National Iranian Steel Company (NISCO), which is part of the state-owned Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO), has ordered a six-strand billet caster from SMS Concast AG, part of the SMS group. The plant will be part of a newly built EAF-based meltshop and designed for an annual capacity of more than 800kt of billets.

The caster’s home is a new steel complex built in Miyaneh, a city in the province of East Azerbaijan in the north-west of Iran. The complex is expected to serve as a basis for the industrial development of the province.

SMS Concast will supply the latest technology to enable NISCO to achieve its specified quality and productivity targets in the shortest possible time. The six-strand caster will produce billets of low, medium and high-carbon steels, among others for rebar production.

The six-strand Concast CONVEX CCS casting machine will have a casting radius of nine metres and will produce billets of 130mm, 150mm and 200 mm square in lengths ranging between six and 12 metres. Depending on the steel grades and casting mode (open or submerged), casting speeds will vary between 4.5 and 1.5 metres per minute.

The casting machine will come with CONVEX mold, a well established technology, claims SMS, which provides a higher heat transfer and more uniform solidification in corner areas. Efficient guiding of the strand shell inside the mold with maximised cooling symmetry provides for higher casting speeds while achieving an improved quality of the ‘as-cast’ product, says the company.

According to SMS, the CONVEX mold is part of the cartridge-type mold unit, a pre-assembled quick-change affair. Its self-centred design and self-sealing connections for the water that cools the mold ensure ‘optimal alignment and safe operation’. In case of a section change or for maintenance work, the mold assembly can be quickly changed - in five to 10 minutes, reducing downtimes to a minimum and maximising plant availability.

The secondary cooling process is divided into four zones, with the cooling parameters set according to section size, steel grade and casting speed. The first two section-dependent zones operate with water cooling only. Zones three and four are section-independent and use air-mist cooling. Level-2 automation means that the secondary cooling process can be dynamically controlled on the basis of a software model.

The machine will be equipped with a cantilever-type tundish car on the casting platform, a tundish stopper system for submerged casting, the latest generation hydraulic short-lever oscillation system and fully integrated PLC for fully automatic operation of the entire plant.

SMS Concast’s level 2 process control system integrates process control philosophy, production strategy and metallurgical models. The software offers user-friendly intuitive applications and graphical interfaces to support the operators and allow them to interact with the systems and monitor the entire production process.