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Industrial processes are procedures involving chemical or mechanical steps to aid in the manufacture of an item or items, usually carried out on a very large scale. Industrial processes are the key components of heavy industry.
Most processes make the production of an otherwise rare material vastly cheaper in price, thus changing it into a commodity; i.e. the process makes it economically feasible for society to use the material on a large scales, in machinery, or a substantial amount of raw materials, in comparison to batch or craft processes. Production of a specific material may involve more than one type of process. Most industrial processes result in both a desired product(s) and by-products, many of which are toxic, hazardous, or hard to deal with.
These may be applied on their own, or as part of a larger process.
The availability of electricity and its effect on materials gave rise to several processes for plating or separating metals.
There are several physical processes for reshaping a material by cutting, folding, joining or polishing, developed on a large scale from workshop techniques.
The physical shaping of materials by forming their liquid form using a mould.
Many materials exist in an impure form, purification, or separation provides a usable product.
Early production of iron was from meteorites, or as a by-product of copper refining. Heating iron ore and carbon in a crucible at 1000 K produces wrought iron. This process gained popularity during the Iron Age. Temperatures of 1300 K were produced around the 8th century by blowing air through the heated mixture in a bloomery or blast furnace (12th century); producing a strong but brittle cast iron. Furnaces were growing bigger, producing greater quantities; a factor contributing to the Industrial Revolution. In 1740 the temperature and carbon content could be controlled sufficiently to consistently produce steel; very strong and very workable. The 19th century saw the development of electric arc furnaces that produced steel in very large quantities, and are more easily controlled.
The nature of an organic molecule means it can be transformed at the molecular level to create a range of products.
Organized by product:
A list by process: