Steel Production in Sheffield

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Steel Production in Sheffield

Today, Sheffield is one of the main sources of the world’s best steel, the mainspring for the mightiest industries of mankind.

Yet, as a steelmaking centre, Sheffield built its reputation only about a century and a half ago. The location of the industry in the lower valley of the Don owed something at that time to the older established edge tool crafts, based originally on imported steel into an area with fuel and water power available, but the main advantage of South Yorkshire was the abundant supply of coal and access to Baltic transport.

The name of the city has become synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and traditional skills. Skills that have become secrets handed down from father to son, that have created the city’s proud boast that the words ‘Sheffield,England’ on any product are a certain guarantee of quality.

The modern steel industry on which the city’s fame partly rests, only really began with the invention of the crucible process by Benjamin Huntsman, who settled in Handsworth about 1740. His steel was of unequalled uniformity of quality and its use revolutionised the making of tools.

By 1835 Sheffield was already established as the centre of tool-steel manufacture in Britain. Bessemer’s invention of his converter steelmaking, first practised in Sheffield and bringing the era of bulk steels, put Sheffield further ahead. Sheffield chose, however, to develop on the lines of the manufacture of alloy and special steels for special purposes and with distinct characteristics. There are numerous types of steel made but they can mainly be divided into a few wide groups: low and medium carbon steels: high carbon and high quality alloy tool steels; special alloy constructional and die steels; stainless and heat-resisting steels, low steels from which permanent magnets for the electrical industries are made (including alloys which are not true steels but made principally in Sheffield by the same process).

Sheffield, the initiator, is in fact the place where the chief discoveries respecting steel and its wonderful powers and possibilities have been made by means of trial and error. Here in 1859 Robert Forester Mushet, made possible the production of a mild all-purpose steel in large quantities. A further process was also introduced, the Siemens-Martin process. In his open-hearth process heat was saved and intensified by using for the blast hot air from the furnace instead of cold. This enabled manufacturers to use ore with a smaller percentage of carbon and a higher percentage of impurities such as phosphorus, as the blast cleared away the harmful elements more thoroughly. Both of these improvements enormously cheapened the production of the average steels in ordinary use.

The industrial legacies provided by these early steelfounders created a sound basis for development. The Siemens open hearth furnace, the converter process invented by Alexandre Tropenas, the electric arc furnace, the high-frequency induction furnace have taken their places in due course. Low-frequency induction melting has since been introduced into the city and high-frequency induction heating is helping heat-treatment and other processes in the manufacture of Sheffield’s steels and steel products.

Task 1.

Phonetic Exercise

Practise after the speaker and learn to pronounce the words given below.


source /so:s/; mightiest /’maitiist/; area / e'ri /; synonymous /si’nonim's/;

crucible /’kru:sibl/; unequalled / /\ n’i:kw' ld/; uniformity / ju:ni’fo:miti/;

revolutionised / rev'‘lu:ò 'naizd/; percentage /p' ‘sentij /; phosphorus /’fosf'r's/; legacy /’leg'si/; frequency /’fri:kw'nsi/.



Task 2.

Lexical Exercises

Exercise 1.Find the English equivalents for the following words and

word-combinations given below. Use them in the sentences

of your own.


источник; главная движущая сила; местоположение; острый режущий инструмент; преимущество; доступ к; мастерство; легированная сталь; отличительная характеристика; сталь с низким содержанием углерода; строительная сталь; нержавеющая сталь; жаропрочная сталь; сплав; удешевить производство; основатели сталелитейной промышленности; высокочастотный нагрев; низкокачественная плавка; термическая обработка.

Exercise 2.Match the English words and word-combinations given below

with their Russian equivalents.


1. a steelmaking centre 1. тигельная сталь

2. abundant supply 2. необработанная сталь

3. water power 3. одинаково высокое качество

4. crucible steel 4. штамповая сталь

5. uniformity of quality 5. определенная гарантия качества

6. a certain guarantee of quality 6. постоянный магнит

7. bulk steel 7. неограниченный запас

8. die steel 8. путем проб и ошибок

9. permanent magnet 9. мягкая (малоуглеродистая) сталь

10. by means of trial and error 10. водяная энергия

11. mild steel 11. центр сталелитейного производства


Exercise 3.Answer the following questions.


1. Why did Sheffield become a steelmaking centre? 2. When did the modern steel industry begin? 3. What types of steel were produced in Sheffield? 4. Which processes of steel-making were first introduced in Sheffield? 5. How can the Siemens-Martin process be described?

