Continuous casting was conceived and patented by the original founder of modern steel making, Sir Henry Bessemer in the year 1865. However, it didn’t come into much of a use until the early 1960s when a huge amount of steel began to be continuously casted by in many steel industries all around the world. Today, the process has evolved so much that continuous casting has become the preferred choice for all the new steel industries. There are also certain steel which have still not been converted from Ingot Casting Method to Continuous Casting but the method is gradually changing.
Before understanding the benefits of Continuous Casting, it is important first to understand what Continuous Casting is.
What exactly is Continuous Casting?
Modern steel making is basically done by two processes, the older process of Ingot Casting and the newer process of Continuous Casting. Continuous Casting process wise is much simpler and shorter method of steel making. It replaces the steps of ingot casting, mold stripping, heating in soaking pits and primary rolling by only one primary operation.
The basic process of Continuous Casting is the method in which an open ended mold is used to cast an undefined length of the cross-sectional shape. In the casting process, the molten steel then solidifies from the outer surface to inward which produces a full solid slab, bloom or billet which can either be processed further in a rolling mill or can directly be shipped as a semi-finished steel product. So Continuous Casting can be clearly defined as a process which continuously works in converting liquid steel into semi-finished or solid steel shapes. It definitely makes the entire process much easier and also efficient.
Benefits of Continuous Casting
The process of Continuous Casting must have given you an idea about its efficiency but Continuous Casting benefits are even more productive and see below:
- Energy Savings
As mentioned above, with Continuous Casting a lot of high energy consuming steps in steel making are omitted which helps in saving energy. Soaking pits, reheating furnaces and primary rolling mills are eliminated from the entire process which helps in reducing the consumption of fuel.
- Increase in Yield
Increase in yield also helps in saving lot energy. The yield is increased by at least a minimum of 10 to 12% and a maximum of 20% in some cases. The amount of scrap which is generated is very less which helps in increasing the yield. Oxidation losses are reduced since the exposure of hot steel to air is lessened.
- Labor Productivity Improvement
With continuous casting a lot of steps are eliminated which require (which require) demand direct labor input. It has been found out that 10-15% less labor is required in the process of Continuous Casting. The labor time is also reduced from five to seven hours in a shift to one to two hours for the entire process, right from pouring of molten steel to production of semi-furnished forms. This helps a lot in reducing the time loss.
- Improved Quality
Most industry personnel approve of the fact that they have seen significant improvement of quality of steel. This happens because of reduction of steps of and more involvement of automatic control in the entire process. Lesser defects are found in the end product. Particularly in the production of slabs for flat products, a major improvement in quality has been noticed.
- Reduction in Pollution
As mentioned earlier, continuous casting helps in eliminating a lot of steps which reduces energy consumption. The soaking pits and reheating furnaces are eliminated which helps in reducing pollution. The yield increase also means that a lesser amount of coke is manufactured. Coking is the biggest source of pollution in the world of steel making.
So it can be well ascertained with the help of above mentioned points that Continuous Casting is easily a more efficient way in the process of steel making. It has numerous benefits which can help your company generate huge amount of steel in lesser period of time which of course can increase your revenues and profits.
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