Baosteel Zhanjiang, which has an annual capacity of 3.5Mt of high-quality slabs, has awarded Primetals Technologies a contract for the engineering, supply, and start-up of a bow-type 2-strand continuous caster for the production of ‘extraordinarily thick slabs’.

The caster was designed to be one of the world’s most powerful, claims Primetals Technologies, and will be installed at Baosteel’s Zhanjiang plant in Guangdong province. It will produce slabs measuring up to 2,700 mm in width at 450 mm in thickness.

Primetals is responsible for engineering and implementation as well as the supply of mechanical equipment and Level 2 automation.

It is claimed that the new equipment will enable Baosteel to produce plates for heavy-gauge sectors like the shipbuilding and wind turbine industries. Usually, ingot casters or vertical casters are the equipment of choice for products of these thicknesses. However, Primetals claims that both of these are not as cost-effective or efficient as the company’s new bow-type continuous slab caster.

Baosteel’s new caster will be equipped with Single Roll DynaGap (SRD) segments from Primetals Technologies. When changing parameters that influence production – such as steel grade, cooling practice, and casting speed – the process models of the Level 2 automation package determine the best casting gap, allowing for the SRD segments to adjust individual roll gaps and forces. The caster’s SRD segments can handle capacities of 5,000 kilonewtons per roll, enabling very large thickness reductions in the casting process, claims Primetals. This, it is claimed, leads to superior internal quality of the cast slabs, andresults in the production of defect-free ultra-thick plates of high quality.

Primetals’ new method for establishing the ideal caster-roll geometry at the initial design stage reduces mold level fluctuations that stem from unsteady bulging by 50%, enabling higher casting speeds and greater productivity. The software tool takes into account the targeted steel grade, section size and casting speed when calculating the optimized geometry and this identifies the right frequency spectrum for the rolls.

Primetals engineers claim to have found a way to compensate for heavy mold weights by utilizing helical springs, which are claimed to ‘significantly’ reduce energy consumption levels.

Smart Segments, a continuous bending and straightening concept developed by Primetals together with a dry-casting machine design that includes Eco Star rolls are contribute to vastly improve slab-surface quality. An internal cooling system is capable of enduring the high temperatures needed to minimize surface defects during the dry-casting process.