Cadets visit Sheffield Forgemasters

12 Sheffield University Officer Cadets (SUOC) recently had the opportunity to visit Sheffield Forgemasters’ manufacturing site. Sheffield Forgemasters have developed a mutually benefitting relationship with SUOC, with the visit was designed to give the cadets an insight into careers at the company, which is owned by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The visit also encouraged employees to consider becoming members of the Reserves.

The visit started with a tour of the Melt Shop, where scrap steel is melted in a high-powered electric arc furnaces which can melt up to 105 tonnes of steel to around 1600 Celsius. Cadets were also shown the vacuum arc degassing plant, which plays a key part in meeting materials specifications required by the MOD. 

Next, the cadets visited the Forge and saw the 10,000-tonne press compressing an ingot to align the molecular structure of the steel through the forging process and increase its strength. The steel is turned on its axis, or ‘upset’ to further refine the material properties for required specialist applications.

Then group also visited the Machine Shop which houses UK’s largest lathes and milling machines. This is where the components for specific projects become recognisable, such as rolls for use in steel processing, or parts for Sheffield Forgemasters’ defence contracts.

Finally, the cadets witnessed the casting of the steel they saw being heated earlier in the day. The liquid steel is poured into sand castings in a glowing display.

All of the cadets enjoyed the visit, and were particularly impressed by the MOD side of manufacturing.

The group of Cadets pictured with Sheffield Forgemasters staff - Rick Franckeiss, Matt Stone, Sarah Reynolds and Aleck Knight.