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Latest technologies and future developments and trends in metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology
(March 2001)

On February 9, 2001, SMS Demag AG organized a Technology Forum in Düsseldorf which was attended by more than 200 senior executives from the international steel and aluminium industries. The presentations illustrated their latest technologies and future developments and trends in metallurgical plant and rolling mill technology.

The major new SMS Demag ironmaking technologies include the Redsmelt process and the SAF furnaces (Submerged Arc Furnace) with a modernized electrode, as well as blast furnace developments and slag granulation. The new cop-per stavelets for blast furnace cooling increase the useful volume and reduce the cooling water volume. The static or dynamic dewatering system (in use at Salzgitter and HKM, Germany) increase the effectivity of slag granulation. Coking technology has also been further developed for improvement of reliability and further adaptation of plants to environmental standards. Together with a converter as the melting unit, the Redsmelt NST process can lead to cost savings of up to 25 % by comparison with conventional techniques. In cooperation with Lucchini, SMS Demag are building the first Redsmelt NST pilot plant in Piombino, which will be commissioned in 2002.

Three new innovative developments were presented in the field of steelmaking.

l Firstly, plant concepts for the production of carbon steels on the basis of the new CONARC process, which fulfils requirements regarding maximum flexibility in the use of raw materials. From hot metal, DRI, HBI up to scrap, all raw materials can be successfully used in accordance with product quality and the peripheral eco-nomical conditions. The first two plants in South Africa and India confirm the high expectations for this new process.

l Secondly, a new plant concept for the produc-tion of special steel, which is still in the development stage. As opposed to the conventional process, here, not only the process of melting scrap, ferro-alloys and pig iron but also decarburization with an oxygen lance all take place in only one reactor. It is expected to result in substantial advantages in production costs and production capacity.

l Thirdly, new process concepts were presented under the heading of "Clean Steel". In particular, highly demanding products, such as sheets for external parts of automobile bodywork, necessitate an exact and controlled process in the steel-works, continuous casting plant and the rolling mill. In this context, presentations were made of automation concepts as well as equipment associated with the plant engineering. A further advantage of the Clean Steel technology is the faster commissioning of steelworks plants, record run-up curves having recently been achieved.
In the area of continuous casting, attention was focused on four examples.

Firstly, the fast and successful commissioning of CSP plants was shown by the example of the plant at Handan Iron & Steel, which was distinguished by a particularly economical run-up curve. In spite of the many different types of steel being cast, thanks to an autopilot the breakout rate was less than 1 %.

Secondly, the casting of special steel thin slabs was presented by means of the casting machine for AST, which will be directly connected to an existing hot strip mill.

Thirdly, optimized beam blank casting. The new OBT segment (Optimized Beam Blank Temperature) is for the first time being used at ProfilARBED and enables controlled cooling.

Fourthly, the latest slab casting technology, a typical example of this being the Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann plant for the casting of a large mixture of steel grades. This installation incorporates only the latest plant engineering and process technology, such as a hydraulic tundish swivel system, resonance oscillator, segment manipulator, dynamic soft reduction and CyberLink segments.

The CVCPlus system is a further development of the technology in the field of hot flat product plants and was explained in conjunction with hot strip at WISCO and plate at SSAB Oxelösund. With narrow strip it offers an up to 75 % greater range of adjustment than previously known systems.

The second generation of CSP plants with the latest technology packages achieve still greater yields, a larger product mix, smaller final thicknesses and still better strip quality. They are modularly constructed and can be supplemented for all rolling strategies from ferritic/austenitic up to semi-endless rolling, as was illustrated by the example of the CSP plant for Thyssen Krupp Stahl, Germany.

Several technology packages are individually or in their entirety eminently suitable for increasing rolling capacity or improving product quality. In conjunction with the associated automation (Levels 1 and 2), SMS Demag has used these complete packages for modernization of the Salzgitter AG hot strip mill, Germany. Adapted technologies are also available for the rolling of aluminium, examples of which are plants at Hulett Aluminium and Corus Aluminium.

A plant and process monitoring system has been developed and successfully commissioned for the ever more important servicing functions.

The numerous new developments in cold rolling mills were summarized under three main headings. Tandem mill concepts, single-stand concepts for special applications, special plants for special steel and aluminium as well as technology packages. The excellent technologies include ESS, CVCPLUS , EDC, SCR and process control.

Three examples were presented in order to illustrate innovations in strip processing. The hot strip hot-dip galvanizing plant at Wuppermann operates with the new HtC process (Heat-to-Coat) and is one of the most cost-effective in this field. The CVGL technology (Continuous Vertical Galvanizing Line) is a new process in combined plants and has considerable advantages over the conventional tech-nology. Together with Thyssen Krupp Stahl, SMS Demag is developing new coat-ings for innovative applications on a pilot plant in the new DOC (Dortmund Oberflächen Center). The objective is more application-oriented coating systems.
In the field of section mills new technologies were presented for the economical production of long products. Among others the success with the newly developed high-speed wire rod block for closest tolerances, the MPS heavy section plants (Multi-Purpose Section) and the HSD system (High Speed Delivery) for bar mills. These included the equalizing loop, the FRS block and the high-speed laying head for rod mills, the ASC system (Automatic Setting Control) for maximum precision in the production of steel bar or the CRS straightening machine (Compact Roller Straightener) for heavy sections.

SMS Meer GmbH and its Austrian subsidiary Hertwich Engineering GmbH, which specializes in aluminium plants, enables SMS Demag to offer a worldwide wide-ranging programme of all key components in the field of tube and copper plants. The presentation was confined to three processes, namely, the new CARTA® system for seamless tube production, the directube® production line for copper tubes and the large tube (pipe) plants, for which SMS Meer can supply all pro-cesses and technologies from one source. CARTA® is a planning system with inte-grated mill stand management that calculates the process parameter and enables comprehensive automation of the rolling mill.

 

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