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Advanced rolling technologies
Being a major topic for steel manufacturers, rolling technologies are covered in almost every issue of MPT International. Actually, this time we are introducing a total of three revolutionary new concepts, all of them in the hot rolling field, but for different product segments: one for thin hot strip, one for bars and one for seamless tube production. Although being a fairly young technology, thin slab casting and direct rolling passed its baptism of fire a long time ago and has been in commercial use for many years. Nevertheless, its potentials are far from being exploited. On the one hand, this technology is constantly expanding its product range. On the other hand, new plant concepts enable increasingly higher capacities. According to our article on this topic the benchmark today is a production capacity of up to 4 million t/year for a two-strand plant – provided that the product mix fits and the utilization rate is adequate. The authors explain that these plants not only save energy but provide a high degree of production flexibility.
Also in the field of long production, we are presenting an innovation that is worthy of the name. For the production of seamless tubes, Danieli has taken a four-roll technology to industrial maturity. This technology is to replace the common two-roll or three-roll blocks in sizing-finishing mills. In the past, rolling stands with four instead of two or three driven rolls were considered to be over-engineered – too complex, too delicate, too expensive. Danieli promises exactly the opposite for its newly developed technology. The new rolling stands are reliable and robust thanks to ultra-modern drive technology and a highly sophisticated machine concept, states Danieli. Another benefit is that the cost advantage for the user is not only the expected higher product quality but also the reduced number of stands to be exchanged. A sizing-finishing mill equipped with the four-roll technology requires fewer stand changes than a comparable plant with two-roll or three-roll stands for the same diameter range, resulting in lower tool costs. Hence, the capital costs for a seamless pipe mill using the four-roll stand design would not necessarily turn out to be higher than for a conventional plant designed for the same performance parameters.
Also those readers interested in other topics than hot rolling will find plenty of information featuring other interesting aspects of steelmaking in this issue of MPT International. Steel has a future because the future needs steel!