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INDEX

1. - INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................... 3
2. - SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES ........................................................................ 4
3. - DISCUSSION .......................................................................................... 5
3.1. - REJECTION DATA ........................................................................... 5
3.1.1. - REJECTION DATA VS. FINAL DIAMETER ............................... 6
3.1.2. - REJECTION DATA VS. REDUCTION RATIO .......................... 10
3.2. - PROCESS REVIEW ........................................................................ 17
3.2.1. - STEELWORKS .................................................................... 17
3.2.2. - ROLLING MILL ................................................................... 29
3.2.3. - FINISHING AND INSPECTION ............................................. 32
4. - GENERAL SUMMARY ........................................................................... 34
4.1. - REJECTION vs. REDUCTION RATIO ............................................... 34
4.2. - STEELWORKS ............................................................................... 37
4.3. - ROLLING MILL............................................................................ 387
4.4. - FINISHING AND INSPECTION ..................................................... 387
5. - APPENDIXES ...................................................................................... 398

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1. - INTRODUCTION
Special steel has a wide variety of applications. In general, they are used not only for parts such as
bearings, springs and gears, which are subject to continuous dynamic load, but also for applications such
as structural parts, which are used under static load but are exposed to severe cold forming or aggressive
heat treatments conditions during the manufacturing process. In other words, the steel components
must have high quality surface and internal characteristics in response to the manufacturing processes
and to the end product performance requirements.

Thus, the automotive industry demands steel with no surface defects and no non-metallic inclusions
near the surface.

In all the countries where Gerdau is a player in the market, specifications for surface quality are getting
tighter and tighter. Time ago the level of acceptance was about 1% diameter of the bar, but nowadays,
typically working tolerances vary from 0.5 to 0.3 mm maximum allowable surface defects depth for as-
rolled bars, but definitely, the specification is shifting towards 0.3 mm for many applications. In Japan,
for instance, the trend is to work with 0.2 mm and even more restricted conditions.

These strict specifications involve high operational costs due to the internal rejection ratio in the
inspection operations that increases proportionately to the demanded lowering of defect depth.

European market, due to a higher competitiveness and an excessive production capacity, is by now the
most demanding market within Gerdau operation area.

With the purpose of analyzing the position of the different GSS plants with regard to this clear market
trend a workgroup was created at the end of 2011, whose aim was to compare inherent conditions to
each geographical location, and to come up with recommendations for the capabilities and practices
needed to achieve “reasonable” approval rates, on a consistent basis, with testing at 0.3 mm threshold
for surface defects.

What should be done to guarantee on a consistent basis 0.3 mm of maximum surface defect depth? The
simple answer is to do exactly what Japanese do (top quality facilities and low profitable processes); but
obviously, that is not good enough since the economics of the business has to be taken into
consideration as well.

Due to the very different production routes characteristics as well as the complexity of the metallurgical
processes, the question “what is needed to guarantee 0.3 mm?” is rather broad, difficult to focus and
tackle.

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A lot of ground work, processes analysis and data mining have been done in order to answer that
question and address the expectations. The aim of this project was to draw fundamentally sound
conclusions, based on real data, rather than offering intuitive or qualitative recommendations.

2. - SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES


The scope of the study covers GSN, GSB and GSE production plants.

This study looked for:

 Assessment of the different production facilities/process routes (ingot x bloom x billet, one x two
heat rolling, billet conditioning x hot scarfing, open x continuous rolling mills, “difficult” x “easy”
steel grades, testing criteria, etc…), including rejects, rework, yield, etc…
 Benchmarking among GSS´ facilities;
 Definition of strengths and weaknesses of each route;
 Definition of an ideal process route taking into consideration present Gerdau facilities and
comparison to external benchmarks;
 Definition/recommendation of necessary improvements in each route to close the gap to the
benchmark;
 Definition of an ideal route for future CAPEX projects.

That is to say, the aim was to come up with recommendations for the capabilities needed to achieve
“reasonable” approval rates, on a consistent basis, with testing at 0.3 mm threshold for surface defects.
And identify, after data collecting, what is necessary on each operation to inspect all the range of
material with surface quality of 0.3 mm depth.

In a first approach, the study was focused on some representative grades (XC45 for GKN, ZF7B, 38MnV…
for crankshaft, SAE4140 and C70 for con rod), and at this point, the team concluded that this analysis
would not bring any meaningful result due to differences in the local standard inspection thresholds (0.3,
0.5, 0.7 and 1.0 mm) for the same product amongst the different plants. This parameter has a huge
influence on the performance of inspection, thus not providing a reasonable comparison between
processes.

The main conclusions were:

 As expected, bar diameter has a big influence on rejection for a given threshold, with larger bars
showing increased rejection rates;
 If we consider the target threshold of 0.3 mm, our operations will be OK only for the smaller sizes
(40 mm and below);
 For larger sizes (80 mm and above), we are not OK even for a threshold of 0.7 mm;

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 Our inspection practices vary quite a lot from operation to operation, even considering the same
customers/products (tougher conditions are practiced in Spain).

Then a decision was made to do a complete surface quality survey on each GSS plant for different defect
thresholds (0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 mm) for a given period of testing (between two and four weeks),
encompassing all current inspection conditions and including the complete production mix at each site.
And to analyze the generated data to identify the gap as well as what would be necessary to close it in
each site. Additionally, this data collection process shouldn’t interfere with the production plan or
schedule.

3. - DISCUSSION
The project started at the end of 2011, and apart from end product quality data collection and
assessment, another working line was opened in order to define a list of critical parameters (process
control, equipment features, new equipment, etc…) that would bring consistency to the quality surface
of our products, able to match customer as well as productivity-related expectations/requirements. In
other words, define an ideal route of production.

All of that work was done thanks to the joint effort and close cooperation amongst experts in meltshop,
rolling and finishing processes of our GSS.

A final meeting, with the participation of GSS, GSN, GSB and GSE, was held in Spain at the end of July
2012. The aim was to discuss in depth all the knowledge/info generated in this work; present the view of
the group about where we stand against where we will need to be in the future to be competitive; give
recommendations about improvements in our processes to bring our facilities to the “same” level and
give recommendations (process/technology/equipment) for future CAPEX projects.

3.1. - REJECTION DATA


Rejection data stands for the percentage of defective bars at the surface inspection control using
Circoflux with regard to the total number of inspected bars.

Data comes from a given period of testing (between two and four weeks) when, on each GSS plant,
surface data was collected using simultaneously three defect thresholds (0.3, 0.5 and 0.7 mm),
encompassing all current inspection conditions and including the complete production mix at each site.

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3.1.1. - REJECTION DATA VS. FINAL DIAMETER
As a starting point a review of the as-rolled bars rejection data for the different plants as a function of
the final diameter was done, without making any distinction with regard to the as-cast size.

Results are shown in Table 1. (Appendix 1)

% Rejected
bars
PINDA MONROE PIRATINI BASAURI JACKSON MOGI FORT SMITH

0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m 0 .3 m m
Diam eter range
0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m 0 .5 m m
0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m 0 .7 m m

< 40 21,5 16,4 9,5 3,3 2,7 1,7 9,1 2,5 1,4 10,3 6,5 3,0 27,0 18,5 10,8

40-60 49,0 35,6 24,9 10,2 4,7 3,5 37,5 17,6 8,2 20,6 15,4 6,6 45,7 38,3 23,8 47,3 27,5 21,4 15,8

60-80 44,0 16,2 9,2 40,4 26,4 8,5 44,6 35,4 14,8 60,3 53,1 47,7 49,8 31,9 25,8 20,4

80-100 44,7 30,3 18,7 51,4 43,9 19,6 73,1 53,9 50,6 48,9 41,6 32,7

> 100 51,3 44,8 34,4

Table 1. Data spreadsheet.

80,0
Global Survey
70,0

60,0

50,0

40,0
% REJECTION

30,0

20,0

10,0

-
30-40 40-60 60-80 80-100 100 - 130
SIZE RANGE
BASAURI 0.3mm BASAURI 0.5mm BASAURI 0.7mm PIRATINI 0.3mm PIRATINI 0.5mm PIRATINI 0.7mm

FORT SMITH 0.3mm FORT SMITH 0.5mm FORT SMITH 0.7mm MONROE 0.3mm MONROE 0.5mm MONROE 0.7mm

JACKSON 0.3mm JACKSON 0.5mm JACKSON 0.7mm PINDA 0.3mm PINDA 0.5mm PINDA 0.7mm

MOGI 0.3mm MOGI 0.5mm MOGI 0.7mm

Figure 1. - Global Survey.


