Siemens VAI Metals Technologies received an order from the Russian steel producer Nizhny Tagil Iron & Steel Works (NTMK) to increase the casting capability of the existing two-strand beam-blank/bloom combi-caster CCM3.
The project scope includes the supply of engineering, equipment and systems, installation work and all required modification activities to enable the caster to cast up to four bloom strands in total to meet the increased market demands for rail steel. In the bloom-casting mode, machine capacity will be increased from 700,000 t/a to 1,000,000 t/a. The order value is just under €30 million. Start-up of the modified caster is scheduled for November 2010.
In connection with a modernization campaign underway at NTMK, three of the LD (BOF) converters were already replaced by Siemens VAI and a fourth 160-ton-capacity converter is now being installed. With consideration to the higher steel production rate, the output of the continuous casting facilities also has to be increased. To this end, Siemens VAI will expand the casting capacity of the two-strand beam-blank/bloom combi-caster CCM3, originally supplied by Siemens VAI, which currently casts beam blanks in 395 mm (height) x 165 mm (web thickness) x 530 mm (width) formats, or blooms with a thickness of 200 mm and a width of 550 mm.
The machine will be modified in such a way that it will be capable of simultaneously casting up to four bloom strands with rectangular formats of 300x380 mm, allowing an additional 300,000 tons of steel to be cast per year. External mold stirring will be provided to ensure a homogeneous internal strand quality of the high-carbon rail-steel and tube-steel grades to be produced. Installation and modification work will be carried out to the greatest extent possible during regular casting operations, however, a caster-shutdown period of about 60 days will be necessary.
The caster design is characterized by curved molds, a bow-radius of 12 m and a metallurgical length of 33 m. The mechanical equipment supply includes new molds, additional segments and withdrawal units. New media, electrical and Level 1 and Level 2 automation systems will also be installed in addition to a variety of technological packages such as Dynaflex hydraulic oscillators, the Levcon mold-level-control system and an integrated quality-control system. Advisory services for start-up and commissioning round off the Siemens VAI scope of supply.
Nizhny Tagil Iron & Steel Works, part of the Evraz Group S.A., is one of the largest metals producers in Russian. Located in the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Ural Mountains in the Sverdlovsk region, the integrated iron and steel works produces approximately four million tons of steel per year which is primarily used for the production of rails, railway wheels, supports and structures.
NTMK and Siemens VAI have jointly implemented a number of projects during the past 15 years. These include the supply high-tech equipment for the Blast Furnaces Nos. 5 und 6, modernization and expansion of the existing converter steel works, the supply of ladle furnaces, and also the installation of the 4-strand bloom (CCM 1) and single-strand slab (CCM 4) continuous casters.