Slag

Many people who visit the Steelworks Center remember as a child of the 1950s through the early 1980s traveling in the family car to north eastern edge of the mill property or along the extreme southern edge near what is today Exit 94. The highlight of the evening was watching the night time sky light up as a material known as slag was dumped from large pots onto the cool earth.

Gondola train cars with slag pots, 1956
Slag, a by-product of steel making, is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces. The slag, or waste product, much lighter in weight than iron, would float to the top of the ladle where the steel making took place, drained into pots, loaded onto a train system known as a gondola, and dumped down the side of the eastern part of the mill property near the Pueblo community known as Salt Creek or to the far south end of the property near present day Pueblo Boulevard.

 Slag pouring at night and lighting up the sky, date unknown
Because of the intense temperature of the slag, it burned intense shades of reds, oranges and yellows and literally lit up the nighttime sky when poured out of the molds and onto the earth for cooling. As it cooled, the complex solution of silicates becomes a solid. Once hard, the slag was reused and resold for a number of purposes including railroad ballast, driveway aggregate and road base.

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