Zhangjiagang China based Jiangsu Shagang Group’s subsidiary Huaigang Special Steel has awarded SMS Concast an order for the modernization of their existing six strand billet caster. The main motivation for this project is the move towards special bar quality steel grades serving the automotive and mechanical engineering industries. In cooperation with Huaigang, SMS Concast developed an innovative solution, which will allow the production of high end products on only five strands but with the same annual production capacity. In order to achieve the required SBQ steel qualities, the technology of Dynamic Mechanical Soft Reduction, which enables the reduction of the strand thickness as early as in the final solidification stage, will be applied. Huaigang is the first customer in China to use this process specifically for billets.
In order to be able to install the required seven DMSR modules per strand, additional space is needed between the individual strands. To achieve this, the innovative concept foresees a new section size of 210 millimetres square and the creation of additional space by converting the caster from six to five strands, whilst keeping the caster’s current productivity.
The DMSR system consists mainly of the MSR modules and the COOL real-time solidification model developed by SMS Concast, which dynamically controls the MSR modules. By accurately calculating the liquid core of the billet at a specific position of the solidification and applying the suitable forces, the reduction ratios are optimized and the inner product quality improved.
The existing 10.28-meter-radius caster at Huaigang currently operates without MSR modules on six strands. It is designed for billets of 150 to 200 millimetres square. After the modernization, the caster will produce billets of 210-millimeter square section on only five strands, but these will be fitted with DMSR. The additional steel grades to be cast will include bearing, gear and free-cutting steels, and alloy structural steels.
Operation of Huaigang’s modernized billet caster complete with the DMSR system is scheduled to start by the end of 2021.