Exercise 4.Choose the word or phrase that best completes each



1. Such men as Bessemer, Siemens and Mushet were . . . the steel material.

a) improving b) discovering c) introducing

2. Only comparatively small . . . of the steel could be melted at one time in the first crucibles.

a) numbers b) quantities c) amounts

3. Bessemer’s converter was the first major . . . after Huntsman’s crucible.

a) discovery b) invention c) innovation

4. South Yorkshire used to give the . . . supply of coal.

a) great b) rich c) abundant

5. Bessemer’s process helped to burn . . . all the carbon.

a) out b) in c) up

6. South Wales - . . . near the sea was convenient for the importation of Spanish ore.

a) located b) present c) accomodated

7. Almost all important discoveries were made by means of trial and . . .

a) mistakes b) fault c) error


Exercise 5. Word-building: A compound noun is a combination of two or more nouns.

They are frequently used in scientific writing. Here are some

examples of compound words. Find more compound words

in the text. Work out the rule of their formation and use

them in the sentences of your own. Pay attention to their



1. silver - серебро; silver-coloured - серебристый;

silversmith - серебряных дел мастер; silver-work - изделие из серебра

2. water - вода; water-cooler - радиатор; water-engine - гидравлическая

машина; waterfall - водопад.


Exercise 6. Change each of these phrases into a compound noun.

6. reaction of chemicals 5. pressure of gas

7. pump for fuel 6. density of gas

8. processor of words 7. compression of air

9. rain that contains acid 8. pollution of the air

Exercise 7. More about word-building. A knowledge of prefixes and their meanings can help you to enlarge your vocabulary. Once you know what a particular prefix means, you have a clue to the meaning of every word beginning with that prefix. English prefixes come mainly from Old English (Anglo-Saxon), Latin and Ancient Greek.

1. fore- = before, beforehand, front

For example: foreword = preface, introduction (предисловие, вступление)

foremost = standing at the front; most advanced; leading; chief ( передний, передовой, выдающийся)

foresight = power of seeing beforehand what is going to happen (предвидеть, предугадать)


2. out- = beyond; more than; better than

For example: outlast = to last longer than (продолжаться, продержаться дольше, чем…)

outrun = to run faster than (опередить, обогнать)

outlook = prospect for the future (вид; перспектива; мировоззрение)

10. over- = too, excessively

For example: oversupply = a great supply (поставлять слишком много; снабжать с избытком)

overconfident = too confident of oneself (самоуверенный)

overestimate = to make too high an estimate (rough calculation) of the worth or size of smb, smth (слишком высокая оценка ч-л, к-л)


Translate at sight:

11. Joe overestimated the capacity of the new equipment. 2. The output of the factory is slowly increasing. 3.Yesterday I mislaid my bag and it took me about an hour to find it.

12. Harry’s bad test overshadowed his good work during the last month. 5.We have a shortage of good engineers but an oversupply of unskilled workers. 6.An overdose of this medicine can be dangerous. 7. Sherlock Holmes managed to outwit the cleverest criminals.


Exercise 8.Give a written translation of the following passage.



Iron is extracted from iron ore in blast furnaces. The biggest are 60m (200ft) high, produce 10,000 tonnes of iron a day, and work non-stop for 10 years. The furnace gets its name from the blast of hot air that heats up the raw materials. These are iron ore, limestone, and coke (a form of carbon). As carbon is more reactive that iron, it grabs the oxygen from the iron ore, leaving iron metal behind.

Limestone is included in the furnace because it mizes and combines with sand, clay, and stones in the ore. They form a waste material, called slag, which floats on top of the molten metal.

The chemical reactions begin when hot air is blasted into the furnace. As the coke burns, the carbon in it gets enough energy to react with oxygen from the air to form first carbon dioxide and then carbon monoxide. The carbon monoxide takes oxygen atoms from the iron oxide to leave carbon dioxide and iron metal. Temperature inside the furnace reaches 1,900oC, melting the iron which sinks to the bottom.


Task 3.

Focus on Grammar

Expressing the Future

1. will is an auxiliary of the future in simply predicting a future event.

They will go to the country tomorrow.

2. The Present Continuous is used to express an arrangement, usually for the near future.

I’m going to the cinema tonight.

They are coming to see us tomorrow morning.

3. The Future Continuous expresses an activity that will be in progress around some particular time in the future.

Don’t phone him tomorrow. He will be preparing for the seminar.

Tomorrow at this time we’ll be crossing the English Channel.

4. The Future Perfect expresses an action which will have finished before a definite time in the future.

I’ll have done this task by 4 o’clock.

Mother will have made the lunch by the time they come.

5. The Future Tenses are not used in the subordinate clauses of time and condition (if, when, before, after).

I’ll go there after I finish this work.

If he invites her, I won’t go to his party.

