Title of Invention

"METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DECELERATING AND TEMPORARILY ACCUMULATING A HOT ROLLED PRODUCT"

Abstract A method and apparatus is disclosed for decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product moving longitudinally along a receiving axis at a first velocity V1. The product is directed through a curved guide having an entry end aligned with the receiving axis to receive the product, and an exit end spaced radially from the receiving axis and oriented to deliver the product in an exit direction transverse to the receiving axis. The curved guide is rotated about the receiving axis in a direction opposite to the exit direction of the product and at a speed at which the guide exit end has a velocity V2, thereby decelerating the product being delivered from the guide exit end to a reduced velocity V3 equal to V1-V2. The curvature of the guide and the orientation of its exit end is such as to form the delivered product into a helix deposited and temporarily accumulated on a cylindrical drum. The drum is rotated in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the curved guide to thereby unwind the product from the drum.
Full Text The present invention relates to a method for decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates in general to continuous rolling mills producing hot rolled long products such as bars, rods and the like, and is concerned in particular with a method and apparatus for decelerating and temporarily accumulating such products at a selected stage in the hot rolling process.
2. Description of the Prior Art
In the typical rolling mill installation, billets are heated to an elevated rolling temperature in a furnace. The heated billets are then subjected to continuous rolling in successive roughing, intermediate and finishing sections of the mill, with each mill section being comprised of multiple roll stands. For larger products, the entire mill can usually be operated at or close to the maximum capacity of the furnace. However, when the rolling schedule calls for smaller products, the capacity of the finishing section is often reduced to well below that of the furnace and the roughing and intermediate mill sections. Under these circumstances, the roughing and intermediate sections can be slowed to match the capacity of the finishing section, but there are limits beyond which this becomes impractical. This is because acceptable rolling procedure dictates that the heated billets should be introduced into
the first stand of the roughing section at a minimum take in speed of not lower than about 0.09-0.1 m/s. Slower take in speeds will likely cause fire cracking of the work rolls.
In other cases, for example, when rolling high speed tool steels or nickel based alloys, a higher take in speed is required to avoid excess cooling of the billet, while lower finishing speeds are required to avoid excessive heat generation, which can cause core melting and surface cracking of the product.
In an exemplary modern day continuous rolling operation, with a furnace capacity of 100-150 tons/hr or greater, a nominal carbon low alloy steel billet with a 150mm square cross section and a length of 11.7m is rolled into a 2000kg. coil. When rolling 5.5mm diameter rod at the mill's maximum delivery speed of, say, 105m/s, the take in speed is 0.111m/sec, which is safely above the acceptable minimum speed. Under these conditions, the mill can produce 64.42 tons/hr (taking into consideration gap and yield). However, if the rolling schedule calls for a .3.5mm diameter rod, the take in speed for the same size billet at the same maximum delivery speed would have to be lowered to an unacceptably low level of 0.045m/s, with a corresponding reduction in the mill's tonnage rate to 26.8 tons/hr.
Alternatively, in order to overcome the unacceptably low take in speed, a smaller billet of the same length with, for example, a 106mm square cross section could be rolled at the maximum delivery speed of 105m/s and at a safe take in speed of 0.09m/s. However, this would require a new pass design for the roll stands, different guides, a lowering of the coil weight of the finished product to 1031kg, and a reduced production rate of 26.31 tons/hr, again taking into consideration gap and yield. The necessity to store different size billets would create further problems.
There exists a need, therefore, for a method and apparatus that will make it possible to roll smaller size products while maintaining the mill take in speeds at or above acceptable minimums, without having to reduce the size of the billets being processed, and preferably while continuing to roll at the mill's maximum tonnage rate.
One prior attempt at achieving this objective is disclosed in U.S.Patent No. 3,486,359 (Hein), where a laying head temporarily accumulates hot rolled products exiting from the intermediate mill section on a storage reel. The accumulated product is then unwound from the storage reel at a reduced speed for continued rolling in a mill finishing section. A number of drawbacks are associated with the Hein approach. For example, the product is not decelerated prior to being wound onto the storage reel. This, coupled with a lack of control over how the windings are distributed along the reel surfaces, can cause the windings to overlap one another, and this in turn can disrupt the unwinding process.
Also, with the Hein arrangement, the laying head cannot be operated continuously, but instead must be brought to a complete stop at the beginning of each storage cycle so that the product front end can be directed past the storage reel to a downstream stationary pinch roll unit. Thus, during the time required to overcome system inertia and to bring the laying head back up to its operating speed, an unsteady state exists, which can further disrupt the pattern of windings on the storage reel.
The present invention provides an improved method and apparatus for decelerating and temporarily accumulating hot rolled products that differ from the Hein approach in important respects that eliminate the above described drawbacks.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the present invention, a method and apparatus are provided for
decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product moving longitudinally along a
receiving axis at a first velocity V,. The apparatus includes a laying assembly having an entry
end aligned with the receiving axis to receive the product. The laying assembly has a curved
intermediate section leading to an exit end that is spaced radially from the receiving axis and
that is oriented to deliver the product in an exit direction transverse to the receiving axis.
The curvature of the laying assembly and the orientation of its exit end is such that the exiting
product is formed into a helix: The helix is received and temporarily accumulated on a
cylindrical drum arranged coaxially with the receiving axis. The drum is rotated continuously
about the receiving axis in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the laying
asembly and at a speed selected to unwind the accumulating helix at the velocity V,. The
inwinding product is directed away from the drum by a catcher that is shiftable in a direction
larallei to the receiving axis. During the time "T" required to roll a complete billet, a product
ength "L" equal to T x V, is temporarily accumulated on the drum.
A preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Accordingly there is provided a method of decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product moving longitudinally along a receiving axis (A) at a first velocity V1, said method comprising:
directing said product through a first guide (26, 28) having an entry end (26a) aligned with said axis to receive said product, and an exit end (28b) spaced radially from said axis,
rotating said first guide about said axis to temporarily accumulate said product as a helix on a cylindrical drum (30); and
