

Vertical shaft furnace that produces liquid metals by the reaction of air introduced under pressure into the bottom of the furnace with a mixture of metallic ore, fuel, and flux fed into the top. Blast furnaces are used to produce pig iron from iron ore for subsequent processing into steel; they are also employed in processing lead, copper, and other metals. The current of pressurized air maintains rapid combustion. Blast furnaces were used in China as early as 200 BC, and appeared in Europe in the 13th century, replacing the bloomery process. Modern blast furnaces are 70–120 ft (20–35 m) high, have 20–45-ft (6–14-m) hearth diameters, use coke fuel, and can produce 1,000–10,000 tons (900–9,000 metric tons) of pig iron daily. Seealso metallurgy, smelting.

Learn more about blast furnace with a free trial on

A blast is an explosion. Blast can also refer to:




  • BLAST, Basic Local Alignment Search Tool, an algorithm used in bioinformatics
  • BLAST (telescope), Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope
  • BLAST model checker, Berkeley Lazy Abstraction Software verification Tool, a software model checker based on lazy abstraction


See also

Search another word or see blaston Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature