Baosteel in Shanghai, PR China, started production at its Shanghai No. 5 plant in January with a radial forging machine supplied by Germany’s SMS Meer. The new unit, which is said to be the first hydraulic radial forging machine in China, can handle workpieces weighing up to 6,000 kg.
The installation included an SMX 650 hydraulic radial forging machine, two manipulators, a loading and unloading system, and a cut-off device. The press has a force of 1,300 metric tons and an annual production capacity of 34,000 metric tons.
SMS Meer also supplied the forging technology for all the materials to be forged. The contract included not only the guarantee of machine parameters but also the guarantee of the material properties after forging, such as core density, grain size, carbide size, and mechanical material properties. Many of the specifications were achieved or surpassed with the first test forgings.
With this strategic investment, Baosteel is able to produce high-grade materials (fine-grain material structure right through to the forging core) that have been difficult to manufacture to date and at the same time achieve significant reductions in costs. The company can produce bar steel with standard cross-sections as well as shafts with multiple throws. The main application is the forging of materials that are otherwise difficult to process. Non-magnetic manganese steels with high nitrogen contents also have been forged successfully.
The works in Shanghai has specialized in the open-die forging of high-grade materials, such as tool steel, rust-free steel, nickel-based alloys, titanium alloys and other high-alloy materials. The forgings are employed as components in industrial machines, chemicals plants, oil-drilling equipment, aircraft and nuclear power stations.
SMS GmbH is the holding for a group of companies involved internationally in design and construction of equipment for the processing of steel, non-ferrous metals, and plastics. SMS Meer is the business unit for Tube, Long Product, and Forging Technology.