Exercise 1.Match a future form in box A with its definition in box B




1. We’ll have finished breakfast by 1. an arrangement

the time you come. 2. an activity which will be in

2. I am meeting her at 2 o’clock in progress at a certain time

Picadilly Circus. 3. a planned action

3. At 3 o’clock tomorrow we’ll be 4. a simple prediction

having a nice time abroad. 5. an action that will be finished

4. I’ll give you my jacket in case you before a definite time

need it.

5. You’ll be very happy with your 6. a spontaneous intention

husband, I am sure. 7. an action that will happen in the

6. I am going to study English in Britain. natural course of events

7. My plane leaves at 10 on Thursday.



Exercise 2.Put the verb in brackets in a suitable future form.


1. I . . . (to go) to Germany next summer. 2. We have decided we . . . (to do) something different this weekend. Usually we go to the country. 3. If you . . . (to wake up) me tomorrow, I . . . (to go) there with you. 4. I . . . (to meet) Emma at three. She . . . (to join) us for dinner. 5. We . . . (to complete) the project by the end of the year. 6. When you . . . (to return), he . . . (to be) probably there already. 7. At 3 o’clock tomorrow he . . . (to present) his paper at the conference. 8. Before the end of the holiday he . . . (to spend) all his money. 10. Come at 7 o’clock. I’m sure Tom . . . (to come) by that time. 11. At four o’clock tomorrow I . . . (to play) tennis. 12. When Jill comes back everybody . . . (to be fast asleep). 13. What …you (do) when I come. 14. The train …(to leave) by the time we come to the station.



Exercise 3. Read a situation and then write a question in a future form.

Example: It is nice outside. You want to go for a walk.

Question: Shall we go for a walk?


1. You and your friend are late for a party and you suggest to take a taxi. You say . . .

2. You want to borrow a dictionary from your friend and want to know if he will be using it tonight. You say . . .

3. You want to visit your friend tomorrow at 5 o’clock but you don’t know if he’ll be busy. You say . . .

4. You want to know if your friend will have finished the work by tomorrow. You say ...



Text 2.

Pre-reading task.


13. What do you already know about the system of higher education in Great Britain?

14. Look through the text and find the answers to the folloing questions:

a) Where can higher education be obtained from in Great Britain?

b) Do the majority of young people proceed to higher education in Great Britain?

c) Name the three types of British universities.

d) What degree is usually taken in final examinations after the first three years of study?

e) What can you say about the teaching system in British universities?

f) Why is adult education so important?

g) Where can further education be obtained from?


Higher education in Great Britain can be obtained from a university, a college (or institute) of higher education or at alternative college. What usually identifies most of these institutions is that a student, after a prescribed period of study and after passing his examinations will receive a degree and become a graduate of his institution. However, only a small percentage of the age group in Britain proceeds to higher education, in contrast to the higher rates in many major industrial nations.

The universities

There were twenty-three British universities in 1960. After a period of expansion in the 1960s, there are now forty-six, with thirty-five in England, eight in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland, and one in Wales. They can be broadly classified into three types. The ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge (composed of their many colleges) date from the twelfth century, but until the nineteenth century they were virtually the only English universities and offered no place to women. However, old universities had been founded in Scotland, such as St.Andrews (1411), Glasgow (1450), Aberdeen (1494), and Edinburgh (1583). The second group comprises the ‘redbrick’ or civic universities such as London, Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester, which were mainly created between 1820 and 1930. The third group consists of the new universities founded after the Second World War, and later in the 1960s. Many of the latter, like Sussex and East Anglia, are set in rural countryside.

Only about 10 per cent of British students leave university without finishing their courses. The successful majority aim for a good degree in order to obtain a good job, or to continue in higher education by doing research (master’s degrees and doctorates). The bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Arts or Science, BA or BSc) is usually taken in final examinations at the end of the third year of study, although degree courses do vary in length in different subjects. For example, engineering is often 4 years while medicine and architecture are usually 7 years. The final degree is divided into first-, upper-second, lower-second, third-class honours, and pass.

Teaching is mainly by the lecture system, followed up by tutorials (small groups) and seminars. Many university students may live on campus in university accomodation, while others may choose to live in rented property outside the university. Few British students choose universities near their parents’ homes.

Other ways to obtain technical education

Polytechnics existed for some time in Britain in one form or another. But most of the recent institutions were created in the 1960s. The Polytechnics were initially seen as the “people’s universities”, and were designed for specific tasks. But they have developed to such an extent that they are now equivalent to universities in many ways. All have higher degrees and research capacity, and since 1991 the Government has decreed that they should all be granted university status.

Today, the former polytechnics have a wide range of arts and science courses at both degree and sub-degree level. Students may study for a degree or a diploma in a professional skill and may be on a full-time or part-time course.

