Roll pass design for improved flexibility and quality in wire rod rolling
Abstract: The thesis treats roll pass design in wire rod rolling of stainless steel for sequences and series built up by two-symmetrical grooves. It is focused on predicting rolling flexibility, also called working range, as well as product quality. For analysing the flexibility a computer program has been developed. The minimum and maximum roll gap and corresponding bar areas for series of grooves including "oval", "round", "false round", "square" and "diamond" shapes are calculated. Six pass designs used in Swedish mills are analysed. Full-scale rolling is compared with laboratory experiments for the square-oval and false round (round)-oval series. The false round-oval series offers the largest working range and that the flexibility is smaller for pass sequences designed for high reductions. The false round-oval series are also acknowledged as a series for high quality steels and are usually better than the square-oval series having a tendency for defect formation. The thesis also includes high-speed rolling of wire rod in blocks. Here interstand tensions are utilised in order to keep the process stable. For obtaining the required dimensional tolerances of the product they are kept as low as possible. However interstand tensions could be used in order to increase the working range and move the product range towards smaller wire cross sections. For analysing this possibility, a narrow spread technology is utilised. At present time a practical problem is referred to the fixed gearings in the common blocks, which require a certain and given level of interstand tensions and corresponding reductions. This problem can however be solved by means of new block design and modern process control technology. Roll stands can be separately driven and controlled at very high speeds. Thus the eight stand blocks can be subdivided into four plus four passes blocks with a cooling line between enabling also higher productivity without violating the product quality because defect formations caused by a too high rolling temperature. The true working range of a series for a specific steel grade is however not only dependent on the possible spectrum of wire dimensions that can be obtained but might also depend on its ability to decrease or eliminate defects such as surface cracks. Thus, the behaviour of artificial V-shaped cracks in the longitudinal direction has been investigated and compared for the square-oval and false round (round)-oval series mentioned above. In agreement with other research works it was established that efficient rolling conditions for reducing the cracks are obtained when the cracks open up at the same time as their depth is reduced. If the V-shaped crack is closed by contact between its oxidized side surfaces the rolling schedule is not optimal for getting a high quality product. A deeper understanding of the experimental results was obtained by means of an FE-analysis
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