Comparing Types of Steel Coil Strip Processing Lines

Source: U.S. Steel - Steel Coil Coating Line Layout

There are virtually an unlimited number of things that a processor could do on a steel coil strip processing line.

 Some of the operations that can be performed:

 -        Cut to length lines

-        Coil slitting lines

-        Tension leveling lines

-        Pickling lines

-        Electrolytic cleaning lines

-        Coil coating lines

 Though the final product from each of these lines will vary considerably, they all share similar processes at the front end with varying processes during intermediate and final steps.

 Virtually all steel coil strip processing lines, will have front end coil handling equipment that prepares the coils for entrance into the processing line, stacks and transfers them, loads them, and regulates the feed into the coil processing line.

 Once the coil enters the processing line, the steps begin to create the final product with increased precision at each step of the process. This is done by tuning and tweaking load levelers, straighteners, strip processing equipment, and testing and analysis to determine if the coils are within specification for that particular operation.

 Cut to length lines can be as simple as a start and stop shear that cuts a certain length or strip of sheet for meeting industrial requirements like automotive components, air-conditioning systems, or supplying sheet-metal operators.

More sophisticated cut to length lines include roll feeding lines with hydraulic shears, shape correction levelers and precision flying shears with quick change die sets. In addition there may be edge trimming and flying die shearing lines for surface critical material supplying auto grade cut to length lines.

 Coil to coil slitting lines can process either hot or cold rolled steel, copper, brass, foils, as well as aluminum, into a variety of other slit widths and coil lengths. They are usually either single or double loop for taking up the slack within the coil processing system.

Thus they will produce a variety of different coil slit widths that can either be shorter coils, or simply more narrow coils than the feeder coil is.

 These shorter coil widths are called “mults” and can be produced with high accuracy and variety across one production run. Some capacity ranges include 300 to 2000 mm in width with gauge depending on the type of processing line employed.

Line speeds depend on manufacturers, but the upper end is around 500 meters per minute.

 The key to a coil slitting line is the slitter itself. The accuracy of the slitter, the speed of the slitter, the level of deformation introduced into the material, and speed with which the slitter heads can be changed, will all impact the quality of the product produced and the line speed of the coil slitting line.

Different gauge materials can be processed with different coil slitting heads and different coils line speeds.

 Coil coating lines can encompass virtually any type of process that impacts the surface of the coil. Pickling lines, electrolytic cleaning lines, and painting lines, could all conceivably be called coil coating lines.

 Pickling lines, for example, serve the purpose of removing the surface oxides from hot rolled coils using a chemical treatment with hydrochloric acid. Once the coils have gone through the chemical treatment they are then set for the cold rolling process.

 The specific type of acid will depend on exactly the type material that is being processed and the type of coating or pickling surface treatment to be imparted onto the coil material. There can be continuous coil processing lines for certain millimeter thickness material somewhere in the range of 1 mm up to about 7 mm sometimes.

 Accumulators will allow coils to be both loaded and unloaded while the strip continues to go through the chemical treatment. These lines are usually used by mill operators and are integrated for pickling a strip prior to it being cold rolled.

 Once the thickness gets larger for the material, over about 7 mm and up to about 16 mm, then either push pull pickling lines, or semi continuous pickling lines are employed. This means one coil at a time is processed without the need for joining strips.

 Color-coded lines are another form of coating line for steel coil strip processing. These lines will generally employ ovens of some form including infrared and convection, that are high-speed continuous systems to heat the material prior to it being painted or coated.

 These types of lines can be used to produce the metal that goes into refrigerators and appliances of all kinds, for aluminum siding or roofing or office equipment and even food and beverage containers.

Heavier duty lines capable of handling heavier gauge material up to around 3.5 mm can be used for building products including perlin and parts for the transportation industry in trucking, automotive or railcar production.

 These lines create a precise condition on the metal through cleaning, dimensional correction, temperature and humidity adjustment so that the coating can have complete uniformity throughout the entire process. Heat is critical because it allows for the bonding to take place ensuring that as the metal cools, the coating becomes virtually a part of the metal.

 These are just a few of the types of steel coil strip processing lines that are common in today's high speed, high technology, high precision coil processing industry.

To return from this Comparing Processing Lines page to the Strip Metal Coil Processing Home page, click here.

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