Conversion of wide hot-strip mill to increase production and expand product range to include high-strength and thin-gauge hot strip
Panzhihua Steel & Vanadium Co. Ltd., China, has awarded SMS group the order for an extensive modernization of their 1,450-millimeter hot strip mill (HSM) in Panzhihua, Sichuan Province. With this comprehensive revamping of the mill, in operation since 1996, Panzhihua intends to significantly improve plant availability, increase the production capacity, and expand the production range to include thin-gauge strip. The annual production capacity will be raised from currently 2.4 million tons to at least 3 million tons. The revamping will further enhance the flexibility of the HSM with regard to the product mix, which includes carbon steels as well as silicon steels and titanium strips.
The SMS group project scope includes the finishing mill, a laminar cooling system and a downcoiler group, which will all be completely renewed. SMS will supply the engineering and the main components.
A new seven-stand finishing mill will be erected behind the existing finishing mill. The new mill stands will be equipped with hydraulic screwdown systems, hydraulic loopers and CVC®plus shifting and bending systems (Continuously Variable Crown). In addition, the X-Pact® Profile, Contour and Flatness Process model (PCFC) will be installed. This will enable the customer to roll high-grade materials in compliance with the most exacting demands on the geometric strip dimensions and tolerances.
The design of the laminar cooling line will provide very high flexibility in terms of cooling rates and cooling patterns enabling Panzhihua to produce highly demanding modern steel grades and be prepared for future demands. Flow meters for process control will assure high repeatability of operation to meet the highest quality standards.
Also the coiler area consisting of two downcoilers will be completely replaced, including the related side guiding systems.
The modernization activities for the complete mill will be carried out during only two shutdowns. Thanks to the special SMS modernization know-how, the necessary downtimes can be significantly reduced, with major activities being carried out in parallel to the running production.
During the first shut down, which is scheduled for September 2021, the laminar cooling line will be replaced and a roller table bridge installed behind the existing finishing mill. With this roller table bridge installed, it will be possible to perform the foundation work for the new finishing line while the plant is in operation.
During the second shut down in July 2022, the new finishing mill will be installed directly behind the existing mill together with the new coiler area. At the same time, the existing mill will be dismantled and the entry equipment relocated. The first hot strip is scheduled to be rolled in October 2022.
With this revamp - which entails the renewal of all quality-relevant equipment - Panzhihua Steel & Vanadium will expand their product mix to include thin-gauge and high-strength hot strips, while increasing the availability of the mill and, as a result, its production capacity.