PRODUCTION PROCESS >
Once the ladle of molten steel is of the required temperature and chemical composition, it is moved to the continuous caster. The molten steel is run through a gate in the base of the ladle, and into a tundish. The tundish is a bath-shaped refractory-lined vessel, which acts as a reservoir for the molten steel during the casting process. In the base of the tundish are six nozzles, from which the molten steel flows into six moulds, where the steel will start to solidify.
The moulds are copper tubes of square cross-section. The tubes are hollow, and cooling water is pumped through them to accelerate the solidification process. Once the molten steel comes into contact with the mould, it starts to solidify, from the outside. As this solidification occurs, the strand of steel is continuously withdrawn from the mould, as molten steel is fed from the tundish above. This is the so-called continuous casting process.
The solidifying strand in square cross section is straightened, and then cut to the required length by gas torches. This produces billets, up to 15m in length, which will then be rolled down to the finished products.
The cast billets of steel are then transferred by rail to one of our two rolling mills. One mill is used for bar and coil products, and the other for sections.