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60
Avg 0,3 mm Global Survey - Avg
Avg 0,5 mm
50
Avg 0,7 mm

40
% REJECTION

30

20

10

0
30-40 40-60 60-80 80-100 100 - 130
SIZE RANGE

Figure 2. - Global Survey Average.

General conclusions:

 As expected, clear correlation between depth threshold and rejection.


 The smaller the diameter, the lower the rejection.

One important point for discussion at each plant is which the affordable rejection ratio for not exceeding
the rework capabilities is. According to the Figure 2, for the 0,3 mm threshold, in case of considering 20%
as a maximum, the diameter range for being productive is d=30-40mm. Above that range the rejection
ratio passes to 35% (d=40-60mm), and for d=60-80mm it increases above 45%.

Comparing the results of the different plants for the 0,3 mm threshold (Figure 3), the maximum rejection
ratios are found in Jackson and Pinda. Piratini, Basauri, and Fort Smith have similar results; meanwhile
Monroe presents the best results in % of rejection ratio (mainly for diameters smaller than 60mm).

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Figure 3. - Rejection ratio for 0.3 mm defects inspection by plant.

Figure 4 and 5 shows the same analysis for 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm thresholds.

70,0
BASAURI 0, 5 mm
PIRATINI
60,0
FORT SMITH
MONROE
50,0
JACKSON
40,0 PINDA
% REJECTION

MOGI
30,0 avg

20,0

10,0

0,0
30-40 40-60 60-80 80-100 100 - 130
SIZE RANGE

Figure 4. - Rejection ratio for 0.5 mm defects inspection by plant.

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70,0
BASAURI 0, 7 mm
PIRATINI
60,0
FORT SMITH
MONROE
50,0
JACKSON

40,0 PINDA
% REJECTION

MOGI
30,0 avg

20,0

10,0

0,0
30-40 40-60 60-80 80-100 100 - 130
SIZE RANGE

Figure 5. - Rejection ratio for 0.7mm defects inspection by plant.

Anyway, for a fair comparison, it has to be mentioned that there is an additional inspection parameter
affecting those data, and it’s the maximum admissible defect length. That is to say, the length for
suppression detected defects. In GSN 37.5mm of suppression is used, while the valued In GSE is 12,5mm
and in GSB is as follows:

Piratini configuration of Circoflux:

Linha # 1 (18 – 60 mm) Trig A 12,5 mm Trig B Zero

Linha # 2 (30 – 80 mm) Trig A 12,5 mm Trig B Zero

Linha # 3 (50 – 105 mm) Trig A 37,5 mm Trig B 12,5 mm

This could explain, up to some extent, the better rejection results in Monroe than in the rest of the
Gerdau plants. It’s also fair to be mentioned that in GSN a repeatability study has been carried out in a
SAE 1050 steel for analyzing the detection frequency as a function of the depth of the defect in order to
confirm the criterion of suppression used.

GSE considers there is a clear influence of the suppression length in these results as there is a previous
experience comparing Basauri and Azkoitia rejection results. Azkoitia using 37.5mm suppression for
same materials where Basauri used 12,5mm suppression and the results in rejection ratio were much
lower at Azkoitia Plant.

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In GSN opinion, in their case, using a low suppression length (12.5mm) would give rise to an abundant
false detection of defects due to the material roughness.

Finally, Figure 6 shows the percentage of defective length for each threshold and plant.

Figure 6. - Accumulated Defective % Length / Length.

3.1.2. - REJECTION DATA VS. REDUCTION RATIO


The previous approach didn’t take into consideration the as-cast size. Therefore, the data was again
processed to perform a new analysis, looking for better correlations between the different plants, this
time gathering the results as a function of the reduction ratio instead of the final bar diameter.

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BASAURI (SQ 185) PIRATINI (SQ155) PIRATINI (SQ185) PIRATINI (SQ240) MONROE (SQ152,4) PINDA (SQ155) FT SMITH (RD179 -237 )
Red Red Red Red Red Red Red
Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7 Dia Avg R ej. 0,3 R ej. 0,5 R ej. 0,7
Dia range (mm) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%) Rate mm (%) mm (%) mm (%)
(mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) (mm)
Avg (%) Avg (%) Avg (%) Avg (%) Avg (%) Avg (%) Avg (%)

20-30 25,0 49 3,0 2,0 1,6 25,0 70 3,8 27,1 41 3,5 2,4 1,6 26,2 44 11,8 6,5 2,8

30-40 33,6 40 12,2 7,3 3,1 34,9 25 8,6 6,5 4,5 34,9 36 2,9 35,0 25 4,1 3,8 2,3 35,7 24 11,9 11,0 8,1

40-50 44,8 22 20,3 14,4 6,3 44,0 16 15,8 5,4 4,8 44,0 23 14,5 6,9 45,9 14 8,2 4,7 3,2 44,4 16 21,0 18,0 15,0

50-60 53,2 16 28,3 18,6 8,1 53,1 11 24,8 11,2 10,4 53,1 15 22,7 27,1 54,7 10 15,3 6,5 4,9 53,6 11 34,7 25,7 26,4 57,5 14 27,0 21,8 16,8

60-70 63,5 11 36,6 25,0 10,3 63,5 8 35,5 18,8 21,0 63,5 11 52,1 15,5 31,7 64,6 7 39,8 11,6 6,3 65,3 7 43,7 35,0 66,7 11 36,4 29,1 23,0

70-80 74,6 8 44,8 33,0 14,8 75,9 5 45,2 20,7 24,5 75,9 8 66,1 22,8 9,5 75,0 13 42,8 34,3 12,0 75,8 5 44,7 21,5 12,1 75,3 5 50,0 45,5 76,3 9 48,9 38,7 29,2

80-90 82,7 6 44,9 33,0 14,3 85,0 6 27,9 8,8 85,0 10 89,1 31,3 14,2 87,1 7 64,1 50,8 37,3

90-100 95,4 5 56,7 48,4 24,2 94,1 8 67,3 40,6 18,4 93,1 6 42,4 39,4 33,2

100-130 113,3 4 54,1 48,0 37,2

Table 2. - Data spreadsheet with reduction ratios.

Table 3. - Gerdau Plants as-cast size distributions.

100,0
Inspection 0,3 mm BASAURI (SQ 185)

90,0 PIRATINI (SQ 155)

PIRATINI (SQ 185)


80,0
PIRATINI (SQ 240)

FT SMITH (RD179 -237 )


70,0
PINDA (SQ 155)

60,0 MONROE (SQ 152)


Rejection Rate (%)

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

0,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

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Figure 7. - Overview 0.3mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio per plant.

100,0
AVG
Inspection 0,3 mm AVG

90,0
Logaritmo (AVG)

80,0

70,0
Rejection Rate (%)

60,0

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

0,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

Figure 8. - Overview 0.3mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio, average for all plants.

100,0
Inspection 0,5 mm AVG

90,0
Logaritmo (AVG)

80,0

70,0

60,0
Rejection Rate (%)

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

0,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

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Figure 9. - Overview 0.5mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio, average for all plants.

100,0
Inspection 0,7 mm AVG

90,0
Logaritmo
(AVG)

80,0

70,0

60,0
Rejection Rate (%)

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

0,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

Figure 10. - Overview 0.7mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio, average for all plants.

This new approach, as a function of the reduction ratio, has provided a better correlation for the three
threshold conditions in comparison to the previous analysis as a function of the final diameter (Figures 3,
4 and 5). It is clear that reduction ratio is one of the key parameters when considering the surface
defects depth. This indicates that surface defects are coming either from the bloom or billet, as they
were formed during solidification, or are generated during the first stages of rolling (reheating and/or
roughing). Therefore, it shows the clear influence of the reduction ratio on the surface defects
morphological modification during rolling. That is to say, a higher reduction ratio clearly helps to
diminish the defects depth, and it therefore provides a reduction of the rejection results.

