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Corus Process Engineering completes air mist caster study for Mexican steel plant

CNESCorus Process Engineering (CPE), part of Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES), has completed a detailed study into the conversion of a water-only cooling system on a steel slab caster in Mexico, into an air mist spray cooling system, enabling the plant to produce higher quality grades of steel, while providing a more efficient cooling method.

The work is being carried out on the number 3 slab caster at Altos Hornos

Working closely with Lechler, who produced detailed process models of the caster plant and new air mist system, CPE had to determine whether the existing water pipework could handle these new flows. Once the existing piping had been surveyed, CPE then had to specify and size all new air and water pipework; specify the compressors, accumulator and dryer that would be required; recommend the location of all equipment; and review all valves and instrumentation equipment to see if it could control the water system within the ranges required for Lechler’s new air mist system.

Ian Ellis continues: “Converting from water-only to air mist cooling provides a wider turn down ratio and more efficient cooling for the caster. Although most steel makers now use air mist systems on their continuous casters, the study demonstrates CPE’s knowledge and expertise in managing turnkey projects for clients, from the feasibility stage, through detailed design and engineering, right through to the actual supply, installation and commissioning of the new systems.”

CPE is currently preparing budget proposals for Lechler for the supply of the new equipment. This includes the recommendation of new operator interface displays; assistance in developing the new alarm system philosophy at the plant; surveying the partially installed air system, including the specification and recommendation of new pressure and flow instrumentation where necessary for the isolation, control and monitoring of the air flows.

CPE works closely with customers, providing a range of engineering support services, including training, project management and a toolbox of condition monitoring and asset management tools. Established in the 1950s, CPE specialises in the refurbishment of continuous casting equipment, both within the Corus Group itself and for external customers. The equipment is used throughout the steel production industry, and CPE is helping companies develop and monitor the performance of their equipment, including mould equipment, Top Zone and segment equipment. CPE maintains a full inventory of spares that minimises turnaround times of these types of equipment.

CPE’s portfolio of new development technologies includes ‘Castclean’, an integrated approach to ensure optimum levels of steel cleanliness from ladle to mould; ‘Castcoat’, ceramic-coated mould plates that increase the life of continuous caster mould plates by up to six times; ‘Clinotec’, which enables operators and maintenance staff to check the precise measurement of the vertical angle of the mould end plate; and the development, design and supply of ‘periphery drilled rolls’ which increase roll stability and life.

A significant proportion of CPE’s revenues also come from the nuclear industry. Since the 1950s, CPE has been supplying plant and equipment to the nuclear industry world-wide, including nuclear waste transport and handling equipment, storage flasks, shield doors and gamma gates.