Improvement of Cooling Technology through Atmosphere Gas Management
The production of advanced high strength steels requires the improvement of cooling technology. The use of high cooling rates allows relatively low levels of expensive alloying additions to ensure sufficient hardenability. In classical annealing and hot-dip galvanizing lines a mixing station is used to provide atmosphere gas containing 3-5% hydrogen and 97-95% nitrogen in the various sections of the furnace, including the rapid cooling section. Heat exchange enhancement in this cooling section can be insured by the increased hydrogen concentration. Drever International developed a patented improvement of cooling technology based on the following features: pure hydrogen gas is injected only in the rapid cooling section whereas the different sections of the furnace are supplied with pure nitrogen gas; the control of flows through atmosphere gas management allows to get high hydrogen concentration in cooling section and low hydrogen content in the other furnace zones. This cooling technology development insures higher cooling rates without additional expensive hydrogen gas consumption and without the use of complex sealing equipments between zones. In addition reduction in electrical energy consumption is obtained. This atmosphere control development can be combined with geometrical design improvements in order to get optimised cooling technology providing high cooling rates as well as reduced strip vibration amplitudes. Extensive validation of theoretical research has been conducted on industrial lines. New lines as well as existing lines, with limited modifications, can be equipped with this new development. Up to now this technology has successfully been implemented on 6 existing and 7 new lines in Europe and Asia.
- M. Renard, J. Muller, D. Van de Vyver, F. Gurniki, and K. Beaujard, Proc. of 7th International Conference on Zinc and Zinc Alloy Coated Steel Steels, p. 57, Galvatech 2007, Osaka (2007)
- M. Renard, J.B. Gouriet, P. Planquart, J. van Beeck, and J.M. Buchlin, Proc. of 6th International Conference on Zinc and Zinc Alloy Coated Steel Steels, p. 449, Galvatech 2004, Chicago (2004)
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