From Figure 11 one can foresee what would be the scenario if the demand for inspection goes from 0.7
to 0.5 or to 0.3 mm. In such a way, for instance, considering a reduction ratio of 8 (depending on the
starting section, the final rolled diameter can be calculated) and 0.7mm threshold, the rejection ratio (in
average) is 20%. For that same reduction ratio, the value moves from 20% to 30% (with 0.5mm) or to
45% (0.3mm). Moreover, if you need to keep your rejection ratio in 20% as a must, then you can foresee
the maximum diameter you would be allowed to roll for the different detection thresholds. According to
Figure 11 these values of reduction ratio would be: 8 (for 0.7mm), 16 (for 0.5mm) and 22 (for 0.3mm). As
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an example, for the case of a 185 mm starting billet, the maximum diameter for keeping 20% rejection
ratio would be approximately 75mm (0.7mm), 50 mm (0.5mm) and 40 mm (0.3mm).

100,0
0,3 x 0,5 x 0,7 mm
90,0
AVG 0,3
0,3 mm
80,0 AVG 0,5

0,5 mm AVG 0,7


70,0

0,7 mm
60,0
Rejection Rate (%)

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

Figure 11. - Overview 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio, average for all plants.

Focusing the study on the 0.3mm threshold, Figure 12 shows rejection data as a function of the as-cast
size.

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155 x 185 x 240 AVG 155
100 240 AVG 185
PIRATINI (SQ 240)
90
Logaritmo (AVG 155)
185
80 Logaritmo (AVG 185)
Logaritmo (PIRATINI (SQ 240))
70 155
Rejection rate (5)

60

50

40

30

20

10

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

Figure 12. - Overview 0.3mm depending on the as-cast size (155mm vs. 185mm vs. 240mm).
155mm sq.: Piratini & Pinda & Monroe
185mm sq.: Piratini & Basauri
240mm sq.: Piratini
Those fitted curves are telling us the increase of the as-cast size is not a good business. We could
increase our final diameter range, but we should pay a non expected tax in terms of worse surface
quality for the same reduction ratio.
The results obtained in Figure 12 are far from the theoretically expected ones. In theory, the bigger the
CC format, the better the rejection for equal reduction ratios. This theory is based on the following facts:

 First of all, assuming the same number of surface defects per surface unit at the as-cast billet, if
the same reduction ratio is applied to different as-cast sizes the defects depth would be
diminished in the same extent, thus providing similar rejection results at the end product.
 Extra benefits of bigger as-cast sections for surface quality:
o The bigger the as-cast section the better the surface quality for the same reduction ratio,
due to bigger as-cast sections present a lower as-cast surface per cast volume unit.
o It’s broadly assumed that a bigger as-cast size is associated to a lower number of surface
defects because a lower casting speed and more stable casting conditions.

Some factors related to the CC, rolling and inspection conditions in the different plants under
investigation have been identified. Those factors could be affecting surface quality results giving rise to
trends in opposition to the theoretical ones. Some identified factors are the following:
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 155 sq.: Monroe rejection data are clearly better than the rest of data coming from 155mm sq. In
this result there is an additional inspection parameter affecting those data, and it’s the maximum
admissible defect length. That is to say, the length for suppression detected defects. In GSN
37.5mm of suppression is used, while the valued in GSB and in GSE is 12,5mm.
 240 sq.: Results concerning this particular as-cast size comes from Piratini, and we are aware that
their final quality inspection results are extremely affected by a non appropriate CC radius
(Piratini casts 240 mm in a machine with 9 m radius, this can have a negative impact on rejection
performance), and a worse rolling conditions than the rolling conditions applied to the 155mm sq
(Rolling mill 1 is an open mill).

Table 4 gives an overall idea of the relationship of starting billet/bloom size with the rolled diameter and
the expected rejection ratio. This table helps to identify, for each as-cast size, which the required
reduction ratio would be to be working under a certain rejection ratio. The plotted colored areas differ
from the real ones due to some imprecision of data (as was commented concerning the performance of
240sq.)

< 20% Rejection


20 % - 50 % Rejection
> 50% Rejection

0,3 mm
Reduction Ratio (n:1)
Dia range (mm)
155 185 240

20 - 30 48,9 69,7 117,3

30 - 40 25,0 35,6 59,9

40 - 50 15,1 21,5 36,2

50 - 60 10,1 14,4 24,2

60 -70 7,2 10,3 17,4

70 - 80 5,4 7,7 13,0

80 - 90 4,2 6,0 10,2

90 - 100 3,4 4,8 8,1

100 - 130 2,3 3,3 5,5

Table 4. - 0.3mm expected rejection results vs. reduction ratio as a function of the as-cast size.

(The cells were painted not exactly according to chart, just as a reference or a theoretical performance,
due to some imprecision of data (as was commented on performance of 240)

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3.2. - PROCESS REVIEW
The following information aims to define the “ideal route of production”, that is to say, a list of critical
parameters (process control, equipment features, new equipment, etc…) that would bring consistency to
the surface quality of our products, able to match customer as well as productivity-related
expectations/requirements.

This deep review has been done thanks to the joint effort and close cooperation amongst experts in
meltshop, rolling and finishing processes of our GSS. And it helps to present the view of the group about
where we stand against where we will need to be in the future to be competitive; give recommendations
about improvements in our processes to bring our facilities to the “same” level and give
recommendations (process/technology/equipment) for future CAPEX projects.

The selected structure for such a review was to identify the critical equipment/parameters affecting end
product surface quality results throughout the complete manufacturing process, and to give agreed
recommendations to optimize quality results.

3.2.1. - STEELWORKS

3.2.1.1. - EAF
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through
* Appropriate Metallic charge software control with good
METALLIC Tramp elements YES * Scrap correct classification and scraps classification and characterisation.
CHARGE (Cu, Sn) (Surface cracks)
↑↑ characterisation. * Regular and reliable scrap supply for optimising scrap costs
reducing Cu GAP.
EAF * Thermal camera for tapping slag carry over control.
* Proper characterisation of the slag amount using camera
EAF slag carry Cleanliness /
TAPPING
over to the ladle
NO
Castability
↑ * Slag carry over quantity. information. Correlation with negative effects on secondary
metallurgy process and establish threshold condition for
deslagging (working deslagging procedure).

Scrap: In the case of scrap the content of tramp elements as Cu and Sn are critical for minimizing the
formation of surface defects as high contents of these elements result in a loss of plasticity and
consequently increasing the risk of surface cracks during continuous casting process as well as in the
rolling process.

Regarding the tramp elements Gerdau must be as critical as the customer requirements in the different
specifications.

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In case of GSN, they receive the scrap from different plants and the level of Cu is not always low, usually
0.25% or greater for the material for forging. No more demanding specifications seem to be imperative.

One important factor to avoid heat composition mismatches is the non easy task of a proper scrap
characterization in combination with the use of a powerful software for the calculation of the scrap
mixes. In case of GSS the use of the SOS/Scrapulator/SpieTrindel is general.

Tapping: The tapping operation doesn’t have a direct effect on the surface defects formation, but it
could create a collateral effect through the influence of the slag carryover on the ladle slag proper
conditioning/performance during secondary metallurgy process and the ulterior effect on castability due
to cleanliness reasons.

The tapping control using thermographical camera is recommended in order to assess the slag carry
over, and to make a decision about the necessity for deslagging operation. Anyway, a proper
management of hot heel and EAF operators training is also necessary for minimizing the slag carryover.

