North America Stainless (NAS) has ordered a stainless steel cold rolling mill and bright annealing line from the SMS Group.

The 20-roll cold rolling mill will form part of a modern, high-performance production facility for bright-annealed stainless steel strip in Ghent, Kentucky and, claims SMS, will be characterised by high efficiency, flexibility and product quality.

Commissioning will take place in early 2017 and the plant will boast a capacity of 95kt/yr.

NAS is building the plant so that it can make inroads into the bright-annealed stainless steel market. The material is partly imported, but there is a market of stable growth in the USA where the product is used in the manufacture of household appliances and kitchen utensils and in other areas, such as the transportation industry and in medical engineering.

Bright-annealed stainless steel – or BA – is characterised by its shiny, reflective surface.

Both austenitic and ferritic grades (AISI 200, 300 and 400 series) will be manufactured by the new plant and the end product will range from 600-1,350mm wide by 0.15-1.5mm thick.

SMS will provide mechanical, process, furnace, electrical and automation equipment as well as installation and commissioning support and operator training.

Strip steering systems will be supplied by EMG Automation.

The 20-roll cold rolling mill will have a maximum rolling speed of 800 metres/min and a maximum rolling force of 8,000kN. Thickness reductions of up to 90% can be achieved, claims SMS.

The bright-annealing line, claims SMS, will be the highest-performance of its kind in the USA.

A similar installation in Bahru, Malaysia, served as the blueprint for the new NAS mill.