Automated Slab Cooler Regulates Hot Mill Aluminum Temperatures for Material Integrity

The Customer Challenge

A leading aluminum supplier in North America was challenged with how to increase line speeds and maintain or improve the quality of the aluminum being processed. When line speeds were increased, it generated too much heat, and by the time the material got to the end of the process line, it was too hot and did not have the physical properties required.

The company partnered with Machine Concepts to engineer and build an advanced and highly automated hot mill slab cooler to allow for higher speeds on its mill processing line.

The Machine Concepts Solution

The innovative slab cooler sprays coolant on the aluminum product prior to it entering the hot mill process line to lower the aluminum temperature before it heats up from the mill operation. This allows the aluminum to exit at the appropriate temperature to maintain the necessary physical properties.

The automated system was engineered for high precision and flexibility. The sprays have built-in valves that offer different coolant rates, providing flexibility in pre-cooling amounts and selecting which sprays to activate to cover only the width of the strip. The system automatically controls the level of sprays to achieve the optimal cooling amount for the incoming strip.

The Key Technologies

  •  The system has individual spray control to match the width of the strip being processed.
  • The spray valves have adjustable gallons per minute (GPM) with the use of operator automation controls while maintaining the same header pressure.
  • The spray valves also have adjustable header angles to give flexibility of process control depending on alloy and maintain direct contact while keeping the spray and steam/mist in the containment exhaust fume hood. 

 

The Results

The company achieved its goal to increase line speeds and production of processing aluminum while maintaining the quality and properties of the aluminum end product.

Automated Slab Cooler

Machine Concepts Mill Solutions

At Machine Concepts, we provide total design and modification solutions to new and existing mill equipment. Contact us to talk with one of our engineers about a solution for your hot mills, reversing mills or cold mills that process any type of metal.

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