What Is Billet Continuous Casting Machine?

As the name suggests, billet continuous casting machine is used for continuous casting or strand casting. During this process, the solidification of molten metal is carried out to obtain semi-finished billet and then rolled in finishing mills.

Lately, the continuous casting machine has greatly improved. It is now cost-effective, offers topnotch quality and also improved yield including productivity. It is highly preferred because it produce metals at lower costs and at the same maintain quality. Plus, it is easy to control since it is automatic. It is for these reasons why it ideal for casting steel, copper and aluminium.

The molted metal is placed into ladle where it undergoes ladle treatments, for example, degassing and alloying. Then, when the molted metal has attained the right temperature, it is taken on top of continuous casting machine. The first ladle feeds the casting machine and the other one is placed in off-cast position. The second ladle will be switched or placed in casting position once the first one has been emptied.

The hot metal will then the transported using refractory shroud from the ladle to tundish or holding bath. The tundish can simply be described as a buffer because it acts as a path that feeds the continuous casting machine when ladles are switched. It also cleans the metal, smoothen outflow as well as regulating metal feed. The metal is drained further via the tundish via additional shroud until it reaches the top of the mold. This is where cooling of the hot metal is done. The mold also oscillates vertically so that the metal doesn’t stick on its walls. Adding lubricant is also a way of preventing sticking or trapping slag particles as well as oxide particles that may result into slag.

The shroud is usually known as submerged entry nozzle because it is placed in such a way that molted metal passes it underneath the slag layer. Shrouds may be missing and instead interchangeable metering nozzles will direct the molted metal into molds. There are a number of continuous casting machines feeding numerous molds with a single tundish.

The molted metal solidifies on mold walls forming strands which exits the mold via spray chamber. Inside the mold, there are water-cooled rollers supporting strands against ferrostatic pressure. Plenty of water can be added via the spray chamber to increase the solidification process. After the strand has been removed from spray-chamber, final solidification may take place. This is what actually makes the billet continuous casting machines to vary.

  • Curved apron machine – where the strands escape at a vertical curved path or vertically and as they approach the spray-chamber, the strands are made to travel in horizontal position by the rollers. The molds can be curved or straight but that will depend on the design of the casting machine.
  • Vertical casting machine – the strand will stay in a vertical position as it passes spray-chamber.
  • Horizontal casting machine – the mold axis is oriented in the horizontal direction as well as flow of the molted metal. Mold oscillation and strand can be used to prevent sticking.

Once the metal is out of the spray-chamber, it passes the straightening rolls including withdrawal rolls. The strand will then be cut using travelling oxyacetylene torches or mechanical shears and the taken to other processes or stockpile.

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

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