rotating said drum in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said guide to thereby unwind said product from said drum to a second guide;
characterized in that
said first guide has a curved intermediate section (26b) with said exit end (28b) oriented to deliver said product in an exit direction (B) transverse to said axis (A) and in the form of said helix;
continuously rotating said first guide in a direction opposite to said exit direction at a velocity (V2), thereby decelerating the product being delivered from said exit end to a reduced velocity V3 equal to V1-V2.
Accordingly there is also provided apparatus for decelerating a hot rolled product moving longitudinally along an axis (A) at a first velocity V1, said apparatus comprising:
a first guide (26,28) having an entry end (26a) aligned with said axis to receive said product, and having an exit end (28b) spaced radially from said axis;
a cylindrical drum (30) rotatable about said axis (A);
a first drive means (12,20,22,24) for rotating said first guide about said axis to temporarily accumulate said product as a helix on said drum;
a second drive means (32,34,36,38,40) for rotating of said drum in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said first guide and at a speed such that said product is unwound from said drum; and
Accordingly there is provided a method of decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product moving longitudinally along a receiving axis (A) at a first velocity V1, said method having the steps of:
directing said product through a first guide (26, 28) having an entry end (26a) aligned with said axis to receive said product, and an exit end (28b) spaced radially from said axis,
rotating said first guide about said axis to temporarily accumulate said product as a helix on a cylindrical drum (30); and
rotating said drum in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said guide to thereby unwind said product from said drum to a second guide;
characterized in that
delivering said product in an exit direction (B) transverse to said axis (A) and in the form of said helix; and having said first guide with a curved intermediate section (26b) and
continuously rotating said first guide in a direction opposite to said exit direction at a velocity (V2), thereby decelerating the product being delivered from said exit end to a reduced velocity V3 equal to V1-V2.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Figure 1 is a perspective view showing an apparatus in accordance with the present invention awaiting receipt of a hot rolled product; Figure 2 is a top view of the apparatus; Figure 3 is a side elevational view of the apparatus;
Figure 4 is an end view taken from the receiving end of the apparatus;
Figure 5 is a perspective view similar to Figure 1 showing the apparatus during a decelerating cycle:
Figure 6 is a partially sectioned top view of the curved laying assembly and associated catcher:
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 of Figure 6;
Figure 8 is a diagrammatic illustration depicting the relative directions of rotation and velocities of the curved laying assembly and cylindrical drum;
Figure 9 is a schematic layout showing the apparatus in a mill environment; and
Figure 10 is an exemplary control diagram for the apparatus.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring initially to Figures 1-5, an apparatus in accordance with the present invention is generally depicted at 10 as comprising a laying head drive shaft 12 supported between hearings 14, 16 lor rotation about a receiving axis A along which hot rolled product is received at a first velocity V,. One end of the drive shaft is coupled as at 18 to the output shaft 20 of a gear box 22, which in turn is driven by a motor 24.
The opposite end of the drive shaft is configured and arranged to support a curved laying assembly 25 comprising a laying pipe 26 and a helical trough extension 28.
As can best be seen in Figure 6, the laying pipe has an entry end 26a aligned with the axis A to receive the hot rolled product, and a curved intermediate section 26b leading to an exit end 26c communicating with the entry end 28a of the helical trough 28. The exit end 28b
of the trough is spaced radially from the axis A and oriented to deliver the product in an exit direction along an axis B transverse to the axis A.
A cylindrical drum 30 is carried by and freely rotatable on the drive shaft 12. One end of the drum is partially overlapped by the exit end 26c of the laying pipe 26 and the helical trough 28. A driven sprocket 32 on the opposite end of the drum is mechanically coupled by a drive chain 34 to a drive sprocket 36 on the output shaft 38 of a second motor 40.
The guide trough 28 rotates with the laying pipe 26 and coacts with the drum surface to provide an extension of the guide path defined by the laying pipe. This extension is sufficient to insure that the exiting product is formed into a helical formation of rings.
As can best be seen by further reference to Figures 6 and 7, the exit end of the guide trough 28b terminates at a plane P perpendicular to the axis A. At the commencement of a deceleration cycle, the product front end is delivered from the trough 28 into a catcher 42. The curvature of the rotating laying pipe 26 and trough 28 coupled with the orientation of the delivery end 28b of the trough results in the product being delivered in the form of a helix H (see Figure 5). The rings of the helix have a diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of the drum 30. thus enabling the helix to advance along the drum axis.
With reference additionally to Figure 8, it will be seen that motor 24 operates to rotate the laying assembly 25 in a direction opposite to the exit direction of the product at circumferential velocity V2, that is less than V1. This results in a deceleration of the exiting product to a velocity V3 equal to V1-V2.
Motor 40 operates to rotate the drum 30 in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the laying assembly 25 and at a speed such that its peripheral velocity is V3, resulting in the product being unwound from the drum into the catcher 42 at velocity V3,
The catcher 42 is carried on a carriage 44 movable along rails 46 parallel to the axis A. Carriage 44 is threadedly engaged by a screw shaft 48 driven by a motor 50. A pinch roll unit 52 having pinch rolls 52a driven by a motor 54 is also mounted on the carriage 44. The catcher 42 is arranged to direct the product being delivered from the exit end 28b of the trough 28 to the pinch roll unit 52, which operates to propel the product to downstream equipment, e.g.. the roll stands of a mill finishing section.
Motor 50 is controlled to maintain the catcher 42 in alignment with the product being unwound from the helix H temporarily accumulating on drum 30. Thus, during an initial stage of the unwinding cycle, motor 50 will operate to traverse the carriage away from the trough 28. and during the final stage of the unwinding cycle, motor 50 will reverse to traverse the carriage back towards the trough.
With reference to Figure 9, the apparatus 10 is shown positioned between a rolling mill intermediate section 56 and a finishing block 58 comprising the mill finishing section. A velocity gauge 60 measures the velocity of the product exiting from the intermediate mill section 56. and a hot metal detector 62 detects the arrival of a product front end. The distance S1 between the hot metal detector 62 and the entry end of the laying pipe 26 is known, as is the length S2 of the laying pipe and associated trough 28 making up the laying assembly 25. An encoder 04 associated with motor 24 provides a means of determining the exact angular position of the exit end 28b of the trough 28 at any given instant.
An exemplary control diagram is illustrated in Figure 10. A controller 66 receives signals from the velocity gauge 60 and hot metal detector 62 indicative respectively of the velocity V1 of the product and the presence of a product front end. Based on this data, and the

known lixed distances S1 and S2, the controller calculates and predicts the exact time of arrival Ta of the product front end at the exit end 28b the trough 28.
The signal from encoder 64 enables the controller to predict where the exit end of the trough will be at time Ta, and to make adjustments to the speed of motor 24 to insure that the delivery end of the trough is properly located with respect to the catcher at time Ta. At time T . the product front end is delivered from the exit end 28b of the trough into the catcher 42, and the controller signals motor 50 to begin traversing the carriage 44 along rails 46 to maintain the catcher in alignment with the product being unwound from accumulating helix H on drum 30.
It will be seen, therefore, that with the present invention, rotation of the laying assembly effects a deceleration of the product from velocity V1 to velocity V3 while simultaneously forming the product length resulting from the velocity differential between V1 and V3 into an ordered helical formation. The laying assembly is rotated continuously, with only minor speed adjustments to insure proper positioning of the trough delivery end 28b with reference to the catcher 42 at time Ta, when a product front end emerges from the trough delivery end 28b.
second pinch roll unit 52 is advantageously employed in advance of the apparatus to continue propelling the product forward at the velocity V, after the product tail end drops out of the upstream roll stands of the intermediate mill.
The receiving end of the drum 30 may advantageously be provided with a short helical track to assist in achieving an ordered spacing between the successive rings of the accumulating helix, and the laying pipe 26 and helical trough extension 28 may be rollerized to minimize frictional resistance.
As shown in Figure 9, the apparatus 10 may be employed in a single strand mode between an intermediate mill section 56 and a finishing section 58, the main advantage here being the ability to roll smaller diameter products at velocity V3 in the finishing section 58 while allowing the preceding mill sections to roll at the higher speed V1.
Thus, for example, the previously described billet with a 150mm cross section and a length of' 11.7m could be rolled on a continuous mill at a higher and safe take in speed on the order of 0.09m/s to produce 3.5mm diameter rod at a finishing speed of 105m/s. This avoids any need to change the pass design and guides, allows heavier coils to be produced, and eliminates billet inventory problems.
Advantageously, a second decelerator 10' and an additional finishing section 58' can be employed alternatively by means of a switch 68. By employing multiple decelerators 10, 10' and finishing sections 58, 58' to alternatively process successive billet lengths, the entire mill can be operated continuously at the higher delivery velocity V1, resulting in a substantial increase in the rolling capacity of the mill. Thus, for example, with an additional decelerator 10' and finishing mill 58' as shown in Figure 9, a mill rolling billets having 150mm cross sections and lengths of 11,7m into 5.5mm diameter rods at a delivery speed of 105m/sec can achieve a tonnage rate approximating that of the furnace output, e.g., 128 tons/hr.







