The SMS Concast continuous caster is central to TimkenSteel's "large-bar strategy," explained Faircrest steelmaking manager Jim Sanders.
The vertical bloom caster was installed adjacent to the plant's electric melt shop, rising 270 feet from its foundation to the highest point of the structure.
Pour it on
175-ton ladles arrive from the EAF to start the process of pouring 2,900°F molten steel.
The turret alternates positioning two ladles, to maintain high throughput casting.
Assume the position
Each ladle is rotated into position about the tundish in preparation for casting.
Each ladle is poured out in about 70 minutes, though casting speeds vary among the roughly 300 different grades.
Large bar strategy
The SMS Concast design casts 18×24-in. or 11×17-in. blooms.
The blooms descend the full length of the structure, to the below-ground foundation.
From the vertical run-out, semi-solidified blooms reposition to a horizontal plan and elevated to ground level via a hydraulic table.
As solidification continues, blooms are directed toward the cooling bed.
Cool down period
Blooms cool as they exit the run-out and are transferred by crane to a cooling table, prior to homogenizing in preparation for rolling.