The thin-slab caster at OMK in the Russian region of Nizhni Novgorod has been installed with the latest automatic mould flux feeder ST2P-3.

Supplied by S&B Industrial Minerals group this is a worldwide first for this type of flux feeding system.

It is especially suited for thin-slab casting plants, which are designed for casting and direct rolling, as it is paramount that the casting flux is evenly distributed and fed into the mould gap at a constant rate as these plants cannot provide any possibility of inspecting the surface of the cast strand prior to rolling.

Automatic flux feeders provide a much better strand quality than manually fed casting fluxes. While the latter are added in undefined quantities, automatic feeding ensures that the mould flux trickles down onto the meniscus in a uniform manner avoiding any disturbance on the meniscus due to the impact of larger quantities of flux that may result in surface defects and the mixing of slag and flux material. Moreover, automatic feeding ensures that there is an uniform and uninterrupted flux film between the strand and the mould plates.

The ST2P-3 Flux Feeder uses granulated flux and does not require any sophisticated supply system. All it requires is dry pneumatic air or nitrogen. It operates fully pneumatically and independently of any power supply. This makes it an extremely low-maintenance device, guaranteeing high availability under operating conditions.

To switch between flux types, the feeder is simply moved under the corresponding container and fixed in place requiring just a few minutes. The feeding hoses can be flexibly arranged according to the specific situation on the casting platform. They may run horizontally, over distances of several meters.

Granulated casting fluxes allow trouble-free, efficient and environmentally friendly casting. During the last few years, these features have led to a growing use of granulated fluxes, increasingly substituting pulverized material. Unlike pulverized flux material, granulated fluxes provide a material layer of uniform thickness on the meniscus.