We Claim:
1. A method of decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled
product moving longitudinally along a receiving axis (A) at a first velocity V1,
said method having the steps of:
directing said product through a first guide (26, 28) having an entry end (26a) aligned with said axis to receive said product, and an exit end (28b) spaced radially from said axis,
rotating said first guide about said axis to temporarily accumulate said product as a helix on a cylindrical drum (30); and
rotating said drum in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of said guide to thereby unwind said product from said drum to a second guide;
characterized in that
delivering said product in an exit direction (B) transverse to said axis (A) and in the form of said helix; and having said first guide with a curved intermediate section (26b) and
continuously rotating said first guide in a direction opposite to said exit direction at a velocity (V2), thereby decelerating the product being delivered from said exit end to a reduced velocity V3 equal to V1-V2.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1, having the steps of:
determining the time of arrival of the front end of said product at said exit end; and
adjusting the rotational speed of said first guide to position said exit end for delivery of the product front end of said second guide at said time of arrival.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said drum is rotated at a surface velocity that causes said product to be unwound at reduced velocity V3.
4. The method as claimed in claim 1, having the step of reciprocally shifting said second guide in parallel with said axis to maintain said second guide in alignment with the product being unwound from said drum.

5. The method as claimed in claim 1, having the step of forcibly advancing the product along said axis into said first guide.
6. A method of decelerating and temporarily accumulating a hot rolled product substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Documents:

828-del-2004-abstract.pdf

828-del-2004-claims.pdf

828-DEL-2004-Correspondence Others-(09-11-2011).pdf

828-del-2004-correspondence-others-po.pdf

828-del-2004-correspondence-others.pdf

828-del-2004-description (complete).pdf

828-del-2004-drawings.pdf

828-del-2004-form-1.pdf

828-DEL-2004-Form-16-(09-11-2011).pdf

828-del-2004-form-19.pdf

828-del-2004-form-2.pdf

828-del-2004-form-3.pdf

828-del-2004-form-5.pdf

828-DEL-2004-GPA-(09-11-2011).pdf

828-del-2004-gpa.pdf


Patent Number 243563
Indian Patent Application Number 828/DEL/2004
PG Journal Number 44/2010
Publication Date 29-Oct-2010
Grant Date 26-Oct-2010
Date of Filing 05-May-2004
Name of Patentee MORGAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
Applicant Address 15 BELMONT STREET, WORCESTER, MASSACHUSCTTS 01605, USA
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 T. MICHAEL SHORE 161 MOUNTAIN ROAD, PRINCCTON, MA 1541, USA
PCT International Classification Number B21B 39/00
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 60/470,265 2003-05-14 U.S.A.
2 60/470,264 2004-04-26 U.S.A.