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The major investment in the special steel mill for Böhler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG has been completed.
In a record-breaking construction time a further special steel mill was erected at the parent plant in Kapfenberg. The newly built 6000 m2 hall houses two new vacuum electric arc furnaces and a pressure ESR unit. They are the most modern units of their kind worldwide, making the production of pure special steels possible with a process guarantee and quality rivalled by none. The initial start-up went so smoothly that the units were able to operate fully straight away.
This investment allows us to put our strategies for growth in the special materials sector (including nickel-based alloys) for the aircraft industry and construction in the energy sector along with the rising demand for remelted tool steels into effect. We will also be able to eliminate capacity constraints.
The investment to the amount of approx. 30 million Euros incorporates a totally new concept in transportation creating a production flow that is much more flexible along with being safer. This large-scale project, which is so immensely important for our company, was also carried out with the environment in mind. A new self-contained reservoir cooling system no longer requires taking water from natural sources thus eliminating the strain on the environment.
Upon completion of this substantial construction Böhler Edelstahl & Co KG now has more than eight ESR units and six EAF units and can be counted among the worldwide leaders in special steels of the highest metallurgical purity.
The technology in detail:
DESR PRESSURE / PROTECTIVE GAS ELECTRO SLAG REMELTING This technology allows remelting in a closed vessel in a nitrogen and / or argon atmosphere, under the exclusion of oxygen. This achieves an increase in the oxidic level of purity and subsequently improved corrosion resistance, polishability, photo etchability and EDM of the steel.
These alloys have the best fatigue strength and ductile values as are required in aircraft construction for highly stressable landing gear or engine components. These materials are also used for medical implants or surgical tools. The outstanding tensile strength and better cold moulding properties are particularly valued in the demanding sectors of mechanical engineering and construction. These unsurpassed material properties are attributed to an even homogeneous distribution of the chemical elements throughout the ingot.
EAF VACUUM REMELTING FURNACE
The technology of vacuum remelting developed from the production of highest stress titanium and zircon alloys. Today this process is also used for the production of pure special steels and super alloys on a Ni and Co basis, which are primarily necessary to meet the demands on material properties in the aircraft and aerospace industries and the energy and medical technology sectors.
These steels have excellent polishability, the best corrosion resistance, and extraordinary fatigue strength properties. They offer the highest durability for high stress tools in the pressure casting industry, on moulds for plastics parts manufacturing or on matrices for pipe and profile manufacturing.
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