Continuous Casting"WHAT A method of pouring steel directly from the furnace into a billet, bloom, or slab directly from its molten form. WHY Continuous casting avoids the need for large, expensive mills for rolling ingots into slabs. Continuous cast slabs also solidify in a few minutes versus several hours for an ingot. Because of this, the chemical composition and mechanical properties are more uniform. HOW Steel from the BOF or electric furnace is poured into a tundish (a shallow vessel that looks like a bathtub) atop the continuous caster. As steel carefully flows from the tundish down into the water-cooled copper mold of the caster, it solidifies into a ribbon of red-hot steel. At the bottom of the caster, torches cut the continuously flowing steel to form slabs or blooms. "