3.2.1.2 - SECONDARY METALLURGY


The secondary metallurgy equipment/parameters don’t have a direct influence on the surface defects
formation itself, apart from its indirect influence through castability issues. Therefore the following
recommendations should take into account as low critical conditions for surface quality results.
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through

Cleanliness / * Appropriate supply pressure according to liquid steel


Intensity NO
Castability
↑ * Sufficient & effective flow rate. height (even for cleaning clogged plugs).
* Identify proper stirring plug design (sufficient flow rate).
* Visual checking procedures for stirring assessment (open
Cleanliness /
STIRRING Plugs
Castability
↑ * Number and position eye).
* Mass flow meter and backpressure measurement to
identify mayor leaks.
Cleanliness / * Appropriate porous-plug off-line cleaning procedure.
Reliability NO
Castability
↑ * Reliable stirring condition.
* Single off-centered plug would be reccomended.
* Sufficient height for allowing
Cleanliness / * Proper tapping liquid steel (tapping weight & ladle status)
SECONDARY FREEBOARD Height NO
Castability
↑ proper stirring intensity without
* Thermographic tapping control (free board).
METALLURGY slag sloping/splashing.
* Ladle slag On-line analyser.
* Detailed and quick information of
SLAG Cleanliness / * Proper training for adjusting standard working procedures
CONDITIONING
Active NO
Castability
↑ ladle slag condition.
according to the actual slag condition.
* Procedures for slag conditioning.
* System for adding slag formers during vacuum.
Cleanliness / * Proper procedure for vacuum treatment (steel grade
VACUUM Efficient NO
Castability
↑ * Time and pressure.
families & other requirements).
TEMPERATURE Cleanliness / * Fine tuning of Thermal Tracking to guarantee optimum
CONTROL
Accuracy NO
Castability
↑ * Exit temperature.
adjustment between target Tª and real Tª at the tundish
* Proper procedure for SiCa treatment.
INCLUSIONS Cleanliness /
MODIFICATION
Treatment (SiCa) NO
Castability
↑ * SiCa procedure (time & quantity). * Advisable to have a piece of equipment to quick analyisis of
inclussions.

Ladle stirring porous plugs: A particular discussion was held in this respect comparing centered and off-
centered plugs. A single off-centered plug was the recommendation for improving stirring efficiency.

18
Cleanliness evaluation: In case of Monroe and Piratini there is an “on-line” system for inclusion
evaluation from liquid steel sampling in terms of morphology and population. For avoiding
contamination influence, the samples are taken at the same time as the composition samples by a cross
section preparation and polishing. By this evaluation is possible to make quicker decisions for adjusting
some inclusion modification treatments such us the CaSi treatment.

3.2.1.3. - CONTINUOUS CASTING


Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through

* Vertical avoid straightening


Vertical - Bow YES ↑↑ stresses.
* Vertical machine is ideal from metallurgical point of view.
* Curved machine with sufficient radius with regard to the
billet/bloom sixe is the most cost effective option.
CC TYPE
* Appropriate relation between radius and billet section of
* Relationship between radius and CCM. Radius CCM>= 42 x Billet section // Eo total<1.30%.
Bow (machine YES
radius) (transversal cracks)
↑↑↑ section size (critical for * Proper multipoint unbending.
microalloyed grades).

CC Type: Theoretically the optimum option CC design regarding surface defects formation is the vertical
continuous casting in order to avoid the stresses produced during the straightening of the billet, but
investment is huge. Therefore, the logical solution, although not optimum, is a bow machine with the
highest possible radius.

As-cast size: During the wrapping-up session an interesting issue arose concerning guidelines for defining
the optimum as-cast size. Some questions remained unanswered, and they will be passed to Danieli.

Rounds vs. Rectangular/Square:

 Rounds are the ideal section for tubes


 Rounds reduce unbending criticity for the same section area
 Rounds worsen handling and storage issues
 For the same section area, round soundness is more difficult to achieve during rolling process
(Square or rectangular bloom sections are to be given box and square/diamond passes at the
roughing mill. This pass sequence is better in terms of central soundness consolidation in
comparison to the oval/round sequence usually given to round blooms)

Rectangular vs. Square:

 Rectangular reduces unbending criticity for the same section area. Ask DANIELI: max
recommendable quadrangle size???

19
 Rectangular improves reheating effectiveness for the same section area
 Square optimises as-cast inner structure??? Ask DANIELI
 Limit for Width/Height: 1.2, 1.3??? Ask DANIELI (for the CCM, Preheating and Rolling)

The bigger the as-cast section:

 The better the surface quality for the same reduction ratio because a lower as-cast surface per
volume unit and also because of a better casting stability.
 The better the cleanliness for the same reduction ratio (more chance for inclusions flotation
within the mould).

Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through

* Proper ladle shroud Ar inertisation system.


Cleanliness /
Ladle to tundish NO
Castability
↑ * Avoid liquid steel reoxidation. * Automated system adjusting Ar injection flow rate
depending on the Ar back pressure for avoiding Air suction.

* Optimised design and furniture for improving steel flows


Type (Delta, T, * Residence time.
Cleanliness / avoiding dead zones and promoting inclusion floatation.
Rectang) - NO
Castability
↑ * Optimise liquid flows for inclusion
(Minimum Av residence time for max casting speed: 10min -
Furniture floatation
dwell time)
* Active cover slag for inclusions
Cleanliness / * Appropriate tundish cover for combining inclusions
Cover slag NO
Castability
↑ removal.
removal and thermal insulation.
TUNDISH * Thermal insulation.
Cleanliness / * Low temperature drop at the
Preheating NO
Castability
↑ sequence beginning.
* Proper tundish preheating procedure.

Tundish Cleanliness / * Proper system and procedure for avoiding liquid steel
Inertisation
NO
Castability
↑ * Avoid liquid steel reoxidation.
reoxidation during tundish filling process using Ar.
* Proper lids (design and maintenance routine) for
Cleanliness / * Thermal losses.
Tundish lids NO
Castability
↑ * Required for tundish inertisation.
minimising thermal losses and provide suitable design for
CC argon inertisation.
YES
* Centered position for
Nozzle centering (surface depressions, ↑↑ homogeneous solid shell growth
* Procedure for correct mounting of nozzles at the tundish.
longitudinal bleeds,…)
* Avoid excessive clogging * Appropriate flow control design to guarantee:
formation at flow control point. - Good condition of clogging formation at flow control
TUNDISH TO * Possible liquid steel reoxidation. point.
Type (stopper / Cleanliness /
MOULD
sliding gate)
NO
Castability
↑ * Try to have symmetrical liquid - Symmetrical liquid flows in nozzle and mould.
CONTROL flows (Nozzle and mould) to obtain * Appropriate gas injection system in order to avoid tightness
a symmetrical solid shell growth in failures that could promote liquid steel reoxidation due to air
the mould. suction.
* Symmetrical liquid steel flows
within the mould. * Appropriate nozzle design providing a correct compromise
YES * Flows promoting inclusions amongst symmetrical flows, inclusions floatation and
Type (straight,
NOZZLE
lateral ports)
(surface depressions, ↑ floatation within the mould. meniscus stability.
longitudinal bleeds,…) * Sufficient meniscus stability (low * SEN nozzle is recommended for avoiding reoxidation.
turbulences) to avoid mould * For larger sizes consider multiport SEN.
powder emulsification.

Tundish: The influence of tundish, teeming and nozzle is mainly cleanliness/castability, but it’s important
to guarantee:

 Proper steel protection against reoxidation.


 Proper tundish residence time and flows for promoting inclusions removal (dwell time > 10
min).
20
Stopper vs. sliding gate. Mainly is a problem of cost for increasing productivity. Anyway in theory the
stopper gives more homogeneity in the flow.

Nozzle. The comparison of straight nozzles and nozzles with lateral ports (4 holes) is commented and the
ports tilting itself. Lateral ports are recommendable for promoting inclusions removal within the mould,
but a fine tuning of immersion depth is required for avoiding mould powder entrapments. In the same
way the comparison between SEN and SES nozzles is commented with the conclusion that SEN is the
optimum from a metallurgical point of view (minimize liquid steel reoxidation), but SES provides a better
operational flexibility allowing strand restarting.

Additionally a robust procedure for a correct centering of the nozzles in order to obtain a homogeneous
solid shell growth that minimizes the crack formation due to thermomechanical stresses formation.

21
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through

* Proper uniform and well distributed mould heat transfer.


Taper (linear, YES
* Suitable multitaper design for a wide range of steel grades.
multitaper, (surface depressions, * Mould heat transfer.
parabolic, intergranular cracks,
↑↑↑ * Wide range of steel grades.
Special attention paid to peritectic grades (avoid blow
grains).
Convex, Invex,…) longitudinal cracks, …)
* Suitable recipe of mould level position for the different
grades in order to work with the correct accumulated taper.

* Proper corner radius to guarantee a low stress level and a


YES
good solidification condition at the corner.
(surface depressions,
Corner radius
longitudinal corner
↑↑ * Mould corner radius. * Increase corner raidius up to a certain level improves corner
solidification quality conditions and rolling susceptibility for
cracks, …)
overlaps and ductility transveral cracks.

