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• Monday, April 03rd, 2017

A billet continuous casting machine is designated to be slab or bloom or billet caster. To start the machine, the first step involves putting dummy bar, for example, curved metal beam via spray chamber so that the mold’s base is sealed off. Then, metal is placed into the mold. After it solidifies, it is withdrawn using dummy bar. The metal supply should be sufficient so that the machine doesn’t keep restarting or shutting down repeatedly.

If the continuous casting machine suddenly restarts to stops, the uncast metal present in tundish won’t be drained but will freeze instead. What that means is that a new tundish will be needed. To prevent shutdowns or restarts, it is imperative to have ladle furnaces and meltshop. It will be helpful in regulating the temperature. The temperature usually varies depending on the level of slag cover, alloying additions, preheating ladle before loading metal, deslagging including other parameters.

The cast rate if the casting machine can be reduced by placing less metal into tundish but this may increase the wear of the tundish. Alternatively, upstream delays may be accommodated but shutting down some strands in case the caster has many strands. The billet continuous casting machine is fully computer-controlled. The radiation or thermal or electromagnetic sensors on mould, shroud, and tundish can automatically sense flow rates, temperature, weight and level of the metal. Also, speed of withdrawal rolls is effectively controlled using PLC or programmable logic controllers. The flow rate is usually controlled through:

  • The stopper rods or slide gates located at mould shrouds
  • Since the nozzles are interchangeable, the flow rate can be controlled by their internal diameters especially when metal’s open-poured.

The casting speed of the billet continuous casting machine is usually adjusted by increasing or reducing the level of metal in tundish through ladle slide gate. PLCs can be used to control oscillation, power fees and flow rates. Also, automatic control makes it easy to display data at the manufacturing centers and thus, making it easy to know work rates.

Automation is very essential especially when it comes to producing castings with little segregation, no shrinkage but the continuous casting may seem useless if it’s not clean. The hot metal can be term dirty when it get in contact with oxygen in the process of oxidation. The hot metal may also be dirty when there are presence of slag, undissolved alloys or other gaseous products. The process of oxidation can be prevented by not exposing the hot metal into the atmosphere. To do this, the liquid metal is covered using shrouds or synthetic slag.

Breakout is a major challenge when using continuous casting machine. When the strand breaks, it may find its way to the machine. Dealing with this problem can be costly because it results into the shutdown of the entire system. Removal of the spillage and replacing damaged parts may be cost-prohibitive. There are a number of fluid flow techniques, for instance, computational fluid dynamics that are used in designing caster operations to help deal with challenges likely to be faced.

Mandy Ye is the author of this article on continuous casting machine. Find more information, about billet contiuous casting machine.

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