London, January 24, 2024
- Largest twin-station vacuum-tank degasser in North America will produce cleaner steel
- Extensive upgradeof 2-strand continuous caster to result in improved internal slab quality
- Exceptionally short downtime of 30 days for the slab caster upgrade
Primetals Technologies and JSW Steel U.S.A. have entered into an agreement to upgrade the slab casting infrastructure at its Mingo Junction, Ohio, plant. The project encompasses steelmaking, secondary metallurgy, and continuous casting processes, and the project is expected to enable JSW Steel U.S.A. to produce a wider range of sophisticated steels in the form of slabs to diversify its product portfolio for additional markets.
Work on the project has begun and is scheduled for completion in second half of 2025.
Installing largest vacuum tank degasser in North America
Primetals Technologies will install a 230-ton vacuum tank degasser (VTD) with a dry mechanical vacuum pump system. This will be North America’s largest VTD to date, allowing JSW Steel U.S.A. to produce cleaner steel and reduce levels of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur in different process steps.
“JSW Steel U.S.A. wanted to install this VTD at their existing Mingo Junction site with significant footprint and height restrictions,” said Joerg Buttler, Head of Upstream Business for Primetals Technologies U.S.A. “Working closely with JSW’s Mingo team, we were able to create a custom design that worked for the space, budget, and metallurgical targets.”
The VTD design includes all the mechanical and electrical equipment for the plant, including the mechanical dry pumps, vacuum filters, and dust catcher. It includes integrating new material handling technologies, associated auxiliary systems, metallurgical process model, and complete Level 1 and Level 2 automation systems.
“We look forward to the successful completion of these upgrades to strengthen our service capabilities and meet the growing needs of the renewable energy and infrastructure markets while staying in line with the Build America - Buy America Act (BABAA),” said Jonathan Shank, Chief Operating Officer of JSW Steel U.S.A.’s Mingo Junction plant. “The project will strengthen our commitment to sustainability while providing additional momentum for growth by widening our product portfolio.”
Remarkably short downtime for caster upgrade
For the 2-strand continuous caster upgrade, the project scope includes key mechanical equipment, Level 1 automation for strand No. 2, a complete Level 2 automation system, and the mold-monitoring system Mold Expert. Moreover, JSW Steel U.S.A. has signed up for a long-term software subscription model, based on a software as a service (SaaS) concept.
Revamping a continuous slab caster usually results in a shutdown period of several months. However, in this project, Primetals Technologies managed to cut the downtime to 30 days. This timeline is possible by keeping the existing concrete foundations and strand supporting structure, which renders any time-consuming demolition work unnecessary. The new strand containment will be fixed with a specially designed adapter solution, which is another important factor leading to the short downtime.
A patented continuous bending and straightening process, Smart Segment allows for online and remote adjustments of the roll-gap at one of the strands. This strand will be dedicated to producing API grades and plates of high quality for the US market. The Smart Segments parameters are set based on advanced mathematical models developed by Primetals Technologies. These models ensure that the caster already at the design phase is optimized to eliminate the risk of unsteady mold level bulging.
Models for quality improvements
Having real-time knowledge of the exact temperature of any section of the continuous casting strand is highly valuable for achieving fully optimized secondary cooling of the slabs. This is made possible with Dynacs 3D, a secondary-cooling model for the adjustment of cooling setpoints. Additionally, the model calculates the point of final strand solidification, which enables exact control of the cooling process. The caster will also be equipped with DynaGap Soft Reduction 3D, a dynamic soft-reduction package that gives operators precise control during slab solidification and significantly improves internal slab quality by reducing center segregation. DynaGap is a strand-guide system, allowing operators to adjust the roll gap at the push of a button.
Representatives from JSW and Primetals Technologies during the contract signing meeting. JSW Steel U.S.A. has been a long-time customer of Primetals Technologies and the new agreement is an extension of the business relationship between the two companies.
Primetals Technologies, Limited, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is a pioneer and world leader in the fields of engineering, plant building, and the provision of lifecycle services for the metals industry. The company offers a complete technology, product, and services portfolio that includes integrated electrics and automation, digitalization, and environmental solutions. This covers every step of the iron and steel production chain—from the raw materials to the finished product—and includes the latest rolling solutions for the nonferrous metals sector. Primetals Technologies is a Group Company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, with around 7,000 employees worldwide. To learn more about Primetals Technologies, visit the company website www.primetals.com.