One of the key stages in cold strip processing is high-speed cooling after recrystallization annealing. This is where Drever International, part of SMS group, offers you an ideal solution. The Drever® UFC (ultra-fast cooling) system achieves super-high, consistent cooling rates in radiant tube furnaces. Not only that, it also saves huge amounts of energy and valuable raw materials. What ensures the high cooling rate is direct injection of pure hydrogen into the cooling chamber. Unlike other systems, the UFC keeps hydrogen consumption low. Furthermore, you can reduce the gas pressure to slash electricity consumption. There are even more savings you can make with some steel grades because the high cooling rates mean you need fewer alloying elements. We first installed the system in 2008 in a continuous annealing line for high-quality cold strip. China Shougang Corporation ordered it for its works in the Greater Beijing area. This in-line, high-performance annealing furnace processes a wide range of products, including advanced multi-phase and TRIP steel grades. That’s not least due to the integrated UFC, which can cool strip at rates of 120 K/s/mm. It also plays a key role in safeguarding the flexibility and productivity of the plant.
We are already looking forward to the next sustainability breakthrough in furnace technology. That’s because Drever is working on a regenerative solution for continuous annealing lines. It will transfer energy from the heating to the cooling process. A pilot plant is already up and running, with the target of saving over 40% energy. That will substantially improve the cooling rate and shrink the cooling power consumption to zero.
*Calculated for the Shougang CAL reference plant at 1 mill. tpy