Metal manufacturing companies cast metal in slabs, billets, rods, and other geometries that will later be worked into products. For continuous casting operations, the metal and the equipment needs to be cooled at different phases to ensure efficient operations and a high quality to the metal.
Here at Lechler, we provide air mist cooling nozzles for secondary cooling methods that are used during continuous casting processes. We focus on designing our nozzles with various spray angles and flow rates to accommodate horizontal and vertical manufacturing production setups.
The Basics of Continuous Casting of Steel
Continuous casting of metals such as steel differs from other casting methods where the metal is only partially solidified in the mold. Instead, the semi-solidified steel is stretched until reaching the desired length and then cut into slabs. These slabs will then undergo additional metal working. The molten steel is continuously poured and stretched for this method.
This process begins with molten metal that is poured or ladled into a container called a tundish. The tundish allows for the impurities that are contained within the steel to be separated. Next, the molten metal is fed into the mold as it partially solidifies. The steel is moved from the mold using rollers that will bend and straighten the metal depending on the set up of the production line. At the end of the rollers is a torch that cuts the molten metal into the required slab length.
Spray nozzles are used in two different areas of this production process. The first set is outside the mold, where they emit water to cool the mold to partially solidify the molten steel. The next set of spray nozzles are used along the rollers to keep the rollers cool as they push the metal from the mold and toward the end of the production line.
Benefits of Air Misting Nozzles in the Continuous Casting Process
Air mist cooling nozzles for secondary cooling have two important functions: cooling the steel and cooling the rollers. The nozzles cool the steel in a controlled method while the metal solidifies. This process helps to prevent breaking, bulging, and surface cracks. The nozzles ensure uniform cooling takes place that doesn't leave hot spots that could create steel defects.
The air mist cooling nozzles also cool the rollers. The rollers are continuously absorbing heat from the semi-solidified steel as the steel moves from the mold. The cooling nozzles spray mist onto the rollers and further helps the solidification of the steel. There are no leftover hot spots along the rollers that can impact the properties of the metal and create issues.
By using air misting nozzles, you can ensure that manufacturing processes maintain a high yield of steel slabs to meet order demand. For more information regarding our cooling systems, reach out to Lechler today.