* Primary cooling perimetric


YES * Be aware of new technologies. Developments going on to
homogeinity.
Primary cooling (surface depressions, improve quality/productivity.
flow rate intergranular cracks,
↑↑ * Mould heat transfer.
* Enough primary cooling flow rate to guarantee an
* Sufficient water speed to avoid
longitudinal cracks, …) appropriate mould thermal flux and to avoid water boiling.
boiling.

YES
(surface depressions, * Mould heat transfer. * Appropriate primary water treatment (see reccomended
Water quality
intergranular cracks,
↑↑ * Deposits. water quality parameters - comments below)
longitudinal cracks, …)

CC MOULD

YES
Water supply (surface depressions, * Inlet and outlet water pressure. * Water speed >=11m/sec
conditions intergranular cracks,
↑↑↑ * Water speed * Outlet pressure (>2.5bar)
longitudinal cracks, …)

YES * Symmetric and homogenous gap. * Robust and not deformed water jackets to provide a
(surface depressions, * Avoid mould copper excessive symmetric and homogenous gap.
Water jacket
intergranular cracks,
↑↑ deformation during casting due to * Enough tolerance gap at the spacers for allocating copper
longitudinal cracks, …) thermal expansion. mould thermal expansion.

* Put a suitable limit for tons/mould avoiding excessive wear


condition.
YES
* Mould status routine checking procedure using a mould
(surface depressions, * Mould wear and permanent
Status
intergranular cracks,
↑↑ distortions.
inspection system and recorded registers each campaign.
Early detection of permanent mould deformations.
longitudinal cracks, …)
* Keep the gap as constant as possible during mould
refurbishment procedures.

* Appropriate procedure establishing the correct


YES combination between Casting speed-Tª-Taper-Straightening
(surface depressions, Tª.
* Correct combination between
Casting speed / Tª intergranular cracks, ↑↑↑ casting speed and Tª
* Withdrawal Tª control (pyrometer).
transversal corner * Well defined procedure defining non appropriate Tª ranges
cracks, …) depending on the different steel grades (minimum casting
speeds).

Taper: This is critical for obtaining proper in-mould solidification conditions through a good compromise
among taper, casting speed and steel shrinkage, but this isn’t an easy task due to wide range of steel
grades. In September 2012, Basauri billet caster will start working with a new Danieli’s philosophy in
terms of taper combining an aggressive taper with a detailed recipe for adjusting the required casting
speed and mould level position in order to guaranty a good adaptation throughout the mould complete
length.

22
Corner radius. Danieli commented during last meeting in GSE that some trials with different radius has
been carried out in ABS obtaining optimum results using 14mm (compared to 6mm & 20mm) for
200x240 billets.

At Piratini, In September 2012 new INVEX moulds would start into standard operation with 22mm
instead of the conventional CONVEX with 9mm for 240mm billets. Preliminary trials showed too a
significant improvement in billet corner related cracking.

PRIMARY COOLING:
Water flow rate. Minimum water speed (>=11m/sec) and outlet pressure (>2.5bar) should be
guaranteed.

Water quality. Below the limits for the main parameters are presented (average recommendation of
Concast & Danieli).
Primary cooling
PH 7-9
Total hardness max. (mg/l as CaCO3) 10
Max. total dissolved solids TDS (mg/l) 500
Total suspended solids TSS (mg/l) 10-20
Max. size of susp. solids (um) 50
Oil max. content (mg/l) 3
Specific conductivity max. (micro S/cm) 550

Water jacket. A symmetrical and homogeneous air gap is necessary to guarantee a proper solidification
solid shell growth for thermomechanical stresses minimization.

A remark is made to the new philosophy for primary cooling of Danieli. Water channel has been
substituted by longitudinal drilled channels along mould length for improving mould thermal flux
perimetrical homogeneity compared to the traditional design. Mould wall is 30mm thick with 10mm
diameter holes. Manufacturing problems and expensive mould prices are foreseen.

Mould status. Mould periodic checking status procedure for detecting abnormal wear and distortion is
strongly recommended. Piratini has a long experience carrying out such control using Concast
commercial device.

Mould refurbishing operation changing gap dimension has to be accurately validated in terms of primary
cooling effect because of the important modification of the water cooling conditions (speed and
pressure). In GSE the mould refurbishing is a normal practice, outsourced to Cuprum, and no effect has
been observed in terms of surface quality impairment.

23
Casting speed. The most important conclusion in this respect is that if casting process is not stable
enough higher speeds would certainly impair surface quality results. On the contrary, for critical grades
such us microalloyed grades, higher casting speed provides better quality results (lower susceptibility to
cracking issues during unbending due to the higher billet temperatures).
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through
YES
MOULD LEVEL (Too deep oscillation * Accurate mould level control providing a good level
CONTROL
Technique
marks, mould powder
↑↑ * Mould level stability.
stability
emulsification,…)

Design * Good lubrification (sufficient


YES * Appropriate mould powder for each grade and casting
(composition,
(surface depressions, ↑↑↑ melting rate, good infiltration).
speed.
properties) * Homogeniuos mould thermal flux.
intergranular cracks,
longitudinal cracks, * Stable powder quantity within the
MOULD POWDER * Continuous mould powder feeding system in combination
too deep oscillation mould for obtaining stable working
with a mould powder amount measurement:
marks, bleeds, mould conditions (stable liquid flux
Addition method
powder ↑↑ infiltration, stable solidification
- Mould level control combining radioactive and
electromagnetic sensors.
entrapment,…) conditions, avoid liquid steel
- (Fe-Cu-Al) wire immersion.
reoxidation,…)
YES * EMS field intensity.
* Proper EMS location (distance from meniscus) to avoid
Intensity field (Mould powder ↑↑ * EMS position (distance to
liquid steel perturbation at meniscus.
entrapments, meniscus).
* Proper characterisation of EMS field and effect on meniscus
M-EMS distortion of solid
condition.
Working shell initial
* Procedure for periodic monitoring of stirring conditions to
conditions solidification ↑ * EMS field stable conditions.
guarantee reliable working conditions.
stability conditions)
CC
Type YES ↑↑↑ * Reliability. * Reliable oscillation mechanism.
(Too deep oscillation * Hydraulic system is preferred (more flexibility for recipe
marks, mould powder * Stroke & frequency, negative strip design, more complete monitoring information)
OSCILLATION Recipe
entrapment, defects
↑↑↑ time,… * Appropriate oscillation recipe for obtaining good flux
SYSTEM
associated to infiltration and surface quality.
Check routine insufficient flux * Good mechanical status (bearings, * Adequate oscillation checking routine using accelerometers
(accelerometers) infiltration,…)
↑↑↑ dirtiness, alignment,…) to detect abnormal oscillation conditions.
* Mould foot rolls interference.
* Proper foot rolls mounting procedure to guarantee a
* Reliable mounting procedure.
Foot rolls ↑ * Guarantee a good rolling
sufficient support at strand support for minimising thermo
mechanical stresses at mould exit.
condition.

YES * Proper curve supporting rolls condition (design,


STRAND * Sufficient support at outer radius.
(longitudinal cracks, maintenance working procedures) for minimising thermo
SUPPORT AND * Sufficient support at inner radius.
transversal cracks, mechanical stresses:
ALIGNMENT * Good alignment (periodical
Intermediate mechanical marks) - Alignment
support rolls
↑↑ checking procedure: templates,
- Sufficient inner radius containment
topography).
- Rolling condition
* Reliable rolling (greasing and
* Appropriate rolls working condition (greasing and water
cooling).
cooling reliability).

Oscillation system. The need for hydraulic oscillation is questioned. Nowadays some oscillation
philosophies defend the fixed stoke within the oscillation recipe. In GSE opinion the hydraulic oscillation
provides more flexibility and really valuable information about friction coming from hydraulic working
pressures in opposition with the electromechanical one.

Foot rolls. It’s considered critical due to the formation of some internal defects that can result in cracking
issues during cold forming or induction hardening as is the case of ghost lines or off-corner cracks.

