Central to the process are the furnace and cooling technology. Here is how it works. The strip enters a floatation furnace where it travels in a sinus shape in contactless floating mode. Next, the furnace heats the material and keeps it at the required temperature for a defined time to set the right structure. Especially 2xxx and 7xxx aerospace alloys require high cooling rates of some 400 Kelvin per second. For 6xxx automotive alloys more moderate but flexible cooling rates between 25 to 100 Kelvin per second are necessary. The cooling process is executed as a combination of water and air cooling. What's special here is a mathematical model that calculates the settings for the annealing and cooling process to achieve the mechanical properties.
The water quench has a crucial impact on product quality. It's the section that also achieves high cooling rates and good strip shape. To ensure perfect results, the operator pre-defines a cross-bow for controlled and stable cooling. There is also a special sealing unit to prevent premature cooling. Another stand-out feature of the furnace is the eco-friendly process control.
It's never been easier to control operation than with our physical process model as well as a production planning model with physical transient-state calculation.