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「鋼鐵是怎麼煉成的?」- How It's Made: Steel Forgings


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When does forging not involve fraud? When you're talking about metal.
什麼時候鍛造沒有牽扯到詐騙(註一)?當你談論到金屬的時候。

Many industrial machines contain steel parts that have to withstand great stress. The metal working method that produces the strongest steel parts is forging: heating the metal, then forming it to the required size and shape.
許多工業用機器都含有需要承受巨大壓力的金屬零件。生產最堅固鋼鐵零件的金屬加工法是鍛造:加熱金屬,接著塑成需要的大小及形狀。

Steel forgings are made from scrap iron, pieces of used iron recovered from demolished buildings and old cars, as well as bits of new iron leftover from the manufacturer of iron products. Forge workers maneuver a gigantic magnet to lift almost six tons of scrap at a time until they fill the twenty-eight-ton scrap bucket. The bucket empties two such loads into a fiery furnace, whose temperature peaks at three thousand degrees Fahrenheit. This is called an electric arc furnace, because the heat is created by a strong electric current running in an arc between three electrodes.
鋼鐵鍛件是由鐵屑做成的--從拆除的建築及老舊車輛所回收的舊鐵塊,還有從鐵製產品製造商得到的一塊塊殘餘的新鐵。鍛造工人操縱一塊巨大的磁鐵一次舉起將近六噸的廢金屬,直到它們填滿二十八噸的廢金屬桶。那桶子清出兩批像這樣的量到一個熾熱的熔爐,它的溫度高達華氏三千度(約攝氏一千六百度)。這叫做電弧爐,因為那熱度是由強勁的電流以弧形在三個電極間奔流所產生的。

There are about twenty main grades and one hundred sub-grades of steel. They are produced by adding specific metals or non-metallic chemical elements, such as aluminum, nickel, chromium, vanadium, manganese, carbon, and molybdenum. They also add the mineral fluorite to help fuse the metals, some of which are in the form of blocks called ingots.
有大約二十種主要的鋼材類別,還有一百種附屬類別。它們藉由加入特定的金屬或非金屬化學元素所製成,像是鋁、鎳、鉻、釩、錳、碳、和鉬。他們同樣也加入氟礦石來幫助熔化金屬,其中有些是以一種稱作鑄塊的塊狀形式。

Throughout the three and a half hour meltdown, they test and adjust the chemical composition. They try to retain the lowest hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur levels: the key to producing strong, high quality steel. Then they pour the sizzling molten metal into a fifty-ton ladle that's lined with heat-resistant brick. They add aluminum in line to chemically counteract oxidation, rusting caused by air exposure.
在全部三個半小時的熔化過程中,他們測試並調整化學組成。他們試著維持最低的氫、氧、氮及硫的含量:生產堅固、高品質鋼材的關鍵。接著他們將熱得吱吱作響的熔化金屬倒進舖有耐熱磚的五十噸鑄杓。他們依序加入鋁去中和氧化作用--因接觸空氣所引起的生鏽。

Now they cast an ingot, a block of steel that fills shape into a forging. The molten metal flows out the bottom of the ladle into a mold below. This bottom pouring, as it's called, makes for a smoother casting because liquid flowing downward doesn't swirl around as much as liquid poured sideways. This forge can cast ingots weighing up to forty-six tons.
現在他們澆鑄成鑄塊--注入模型成為鍛件的一塊鋼鐵。熔化的金屬流出鑄杓的底部進入下方的鑄模。這種底澆法,正如其名,有助於更平順的澆鑄,因為液體往下流不會像液體往旁邊倒一般打旋。這個熔鐵爐可以澆鑄重達四十六噸的鑄塊。

After several hours, the ingot solidifies. And they turn the mold upside down to extract it. Then over twelve hours, they reheat the ingot to twenty-two hundred degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it soft enough to hammer or press into shape. To make large forgings, they use a machine called the forging press, mounted inside a forming die or a pair of dies depending on the technique they're using. The press applies thousands of tons of pressure, pressing the ingot and forcing it against the die. The steel is quickly oxidizing with all this air exposure. They use a high-pressure water gun to remove the scales of rust.
幾個小時後,鑄塊變堅固。他們將鑄模翻轉過來取出它。在十二個小時後,他們重新加熱鑄塊到華氏兩千兩百度(約攝氏一千兩百度)。這讓它足夠柔軟到能錘打或加壓成形。要製作大型鍛件,他們使用一台叫做鍛壓機的機器,裡頭裝有一具成型模或是一對模具,端看他們使用的技術。鍛壓機使出數千噸的壓力,擠壓鑄塊並施力迫使它緊貼模具。鋼材很快地因為這所有空氣接觸而氧化。他們使用一種高壓水槍來除去繡屑。

An ingot often passes through a die several times or through a series of dies arranged in sequence. Each pressing forms the metal bit by bit into the final shape.
一枚鑄塊通常會穿過模具數次,或是穿過一組依序排列的模具。每次加壓都一點一點地將金屬塑造成最終的形狀。

Metal is composed of microscopic crystals. Squeezing it in the press bends these crystals, destabilizing the metal structure. But reheating the metal creates new crystals to replace the deformed ones. This restablizes the structure, and because the new crystals are smaller, makes the metal stronger than before.
金屬是由微小的結晶所組成的。在鍛壓機中擠壓它會彎曲這些結晶,使金屬結構不穩定。但重新加熱金屬產生新的結晶來取代變形的結晶。這重新使結構穩定,因為新的結晶更小,讓金屬比以往更加堅固。

That's why finished forgings require heat treatment. It was called an annealing furnace. They heat for a day or two depending on the grade of steel. Then they soak in a water and chemical bath for about five hours. This strengthens the steel even more.
那就是為什麼完成的鍛造品需要熱處理。這稱作退火爐。它們加熱一到兩天,取決於鋼材的類別。接著他們浸泡在水和化學洗滌液中約五個小時。這又更鞏固了鋼材。

Finally, workers mount the steel forgings on lace and milling machines. They remove the rust scales that formed during heat treatment, then precision-machine the forgings into what the client ordered, usually industrial parts, such as rotors, spindles and shafts. Many factories prefer to buy forgings in the shape of blocks or bars, and machine the parts themselves.
最後,工人將鋼材鍛件安置在壓紋機及銑床上。他們除去在熱處理過程中形成的繡屑,接著用精密儀器將鍛件做成客戶訂購的東西,通常是工業用零件,像是轉輪、心軸和轉軸。許多工廠偏好購買成塊狀或棒狀的鍛件,然後自己用機器做出那些零件。

註一:forging也有偽造、贗品之意。

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