Volume 109, Number 2, 2012
|Page(s)||113 - 136|
|Published online||10 May 2012|
Continuous casting: make better steel and more of it!*
Accepted: 9 February 2012
An impressive number of papers are published each year that report on continuously-cast steel quality issues and new machine equipment; few of them (if any) discuss productivity and cost issues as they should be addressed by plant management, caster operators, and scientists. At Management & Quality Control meetings in steel plants, much time is spent discussing tenth of percent rejections at the end of the processing line. But, little time is devoted to discuss slab direct-application ratios where rejections are several percents and penalty on the overall scheduling and organization of the steel production line very serious. At IPC & SOP review meetings (Integrated Process Control & Standard Operating Practices review meetings), much time is spent discussing upper and lower statistical (6-sigma) control-limit diagrams. However, no mention is made that such diagrams only prove process capability (process repeatability and reproducibility) and not product quality. There should be no comfort if center line is at 10% slab abnormality code month after month! It is the goal of the author to draw from an approach that combines 30+ years of research and plant experience. The result is the opportunity to “connect the dots” and a wide breadth of in-situ process understanding. The paper looks at continuous casting machines as tools for maximizing corporate earnings. It is about making good steel on the first attempt. Very systematically and practically, the paper discusses disturbing steelmaking defects, their causes, and how Electro-Magnetic Stirring technology can be used to eliminate them. It draws the attention to academics looking to validate or invalidate what they know or don’t know, and provides in-depth, concise, practical explanations and guidelines to plant operators who are less interested or do not have the time to assimilate highly-technical presentations and publications.
Key words: Casting / defects / diversions / downgrade / abnormality codes / cost / EMS / mold flow pattern / modeling / simulations
© EDP Sciences 2012
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