Further and Adult Education

An important aspect of British education is the provision of further and adult education, whether by voluntary bodies, trade unions, or state institutions. The present organizations originated to some degree in the thirst for knowledge which was felt by working-class people in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century, particularly after the arrival of state education and mass literacy. Today, local authorities provide such educational opportunities in colleges of further education, technical colleges, and colleges of commerce. These institutions offer a considerable selection of subjects at basic levels for a wide range of part-time and full-time students. Many of these institutions also provide opportunities to students to take university entrance examinations.

Adult education is provided by these colleges, the universities, the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), evening institutes, and local societies and clubs. There has been a recent expansion of continuing-education projects, as well as programmes specifically designed for adult employment purposes. Adult courses may be vocational (relating to a person’s job or search for a job) or recreational (for pleasure), and cover a wide range of activities.

There are several million part-time students at these various institutions, and their ages range from 16 to 80 and beyond.

Task 2.

Comprehension Check

Exercise 1.Agree or disagree with the following statements.


1. The majority of youngsters in Great Britain proceed to higher education.

2. Oxford and Cambridge are the only ancient universities in Britain.

3. Very few of British students leave university without finishing their courses.

4. The Bachelor’s degree is usually taken at the end of the fifth year.

5. University education is the only way to obtain technical education.

6. There are many colleges of further education in Britain.

7. Adult education has no age limit and enjoys high popularity in Britain.

Exercise 2. Enlarge on the following:


Bachelor of Arts (BA); Bachelor of Science (BSc); Master of Science;

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); first-class honours; a ‘red-brick’ university;

evening institute; a part-time student.


Exercise 3.Arrange the jumbled text given below


Student Grants

1. The Conservative government has tried to replace grants with a loan system. This means that students would have to finance their own higher education in much the same way as students in many European countries and in the USA.

2. Most students who gain a place at a recognized institution of higher education are awarded

a financial grant from their local authorities.

3. This is supposed to be enough to cover most of the fees and living expenses of a course during term time. But the size of the grant depends upon parental income (means test). This means that some students with rich parents may receive no grant, while others with less rich parents will be given a partial grant.

4. It seems likely that a modified loan scheme may be introduced in the near future by the government. But there is a strong feeling in Britain that higher education should be free for those who are qualified to take advantage of it.

5. The grant is reduced progressively at present as parental income passes 10,000 pounds. After this level, the parents are supposed to make a contribution to their children’s grants. But almost 50 per cent do not make any contribution. Many students who receive a full grant complain that it is not enough to cover all expenses, and the grant has declined in real terms since the 1960s.

Exercise 4.Translate the following proverbs and quotations into

Russian. Explain them.


They know enough who know how to learn. (Henry Adams)

An investment to knowledge pays the best interest. (Benjamin Franklin)

Happy is he that is happy in his children.

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies. (W. Churchill)

To know is nothing at all, to imagine is everything. (Anatole France)

A little learning is a dangerous thing. (A.Pope)

Will and intellect are one and the same thing. (B.Spinoza)



Oral Practice

Describing People’s Appearance



What does he look like? - Как он выглядит?

General appearance:

tall, short, medium-height; fat, plump, thin, slim, well-built;

beautiful, nice, plain, attractive, good-looking, pretty, handsome.


blonde, brown, black, red, ginger, white, grey, salt-and-pepper, fair;

straight, wavy, curly, short (-cut), long, bold (boldish),

moustache, beard.


black, grey, hazel, brown, blue, green, wide, slantish


large, small, thin and long, up-turned, short, hawked.


clean-shaven, pointed, dimpled, square


Exercise 1.Learn the dialogues by heart. Make dialogues of your own

using the patterns.



Ben: Hello, Peter. How are you?

Susan: Thanks, fine. And you?

Ben: Thanks, fine too. Have you seen Kate?

Susan: Kate? I think, I don’t know her.

Ben: You do. Do you remember that attractive girl at Peter’s party?

Susan: There were many attractive girls there. What does she look like?

Ben: She is slim and she’s got hazel eyes and long dark hair.

Susan: Oh, yes, now I remember her. I haven’t seen her since that party.



Peter: Have you taken after your mother or after your father, Kate?

Kate: After both of them. I’ve got wavy fair hair like my mother’s and

a long thin nose like my father’s.

Peter: Is your father tall?

Kate: Just average.

Peter: Has he got a beard or a moustache?

Kate: Neither of them.


Exercise 2.Play a game. One person thinks of a member of the class.

The rest of the group ask questions to guess who it is.

Exercise 3.One student describes a person and the rest of the class try

to draw a picture of this person.


Unit 4

Text 1

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