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Building small hot rolling steel mill

  1. Jun 14, 2009 #1
    Hi everyone
    I work for a very small company, which produces steel products. Predominately from one particular hot rolled steel profile. (1040 grade)

    We currently subcontract our hot rolling to small chinese operators :( I know....

    At this stage our volumes are not large enough to warrant the setup costs for larger advanced mills to roll the section. Hence subcontracting to smaller chinese operators.

    Because our profile section is rare we are experience a few problems, notably
    - price, we know we are getting stung, as no-one really wants the hassle of rolling a rare profile without huge volume
    - Inability to roll our desired section profile (we have to compromise). This is due to the constraints of both older machinery, and lack of interest in any development by the smaller mills.
    - we have our share of Chinese quality problems as well (though this is expected)

    We are currently looking at building our own small mill, designed specifically for our product. We have some new rolling ideas, that we would like to implement, that would enable us to roll a more complicated section and save significant processing costs.

    We have a lot of experience building large custom steel machinery, but hot rolling is relatively new to us. We'd be buying an induction billet heater to save ourselves a bit of hassle (that would be a fun project though). But we have a little bit of money to spend, and lots of energy to burn designing our own custom mill.

    Currently looking for as much info as possible.
    i.e Die materials and treatments, die wear estimates, roll pass design, spread and elongation force calcs, ideal cooling rates, and other things that we need to think about etc..
    Basically a DIY hot rolling mill book would be pretty helpful for us to see whether we're getting in over our heads. lol..

    At some stage we'll need very experienced trustworthy engineers to consult with before we pull the trigger.

    So if you can point us in the right direction, know a good source of info, books or recommended engineers, any help would be much appreciated.

    Sorry some of my descriptions are rather vague, I would love to disclose our product and some of our new ideas in further detail for general discussion. However the ideas represent significant commercial value and our industry is rather competitive, and our competitors are particularly unscrupulous when it comes to copying ideas etc. (any patents would likely become patterns :) so secretively is probably the best form of protection.

    Again, any help would be much appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2009 #2
    Hi! I am a Mechanical Engineer with 30+ yrs. of experience in operation, process simulation and component design for medium profile mills, high speed rod mills, plate mills etc. I believe I can be of assistance in your project. I have successfully designed tens of products using my own software. I would appreciate if you can tell me the status of this project. I currently live in Arizona.
  4. Sep 26, 2009 #3


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    It sounds like you need to talk to an expert in heat treating 1040 products of a certain size. One might be able to find such an expert through the ASM International Heat Treating Society (AMSInt HTS) or The Metallurgical Society (TMS).

    Both societies produce handbooks on heat treating and metal processing.

    Handbook of metallurgical process design G. E. Totten et al.

    See also - http://www.getottenassociates.com/ or http://www.pyemet.com/

    Metallographer's guide: practices and procedures for irons and steels

    Steel Heat Treatment Handbook
  5. Sep 26, 2009 #4
    I have used some quite precise algorithms for spread calculations, force and torque, forward slip, etc. The most important aspect on doing pass designs is to be able to accurately predict the temperature of the outside of the material (the one you can read). If you cannot predict the temp. all the other calculation procedures are useless. The temp algorithm used takes into account, from the moment the steel leaves the furnace, the temperature loss (convection + radiation) to the surrounding air for the front and tail of the billet/bloom. Then it calculates the cooling due to contact with the rolls and with the cooling water; now you have the 1st. pass effective entry temperatures for the tail and the end. Depending on the steel grade the algorithm calculates the mean rate, force, and energy of deformation and the position of the neutral plane. Now you can obtain the temperature rise of both ends. Finally you get the rolling, bearings and idle torques, and the total power for both ends. Now, finally you have the 1st. exit temp. for the front and the tail. the process repeats for the next passes.
  6. Jul 17, 2011 #5
    I'm from China. I deal with metallurgical machinery. If you have any question, feel free to contact me.
  7. Jul 29, 2012 #6
    I'm having trouble finding a mill to roll a special section of streetcar rail out of scrap rail from abandoned track. Anyone in the network who might know a mill that could fill this order?

    (If you want to add to your revenue stream by hot rolling 15 miles of track (to start) with a flanged, V-shape profile, send me a PM.)
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
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