24
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through

* Secondary cooling intensity. * Proper spraying performance within the complete range of
Design (water/air-
mist)
↑↑↑ * Nozzle design. cooling curves.
* Inlet pressure. * Appropriate nozzle design and water pressure inlet.
* Proper water treatment to minimise solids in the secondary
* Level of dirtiness in the cooling
cooling water.
Water quality ↑↑↑ water.
* Adequate filtering levels.
* Filtering levels.
* Autowashable filtering system.
* Surface reheating minimised at the transition zones.
* Transition zones (surface * Design: robust, alignment-symmetry reliability, spray
Design (spray YES
SECONDARY risers) (surface depressions, ↑↑↑ reheating risk) raisers quick change.
* Physical design. * Testing chamber for off-line checking of spraying risers
COOLING intergranular cracks,
performance.
longitudinal cracks, …)
* Good adaptation between secondary cooling intensity and
* Appropriate cooling curves
steel grade.
Cooling curves ↑↑↑ definition concerning surface
* Soft cooling is preferred for critical grades (microalloyed)
quality
instead of using quenching boxes.
* Suitable procedures for checking the proper performance
of the secondary cooling condition (homogeneity, symmetry,
Check routine * Checking procedures (off-line and
CC (sprays)
↑↑↑ on-line performance).
reliability). Quick detection of water leakages, dirtiness in
filters and nozzles. On-line spraying performance
surveillance system with alarms.
* Proper recipe for each steel grade depending on casting
* Reduction (steps, pressure, mm) speed, segregation extent).
SOFT REDUCTION Design ↑ * Center line condition (solid * Accurate solidification software.
fraction) * Be aware of collateral effects on central cracking and
excessive lateral bulging.
WITHDRAWAL * Withdrawal stability. * Stable withdrawal process.
Mould level
AND Design NO
instabilities
↑ * Progressive unbending * Appropriate multipoint unbending to minimise unbending
STRAIGHTENING (multipoint). stresses.
* Appropriate cooling bed design to avoid billet cracking due
to thermal stresses during tertiary cooling (walking cooling
bed with billet turning, avoid air draughts, pushing cooling
* Slow cooling procedure for
Type bed if required, pit if required,...)
cracking sensitive grades.
COOLING BED (walking/pushing Yes (panel cracks) ↑↑ * Homogeneous cooling profile to
* Appropriate billet stacking conditions to avoid billet
/thermal box/pit) cracking due to thermal stresses during tertiary cooling.
minimise thermal stresses.
* Detailed procedure defining optimum tertiary cooling
conditions for each grade.
* Slow cooling alternatives (pits, boxes, cross pilling).

SECONDARY COOLING. Agreement is clear concerning the crucial role of this item on surface quality in
its whole involvement (design, water quality, maintenance,…).

Water quality. Below the limits for the main parameters are presented (average recommendation of
Concast & Danieli).
Secondary cooling
PH 7-9
Total hardness max. (mg/l as CaCO3) 400
Max. total dissolved solids TDS (mg/l) 1500
Total suspended solids TSS (mg/l) 50-80
Max. size of susp. solids (um) 200
Oil max. content (mg/l) 15
Specific conductivity max. (micro S/cm) 2000

Secondary cooling design. Comparing air mix versus water spraying, the conclusion is that when casting
a wide range of steel grades air mix is strongly recommended (basically in the bottom zones). That is so

25
because with just water it’s not possible to cover a wide range of specific flow rates with a proper
spraying condition, and even more clearly when the secondary cooling length is longer than 4 meters.

Reliable design for a proper spraying performance within the complete range of cooling curves is
required, including:

 Robust, alignment-symmetry reliability, spray raisers quick change


 Minimize surface reheating at the transition between zones
 Appropriate nozzle design and water pressure inlet
 Proper water and filtering facilities (autowashable filter)

Secondary cooling status. Every effort paid to improve the secondary cooling performance in terms of
spraying reliability and homogeneity would provide undoubtedly better results in terms of surface
quality. Checking routines for a quick detection of water leakages, dirtiness in filters and nozzles, are
compulsory. On-line spraying performance surveillance system with alarms is also extremely
recommended. Concerning off-line checking, Piratini uses a very interesting method (spray risers cabin)
for checking and verifying the spray risers performance out the cooling chamber before installing them
into the cooling chamber.

Soft Reduction. This technique is in principle recommended for big as-cast sizes. A very fine tuning is
required in terms of matching the casting speed with the steel grade and the pressures to be applied at
the different pinch rolls in order to obtain the required results.

Quenching boxes (As is the case of Republic). Water immersion is used mainly for productivity reasons.
Except for very few steel grades, the steel behavior with water is complicated so it’s a technique to
handle.

For the heats passing directly to rolling mill the quenching boxes is a way to minimize the
microprecipitation at the grain borders, which is a clear benefit to minimize the risk of cracking. This
technique was used by Fort Smith in the past.

Cooling bed. An especial remark about cooling pits for billets is made. In case of panel cracks the pits
seem not to be necessary but in case of excessive hydrogen this results very useful.

26
3.2.1.4. - BILLET INSPECTION
Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through
* Proper macro-etching facilities for surface control on critical
* Surface control on critical grades
Macro-etching grades (statistical sampling). Saw cutting, acid immersion
(statistical sampling).
tank,…)
Shot blasting * Efficient scale removal. * Efficient scale removal via shot blasting.
* Critical grades definition (coil * Procedure with critical grades definition for Visual
INSPECTION grades, grades prone to have Inspection route (coil grades, grades prone to have surface
BILLET surface defects: leaded grades,…). defects: leaded grades,…).
INSPECTION/CO Visual inspection
* Complete Album with defects * Procedure with complete defects identification and surface
NDITIONING identification and surface conditioning actions.
conditioning actions. * Countermeasures plan coming from inspection results.
Magnaflux * Magnaflux facilities for samples inspection & bar-billet
* Detailed surface inspection.
inspection detailed surface inspection.
* Appropriate surface removal capacity (billets & bars).
CONDITIONING Grinding * Surface removal capacity. * Appropiate grinding precedure avoiding creation of new
deffects.

The main conclusion concerning billet inspection is that it would be necessary to increase the billet
inspection and conditioning facilities. This would provide a direct improvement of end product surface
rejection ratios (see experience at Piratini), and the outcoming information by this billet detailed
inspection would provide too a very useful information for assessing the influence of the continuous
casting parameters on surface quality.

In case of Daido in Japan there are 3 inspection lines where the level of inspection is 0.1mm. Same in
case of Sanyo but with 0,1mm of artificial defects what would mean 0.2mm of real defect.

However, the inspection criterion of Japan plants could not be comparable as the production process
philosophy is totally different; they peel the billet before inspection and then perform the rest of
operations.

To enhance inspection and conditioning facilities could be considered and assessed in terms of
investment, operating costs and savings associated to the reduction of rejection ratios.

On the other hand, this philosophy could be considered as “against nature” because any grinding
operation is removing the billet first solidification layer which has the finest and most homogeneous
structure, and a weaker structure would arise on the billet surface. Additionally, a powerful and
systematic billet conditioning practice could create a “relaxed” practice at the casting operation.

Piratini uses a Centromasking machine for intense billet conditioning depending on materials and
requirements, either all the surface or corners or just defects. Pinda has started using same practice as
well as Mogi.

Basauri carries out, at a lower scale, visual inspection for billets after shotblasting for wire rod grades
(cold heading and bearings), and also applied for billets resulting from process deviations. Defects are
removed afterwards through spot grinding.

27
Customer criticity and decision for more intense surface quality guarantees could be determined using
the Index “cost related to customer complaints”.

3.2.1.5. - PROCESS AND PRODUCT ENGINEERING


Collateral
Direct effect on effect on Impact on Q
Process What? KEY parameters What is needed
surface quality surface quality 0,3mm
through
Tramp elements Yes (Intergranular
(Cu, Sn) cracks)
↑↑ * Cu+10*Sn<0.35% * Low level of tramp elements.

Yes (Intergranular
Carbon * Proper solidification conditions for peritectic grades (taper,
cracks, depressions,
equivalent
transversal corner
↑ * Problematic range (0.13 // 0.22). mould level position, casting speed/unbending Tª, mould
content powder,…)
cracks)
Cleanliness / * Check with the client the real necessity for high levels of Al
IPP
CHEMICAL Al, S NO
Castability
↑ * Castability worsening.
and S.
COMPOSITION
Yes (Unbending * Low ductility thoughts due to * Proper unbending Tª out of ductility thoughts.
N, Nb, Al, V, B surface cracks, panel ↑↑ carbides and Nitrides precipitation. * Solidification conditions promoting a structure free of
cracks) * Unbending Tª. residual stresses (homogenous solidification and cooling).

