Iron and steel
In many countries, lime is used more for iron and steel making than for construction and building. Most of the lime used is for removing impurities in the basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) process. The BOS process is now used for 70% of the worlds steel production, with the remainder being in electric arc furnaces (EAF).
Iron and steel are used extensively in the construction of roads, railways, infrastructure and buildings. Most large modern structure, such as stadiums, skyscrapers, bridges and airports, are supported by a steel skeleton. The most famous of examples include the construction of Wembley Football Stadium in London, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Lime can be used to make fillers and coating products which are used within the paper industry. Hydrated lime is used in the sulphate process during the manufacture of paper and pulp.
Although limestone is generally more cost effective in the production of glass, dolomitic and high calcium lime in finely ground forms can also be used under specific circumstances. Burnt lime often provides greater transparency to the glass than limestone due to its lower content of organic matter.
The use of lime in the process also reduces the requirement for expensive decolouriser additives.
Quicklime reacts with any free water present to form hydrated lime. This removes water from the system and can be useful when dealing with products that are heated during the manufacturing process, such as plastic. When making plastic, if any potential water is not removed then steam bubbles may occur in the finished product, which can affect its strength and appearance. Quicklime is therefore often used in PVC and rubber manufacturing processes.
PVC itself is rated as one of the most valuable products in the chemical industry, and throughout the world over 50% of PVC manufactured is used for construction. As a building material PVC is cheap, durable, cost effective and easy to assemble. The uses of rubber range from household to industrial products, including the eraser on the end of your pencil, to the tyres on your car.
Products derived from lime, such Precipitated Calcium Carbonate are found in a number of pharmaceuticals, including dietary supplements, antacids and other well known medicines.
Quicklime can be used as a component of continuous casting lubricants, and slaked lime as a lubricant carrier in wire drawing.
Continuous casting can also be used for materials based on different types of metals, such as aluminium. Aluminium based metals possess numerous desirable qualities and are used for a number of different products such as food and drink cans, to the construction of large international aeroplanes.