Continuous Casting: Process Description

Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute

Equipment
Combustion Technology
Energy Consumption
Process Description
R&D Trends

In continuous casting, the molten steel from the steelmaking operation or ladle metallurgy step is cast directly into semifinished shapes (slabs, blooms, and billets). Continuous casting represents a tremendous savings in time, labor, energy, and capital. By casting the steel directly into semifinished shapes, the following steps are eliminated: ingot teeming, stripping, and transfer; soaking pits; and primary rolling. Continuous casting also increases yield and product quality.Thin slab casting is the centerpiece of a new technology that could revolutionize the competitive structure of steelmaking both in the U.S. and worldwide by making flat rolling accessible to minimills. Unlike conventional casting that produces a slab with up to a 10″ section, thin slab casters produce a slab from 2″-3.5″ thick that is integrated with a strip mill. The technology eliminates the large roughing mills required to work the thick slabs, and integrates slab production and sheet and strip rolling, greatly reducing reheating requirements.

History of Thin Slab Costing Technology

Schloeman Siemag AG (SMS) of Germany successfully tested their Compact Strip Production (CSP) in 1985. Nucor ordered the first commercial system marketed by SMS/Concast in 1986. Production started at Nucor’s Crawfordsville, Indiana plant in the fall of 1989. Nucor installed another CSP system at it’s Hickman, Arkansas plant. By early 1995 there were thirteen announced thin/intermediate slab casting projects planned or going online in North America.

Competing Thin Slab Casting Systems
Developer Process
CSP SMS/Concast
Commercialized at Nucor, Crawfordsville, Indiana, and Hickman, Arkansas
ISP MDH/Arvedi
Commercialized at Arvedi, Cremona, Italy
Conroll Voest-Alpine
Commercialized for stainless at Avest, Avesta, Sweden, Pilot plant for carbon steel at Voest-Alpine Stahl, Linz, Austria.
TSC Danieli
Government-financed pilot plant in Italy.
ECCO Krupp/Demag
Pilot plant in Germany.
CPR Thyssen
Pilot plant at Thyssen in Duisburg, Germany
TSP Tippins
Available for commercial installation from Tippens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hogan, W.T. “Steel in the 21st Century”, Lexington Books, New York, 1994.