One of the world's largest casters, a single-strand caster supplied by SMS group for ultra-wide and thick slabs, has successfully started production at Nucor Corporation. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45Mt (1.6 million short tons), the slab caster is a core element of the production chain for Nucor's new plate mill in Brandenburg, Kentucky, USA.

This makes Nucor Steel Brandenburg one of a few mills in the United States capable of manufacturing at scale the heavy gauge plate used in monopile foundations for offshore wind towers.


The new mill is located in the middle of the largest steel plate-consuming region in the country and will be able to produce 97% of the plate products that are bought and used on the domestic market.

‟SMS group and Nucor are a good team and we are proud that one of the largest continuous casters has now started production. The caster is of crucial importance for the success of our new plate mill."

Johnny Jacobs, vice president and general manager, Nucor Brandenburg.

‟SMS group and Nucor are a good team and we are proud that one of the largest continuous casters has now started production. The caster is of crucial importance for the success of our new plate mill. In this way, we can successfully contribute to our government's plan to build a total of 30 GW of offshore capacity by 2030,” says Johnny Jacobs, vice president and general manager at Nucor Brandenburg.

“The use of renewable energies and thus also offshore wind energy is applied environmental protection. It is very important to us to support such projects with our technologies,” says Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group.

The caster is used to cast slabs ranging from 8 to 12 inches (203 to 305 millimetres) thick and 60 to 124 inches (1,524 to 3,150 millimetres) wide. Slab lengths vary from 104 to 600 inches (2,642 to 15,240 millimetres).

“The use of renewable energies and thus also offshore wind energy is applied environmental protection. It is very important to us to support such projects with our technologies."

Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of SMS group.

With HD LASr, the new alignment standard, mold and segments are measured easily and precisely in the maintenance workshop. Various special technological features are integrated into the new vertical-bending caster. These include, for example, robot applications on the casting platform, liquid core reduction and quench cooling in segment 0, tiltable foot rollers and HD moldFO with optical fibres and electromagnetic stirring. A customized strand guide system, a quenching unit, and a secondary cutting unit are also integrated.

Various X-Pact® technology packages, such as X-Pact® Process Guidance, X-Pact® Solid Control, X-Pact® Tech Assist with Liquid Core Reduction and Dynamic Soft Reduction® are built into SMS electrical and automation systems and help to boost caster performance.