Yes (Unbending * Increase %Ti in microalloyed grades if possible (Concern:


Ti surface cracks, panel ↑ * %Ti in microalloyed grades. machinability worsening). TiN are less harmful than other
cracks) nitrides.

The influence of chemical composition has been already discussed in terms of tramp elements. Other
elements affecting to the cracks formation are Al and N due to the precipitation of Aluminum nitrides
that increase the fragility during straightening.

It would be strongly recommended to check with the client real need for high specification of Al and S
because their negative impact on castability behavior.

28
3.2.2. - ROLLING MILL

3.2.2.1. - REHEATING

Combustion. Critical item is the Oxidation rate, the equilibrium between defects cleaning with scale
formation and yield must be reached.

In the same way as in the casting process, chemical composition must be taken into account mainly Cu
that has the risk of hot shortness. Cu and Sn are detrimental while Ni is beneficial.

In case of an excess of Cu in the composition, the detrimental effect of Cu surface enrichment during
reheating and further rolling can be minimized with an appropriate reheating process design which can
promote Cu migration to the scale and further elimination in the descaling stage. With Cu below 0.20%
there must be no problems. The problems become while enriching in Cu content above the limit.

Thermal profile. Each decision in any stop on furnace or rolling means cost, so it’s very important to
adjust the thermal profile both in the crosswise as in the lengthwise direction. Skid marks, deltaT (cold
face phenomenon), head to tail differences and appropriate drop-out T and residence time for each steel
grade are key parameters that have to be considered.

Furnace design. Some discussion is taken about the design of the furnace between top and bottom
walking beam furnace or walking hearth. All comes to cost but it seems the walking beam technology is
good for high productivity rolling mills while the walking hearth one can offer lower operational costs for
lower utilization/lower productivity rolling mills. Homogeneity of reheating is better in walking beam

29
furnaces but scale formation is lower, which can have some deleterious effect on the surface quality of
the bars.

3.2.2.2. - ROLLING MILL

Descaling. Generally descaling results easy for free cutting steels but in case of Ni or Si steel begins to be
more complicated. Influential parameters are pressure and appropriate descaler design. An
inappropriate descaling operation may result in surface defects, mainly rolled in scale, increase of
surface roughness, etc.

Roughing mill. In terms of surface quality, an appropriate pass design and pass schedule with soft initial
passes to consolidate the surface and further higher reduction passes to consolidate the centre is
important. But also to be inside the appropriate thermal process window during the whole process is of
paramount importance to avoid initiation and propagation of surface cracks. Comparing continuous

30
roughing mill, DUO and TRIO systems, in order to have an optimum thermal profile it seems to be better
modern shiftable DUO roughing stand (as the one in TP Azkoitia-GSE) as the profile results more
homogeneous between head and tail.

For fabrication orders of high volumes the continuous roughing mill increases productivity but
sometimes an induction furnace could be necessary for avoiding excessive thermal gradient between
head and tail of billet. The longer the billet, the worse the surface quality due to a bigger thermal
gradient.

In the case of wide range of steel grades, small fabrication orders where the thermal profile is critical a
modern shiftable 2-high reversible is better.

Hot scarfing. The example of Pinda is commented. They use the hot scarfing for ingots not for bloom. In
this operation the loss of material is about 4-5%.

Intermediate mill. The most critical issue is to define an optimum pass design. Gerdau has a lack of pass
design experts.

Finishing mill. The discussion among Kocks (3-roll technology) or 2 or 4 roll finishing block arose. Modern
Kocks finishing blocks seem to be optimum.

Online inspection. This operation in rolling mill is a cost difficult to justify as in most of the cases there is
an inspection operation in cold conditions with a better returning of investment. However, it becomes
important in cases where rolling mill material is a finished product as in the case of wire rod, bar in coil
and flat bars.

Considering both possibilities, eddy current or HOTeye technology, last one seems to be optimum as
gives more precise information of each defect detected while eddy current in hot conditions just
measure density of defects. HOTeye technology can serve as well as for process control giving
information of the defects evolution that can help to make a decision of the necessity of stopping or
continuing rolling.

Controlled cooling. The key point is to know in which cases the installation of a controlled cooling system
would result profitable. The answer would be that in those cases with a high volume of material with
annealing treatment for aptitude to cutting.

It depends also of the final structure demanded by customer as there are some banding structures
difficult to obtain without control cooling. Here it also appears the question of consistency of properties
in the complete order and along the whole bar length. So a good control of the thermal profile during
reheating, rolling and cooling is of paramount importance.

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Shear vs. abrasive cutting. This issue is dependent on the dimension and productivity costs. Abrasive
cutting is considered to deliver the best quality avoiding problems associated to shear cutting (bending,
deformation, cracks).

3.2.3. - FINISHING AND INSPECTION


GSN presented a catalogue of the different surface and subsurface defects originated in their processes
and the mean causes of formation. (See attachment nº. 3).

Regarding the operation critical parameters following remarks were commented:

Q
Process What? Effect General Q Other Key Parameters What is Needed
0.3mm

Removal of Shot delivery to bar surface with proper


difficult primary velocity and frequency.
scale, and fine
Shotblasting scales that >80mm shotblaster recommended for consideration for
 ↔ 
(optional) contaminate and difficult grades/scale conditions.
add to wear of test
systems and Commitment of maintenance.
components.

delivery of 1mm/meter straightness.


Delivery of bars Condition of straightener rolls. Two roll or multi roll straighteners depending on products.
Straightener with acceptable ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑ Commitment of maintenance to rolls, conveyors, and
End condition of bars.
test conditions. components coming into contact with bar surface.
Avoiding of mechanical damage.

CC's- customer Standardization of inspection criteria in GSS? State of the art inspection lines with ability to detect and
Inspection Surface remove > 0.3mm flaw depths without interuption of
satisfaction/ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑
Inspection inspection line performance and utilization. Highest quality
expectations. Knowing customer's requirements, and their black bar surface delivery to inspection lines.
"real" product needs.

CC's- customer Phased Array Technology with "low noise"


Internal New UT equipment should utilize Phased Array technology,
satisfaction/ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ shear wave capability for closed/near surface
Inspection due to low noise shear wave detection of subsurface flaws.
expectations. flaws, not detected by Flux Leakage.

Inline inspection and magnetic particle capability is


Salavage of
necessary for products requiring a 0.3mm depth. Discussion
product and Ability to locate flaw and remove quickly, and
Recovery ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ of automation in removal of flaws by equipment seen in
prevention of validation of removal.
Japan, versus current visual and extensive manpower
scrap.
utilized in flaw removal and bar recovery process.

Reliable and
Maintenance Dedicated team of maintenance, with Paramount importance for sustainment of reliability, and
sustainable testing ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑
Program planned preventive maintenance objectives. precision.
conditions.

Shotblasting. It would be beneficial for some grades or diameters (over 80mm) to eliminate scale
efficiently, for better defect detection. For smaller dimensions if the shotblasting is online the decision of

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applying or not is depending on requirements and scale conditions inherent to the steel grade, but in
case of new investment it should be a consideration based on costs vs. product mix and benefit.

Some problems with shotblasting are that the equipment destroys it’s own components internally, and
the velocity and delivery of the shot has to be controlled to avoid bar surface damage and subsequent
probe life being shortened. Benefits include a cleaner water system for the ultrasonic machines, due to
less scale fines in the system.

Straightener. Depending on the bar dimensions, the most suitable type of rolls varies from multi-rolls for
very small diameters (where hyperbolic can’t be applied) to hyperbolic that seems to provide better
straightness results.

Critical items in straightening operation are on the one hand acceptable roughness, for not interfering in
the detection of flaws, by creation of high noise levels in testing, and on the other hand a good
straightness level throughout the complete bar length and in the bar extremes.

For achieving these bar conditioning level, the most important item is related to maintenance
procedures for assuring a proper wear of rolls and a perfect alignment. In case of Fort Smith and Piratini
there are technical experts for these tasks at the inspection lines. (The rolls alignment in these plants is
carried out once per two months).

Surface inspection. The most important item is the standardization. Each site must have general
standards in what size of defects refers. A global standard for all Gerdau Group doesn’t seem to be
appropriate as it’s a consequence of each market requirements and in each country, despite sharing
sectors and clients, the own “market rules” are different and clients can be more or less demanding.

