The constantly changing non-ferrous metal market environment in Russia and abroad makes our plant look for new ways to make our products more competitive. For this purpose, Nadezhdinski Metallurgical Plant develops and implements new technologies targeted at ensuring stable operation of the company, improving the rolled steel quality, increasing the labour productivity and satisfying the ever-increasing customer demands. The plant's staff are engaged in the R&D activities; some of them have already been introduced into the production and produced a certain economic effect.
Our metallurgical plant has mastered the technology of application of a finely-ground iron-and-vanadium concentrate produced by JSC Svyatogor (UMMC's subsidiary) for sinter production. The production tests were conducted on Sintering Machine No. 2 using up to 10% of the finely ground iron-and-vanadium concentrate produced by JSC Svyatogor for the sinter charge mix. The application of this material allowed the plant to increase iron content in the sinter and reduce the cast iron production cost.
In 2008, a vacuum degasser manufactured by Danieli (Italy) was commissioned and a technology was introduced to produce ball bearing steel grades ShKh15 (ШХ15), ShKh15SG (ШХ15СГ), ShKh20SG (ШХ20СГ) according to GOST 801 – 78. As a result, the total oxygen content in the finished steel of these steel grades was below 0.0015%. The post-VD hydrogen content amounted to 0.00010-0.00019% (1.0-1.9 ppm).
The ash & graphite mould powder, grade 3GS (ЗГС), was tested. Based on the test results, this powder was accepted for use for steel casting both in the EAF melting shop and the foundry shop. The economic benefit from the application of the ash & graphite powder exceeded 4 million rubles.
In 2009, we tested chromium sand, grade CСТ-Х, supplied by JSC Magnesit Group, to potentially reduce the steel production cost. The initial opening of the steel teeming outlets in the ladle, not using oxygen, was 100%. A new technology was developed to heat ingot casting heads, which implies the application of mullite silica liners for the feeder head lining as well as the application of the heat insulation mix.The new technology allows for a top scrap of 9%, which reduces steel consumption on the rolling mill 850 by 2%.
We have mastered the production of square axle billets for the railway rolling stock, with a section of 215х215 mm, according to GOST 4728, steel grade OS (ОС), and square section bars, with a section of 220х220 mm, according to TU 14-I-5237-93 and TU 14-1-4492-88, on the rolling mill 850. The rolling mill 320 product mix has been extended with the Ø10mm round bars, according to GOST 2590, and ribbed reinforcing bars No. 10, according to GOST 5781. The work is now going on to extend the rolled steel bar product mix of our rolling mills, with simultaneous mastering of competitive shaped bar types for the medium-section and small-section rolling mills.
We are also tacking the issue of supplying the rolled steel with guaranteed microstructure and hardness for JSC AvtoVAZ and other customers.
To ensure good surface quality, the technology of application of a new drawing compound is being tried.
In 2009, we introduced a new acid corrosion inhibitor that improves both the pickling quality and environmental conditions in the pickling area.
We have developed and introduced a new ultrasonic testing method for calibrated bars made of plumbiferous steel grades. The perform the test, the most state-of-the-art ultrasound flaw detector UD2-70 is used. The application of this new inspection method reliably identifies defects resulting from lead inclusions and significantly improves the rolled steel quality that we deliver. The new method of ultrasonic testing of roll blanks was developed, which helps detect cracks in the rolls at early manufacturing stages.
In order to preserve marketability and quality of the steel that we deliver to our customers, we permanently improve our packaging and labeling technologies. We have tested packaging equipment and materials from several vendors.The work is going on to improve the stocking technology to ensure integrity of the lower bundles.We have adopted a more advanced technology of printing on plastic tags, rather than on formerly used metal tags.
In 2010, the work was continued to increase the performance of refractories for smelting, which is one of the key areas of the plant's technical development.
We performed a number of activities to ensure high durability of the EAF-80 refractory lining: testing periclase-carbonaceous refractories from various vendors for the design of walls and eccentric bottom tapping; mastering the construction of a small refractory arched roof using low-cement castables.
In order to increase durability of the refractory lining of the burner tunnels on the continuous heating furnaces, in-house production of castable burner tiles was implemented.
The mastering of the technology of and testing of in-house low-cement castables for the lining of the steel-teeming ladles is still in progress.
The drawing tool machining process uses an electrical discharge wire-cutting machine, mod. EZ10S. This tool can machine drawing dies as precisely as 0.001 mm and also specify an edge rounding-off radius for hexagonal tools.
In 2010, we introduced IRS-6, an internal grinder, manufactured by SCOB for the drawing tool machining and reconditioning. In 2010, we introduced IRS-6, an internal grinder, manufactured by SCOB for the drawing tool machining and reconditioning.
An AT830 NTE CNC machine manufactured by AТОМАТ (Italy) that can ensure high-quality and high-performance roll machining and calibration for the rolling mill 320 was introduced into production. This model can mill roll passes, whatever the design; machine rebar transverse grooves; label roll passes with the manufacturer's trademark.
We have selected the optimal preservation compound for calibrated bars that conforms to our specific production conditions and at the same time satisfies the demands of JSC AvtoVAZ and other customers. The application of the Avtokon-LS preservation compound substantially reduced the number of claims from our customers concerning corrosion and dirty oiling.
Steel packaging chart using textile slings
The steel bar packaging in the sizing shop uses textile slings for handling that help drive out mechanical damage of the special surface finish steel and avoid using wooden spacers for bar stocking.
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