We’re celebrating 30 years of continuous casting at the steelworks this year – a milestone recognised in the Australian Steel Industry’s winter 2021 edition of the steel Australia publication. Here’s an extract from the article.
CONTINUOUS SLAB AND BLOOM CASTER
Commissioned in April 1992, the $150 million Continuous Slab and Bloom (Combination or ‘Combi’) Caster represents a major addition to Whyalla Steelworks’ facilities. It provides enhanced productivity and international competitiveness for the Steelworks.
Completed ahead of time and under budget, the Combi Caster has set high standards of productivity. It holds the Australian Slabmaking Record and Whyalla Break-Out (spillage of molten steel) Free Period of 830 days and 2,722,954 tonnes of continuously cast steel.
The casting process involves pouring liquid steel from a 130-tonne ladle into the 30 tonne tundish and then into water cooled copper mould. Initial solidification of steel happens in the mould and final solidification in the secondary cooling zone that is 34.5m long and where the strand is cooled by water sprays and supported by water cooled rolls.
The Slab and Bloom Caster has a maximum production capacity of more than 1.2 million tonnes per annum. The following section sizes can be produced at the caster, single slabs (950mm to 2,070mm), twin slabs (600mm to 960mm) and triple blooms (350mm and 450 mm). Design product thickness range is 200mm to 250mm.
Current caster production is around 300,000 tonnes of cast feed per annum for structural sections and around 100,000 tonnes of cast feed per annum for rail sections—both processed through the Steelworks’ Rolling Mill complex.