In case of GSB, the Customer Technical Assistance Department is making a hard work to keep updated
the customer applications and manufacturing processes in order to know exactly what each client “really
needs”.

On the other hand a thorough and deep knowledge and wide experience of the technical workers in
terms of calibration routines, thresholds, length suppression, etc, is critical. In this respect, in case of
Piratini and Pinda some training courses have been given to over 15 engineers resulting in well defined
working procedures.

Finally, another critical item is the calibration criterion by means of real or artificial defect. In case of GSN
they calibrate with 0.3mm or 0.4mm notch and increase 6dB to compensate with regard to the real
defect. This criterion compensates also the use of static calibration with respect to dynamic inspection
detection.

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Internal inspection. Although not being the aim of this project some comments related to the Ultrasonic
technologies took place. All Gerdau NDT technicians agree on the use of Phase Array Shear Wave
technology as this method allows detecting also some subsurface defects and even some surface defects
of certain morphologies that are no detected by the Circoflux. The low noise shear wave characteristics
of this technology, is inherently superior to our existing rotary ultrasonic machines.

Recovery. Recovery works is a core business and must be carried out internally. In case of Fort Smith the
recovery after the inspection is outsourced and performed partially out of the testing line facilities with
the inconvenience that the operators change frequently so they present normally a lack of experience.
Apart from that, there is no immediate feedback in process of the results of recovery.

On the other hand the possibility for installing automatic recovery is commented in order to avoid
human factor (mistakes or different criteria depending on the operators). This is the case of Daido and
Sanyo, Japanese plants. The problem could arise when many defects along same bar appear that could
result in a bottle neck operation.

4. - GENERAL SUMMARY
Here, the most remarkable conclusions of this project are listed.

4.1. - REJECTION VS. REDUCTION RATIO

General Items
REDUCTION RATIO:
* The bigger the reduction ratio, the lower the rejection.

Reduction ratio is one of the key parameters affecting the final bar rejection results (surface defects)
through its effect on the defect depth modification during rolling. Therefore, a higher reduction ratio
clearly helps to diminish the defects depth, and it then improves the rejection results.

Using quality data from GSN, GSB and GSE, a graph has been obtained (Figure 13) for giving a rough
prediction in terms of rejection of what would be the scenario if the demand for inspection goes from
0.7 to 0.5 or to 0.3 mm.

Additionally, it helps to determine the maximum diameter allowable to be rolled, for the different
detection thresholds, as a function of the maximum affordable rejection ratio.

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100,0
0,3 x 0,5 x 0,7 mm
90,0
AVG 0,3
0,3 mm
80,0 AVG 0,5

0,5 mm AVG 0,7


70,0

0,7 mm
60,0
Rejection Rate (%)

50,0

40,0

30,0

20,0

10,0

Reduction Ratio (n:1)

Figure 13. - Overview 0.3, 0.5 and 0.7mm. Rejection vs. reduction ratio.

Focusing on the 0.3mm threshold, Table 5 gives an overall idea of the relationship of starting
billet/bloom size with the rolled diameter and the expected rejection ratio according to the real quality
data. This table helps to identify, for each as-cast size, which the required reduction ratio would be to be
under a certain rejection ratio.

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< 20% Rejection
20 % - 50 % Rejection
> 50% Rejection

0,3 mm
Reduction Ratio (n:1)
Dia range (mm)
155 185 240

20 - 30 48,9 69,7 117,3

30 - 40 25,0 35,6 59,9

40 - 50 15,1 21,5 36,2

50 - 60 10,1 14,4 24,2

60 -70 7,2 10,3 17,4

70 - 80 5,4 7,7 13,0

80 - 90 4,2 6,0 10,2

90 - 100 3,4 4,8 8,1

100 - 130 2,3 3,3 5,5

Table 5. - 0.3mm expected rejection results vs. reduction ratio.

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4.2. - STEELWORKS
Steelworks
CCM type:
* The bigger the radius machine, the better the surface quality (unbending issue). The limit is a vertical machine, but CAPEX is much
higher.
* Rounds vs. Rectangular/square:
Rounds are the ideal section for tubes
Rounds reduce unbending criticity for the same section area
Rounds worsen handling and storage issue
For the same section area, round soundness is more difficult to achieve during rolling process (Square or rectangular bloom sections
are to be given box and square/diamond passes at the roughing mill. This pass sequence is better in terms of central soundness
consolidation in comparison to the oval/round sequence usually given to round blooms)
* Rectangular vs. Square:
Rectangular reduces unbending criticity for the same section area. Ask DANIELI: max recommendable quadrangle size???
Rectangular improves reheating effectiveness for the same section area
Square optimises as-cast inner structure??? Ask DANIELI
Limit for Width/Height: 1.2, 1.3??? Ask DANIELI (for the CCM, Preheating and Rolling)
* The bigger the as-cast section:
The better the surface quality for the same reduction ratio because a lower as-cast surface per volume unit and also because of a
better casting stability.
MOULD:
* Suitable multitaper design for a wide range of steel grades. Special attention paid to peritectic grades (avoid blow grains). Proper
uniform and well distributed mould heat transfer. Uniform solidification shell growth.
OSCILLATION SYSTEM:
* Reliable oscillation mechanism.
* Hydraulic system is preferred (more flexibility for recipe design, more complete monitoring information).
SECONDARY COOLING:
* Reliable design for a proper spraying performance within the complete range of cooling curves
Robust, alignment-symmetry reliability, spray raisers quick change
Minimise surface reheating at the transition between zones
Appropriate nozzle design and water pressure inlet
* Air-mist recommendable for providing a wider cooling intensity range
* Proper water and filtering facilities (autowashable filter)
* Testing chamber for off-line checking of spraying risers performance
* Quick detection of water leakages, dirtiness in filters and nozzles. On-line spraying performance surveillance system with alarms
INSPECTION & CONDITIONING:
* Shot blasting, Mag particles inspection and grinding facilities as much automatic as possible.

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4.3. - ROLLING MILL

4.4. - FINISHING AND INSPECTION

Inspection of Bars
SHOTBLASTING:
* Recommended for diameters greater than 80mm due to difficulty in removing scale in certain grades (this recommendation was also
made by the inspection team in the year 2011).
MAINTENANCE COMMITMENT:
* Sensitive inspection criteria requires more attention to details and components of the inspection line peripheral equipment in all areas
to avoid mechanical damage or even marking of the surface, and guarantees of precision alignment of the Flux Leakage machines and
conveying systems.
NEW UT INSTALLATIONS:
* These initiatives should incorporate Phased Array Shear Wave technology which will allow detection of near or sub-surface flaws in the
inspected bars. Finishing block installation have shown to ¨weld¨ historically open flaws and made them difficult to detect by Flux Leakage
inspection. The only way to detect these flaws are by the method above.
INCOMING BLACK BAR QUALITY:
* A quality improvement across all grades in black bar surface quality is necessary to consistently compete in 0.3mm markets, and keep
costs low internally. Technology exists to inspect to the 0.3mm requirement, but existing quality in Black Bar has to be improved to
maintain existing rework capacities, or consideration of automation of flaw removal, and additional rework technology in an efficient and
cost effective manner.
CAPABILITY BALANCE FOR RECOVERY OF SUPERFICIAL FLAWS:
* Consideration of capacity of inspection lines must be given to the new requirements in our future. 0.3mm requirements will result in
increased inspections, and likely increased rework. Provisions must be considered for existing and future planning for these products.

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5. - APPENDIXES
proyecto 0,3mm\ANEXOS\Global survey GSS v3.pptx
proyecto 0,3mm\ANEXOS\Data analysis Final meeting reduction rate (2).ppt
proyecto 0,3mm\ANEXOS\GSN FSM-MON Cause of Rejection 2012.pptx
proyecto 0,3mm\Tablas Acería-Lam-Acab\What is needed for 0.3 Steelworks.xlsx
proyecto 0,3mm\Tablas Acería-Lam-Acab\What is needed for 0.3 Rolling.xlsx
proyecto 0,3mm\Tablas Acería-Lam-Acab\What is needed for 0.3 Inspection.xlsx
proyecto 0,3mm\Tablas Acería-Lam-Acab\What is needed for 0.3 Summary.xlsx

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