SMS group has been contracted by Russian steelmaker NLMK to supply a new thick slab caster for its steel mill number two in Lipetsk, Central Russia.

The new plant replaces a two-strand caster supplied by SMS group in 1976, and will be built in the same place.

According to SMS group, the continuous caster is to be completely rebuilt from the ladle turret to the exit section, and will be equipped with state-of-the-art continuous casting technology. “A few steel structures and foundation areas will remain as they are,” the company explained, adding that the new plant will be designed as a bow-type caster and offer a host of benefits, particularly for the casting of slabs made from crack-sensitive steel grades and over 300mm thick.

The scope of supply for SMS group comprises basic and detail engineering and mechanical and electrical systems for the caster. It also includes a ladle turret, adapted to the existing foundation and shop configuration, molds with hydraulic oscillation, strand guide with 25 segments, the relevant interchange­able parts, and the exit section. Erection and commissioning supervision is also part of the scope of supply.

The width range produced on the continuous caster is to be extended from a previous maximum of 2,200mm to 2,800mm and the thickness range from 355mm to 400mm. The plant will be designed for an annual production capacity of 2Mt and will be equipped for twin casting, which is used for slab widths between 900mm and 1,290mm, and a maximum thickness of 250 millimeters.

The first cast is scheduled for December 2019.