Spanish steel plant ArcelorMittal Asturias (Avilés) reports that its slab caster number one is already producing at the same level as before the revamp by SMS group.

The company had placed an order with the German steel production specialist for what SMS group describe as a ‘comprehensive revamp’ of the plant’s two-strand slab caster number one. The aim, claims the company, was to rebuild the bow-type caster into a vertical bending caster.

The end result is a caster that produces slabs with a thickness of 235mm and widths of between 800mm and 1,600mm. The equipment’s maximum casting speed is rated at 1.9 metres per minute, claims SMS group.

According to SMS group, from the mold to the run-out area, the caster was completely rebuilt and is equipped with a remote adjustable mold, hydraulic oscillation and a width-dependent spray cooling system (water cooling) in the machine head.

ArcelorMittal Asturias’ existing maintenance workshop was also modernised and now features a state-of-the-art HD LASr alignment system, designed by SMS group. There are also various X-Pact level 2 process models and automation packaging and a mold monitoring system that checks temperature distribution.

“In this way, any strand shell stickers can be detected and breakouts prevented at a very early stage,” SMS group claims, adding that Dynamic Solidification Control (DSC) ­– a metallurgical process model – calculates the solidification process of the strand and controls various secondary cooling zones.

The plant produces high-quality steel grades for the automotive industry as well as for tinplate and heavy plate production.