Beam Blank Casting Technology May14

Beam Blank Casting Technology...

Beam Blank Casting Technology The development of the direct casting of beam blanks is one of the most outstanding success stories in the evolution of the continuous casting of steel. The continuous casting of near net shape cross sections, called ‘beam blanks’ or ‘dogbones’, has been an efficient commercial process to manufacture long steel products such as I and H beams since the first beam blank caster was commissioned at Algoma Steel (now Essar Steel Algoma Inc., Sault Ste. Marie, Canada) in 1968. Its economics over conventional bloom casting are due to higher productivity, lower rolling costs and improved energy efficiency. As with many other innovations, the relatively conservative steel industry needed some time to accept this revolutionary concept. Its successful application depended on the inter-disciplinary co-operation and on the optimizing of casting and rolling process. This pioneering effort immediately attracted wide interest not only in the steel industry, but also by academia, e.g., in studying the solidification pattern of this complex strand shape. Nevertheless, it took another five years until the next beam blank caster got off the ground at Mizushima works of Kawasaki Steel Corporation. Continuous casting and rolling of beam blank has become a common practice in the steel beam production. Development in recent years concentrates in casting near net shape beam blanks. The difference between the conventional and near net shape beam blank is showed in Fig. 1. Conventional beam blank has a relatively thicker flange, usually over 100 mm, while the near net shape beam blank has a flange thickness less than 100 mm, usually with a lower limit 50 mm in the practice. Dozens, even a hundred beams can be produced through rolling only one beam blank. Fig 1 Conventional and near net shape beam blanks Beam blank...