Cool Stuff Being Made: C/G Electrodes

By October 20, 2007General

products_graphite.jpgOne of the fun aspects of these Cool Stuff Being Made videos is you get to see aspects of manufacturing that are not immediately related to consumer products. This week, for example, we go on a video tour of C/G Electrodes of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, a manufacturer of large diameter UHP graphite electrodes. To which one might be forgiven for saying, “What?”

Chief Operating Officer Dave Jardini, our guide of the 150-acre plant, explains: “We make ultra-high-powered graphite electrodes that are used in steel mills to melt steel in electric-arc furnaces. Our electrodes conduct the electricity down into the melting furnaces and they’re consumed in the process.”

The steps in the three-month manufacturing process: “We extrude the electrode, we bake the electrodes, we then impregnate them with pitch, we rebake them, then we graphitize them, and then they’re machined.” The major raw materials are needle-coke — an oil refinery by-product — and coal-tar pitch.

C/G’s website has a nice graphic on the process, and a company history is here. Our conclusion: “Wow. Without needle coke, there wouldn’t be all these steel products in my house. Interesting.”

Thanks to Dave Jardini for the thorough briefing and to our friends at Pennsylvania Cable Network for supplying the video. Sure a lot of manufacturing in the Keystone State.

To watch this week’s Cool Stuff Being Made video of C/G Electrodes, please .

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