Title of Invention

"A METHOD OF PRODUCING STEEL STRIP"

Abstract The present invention relates to a method of producing steel strip which includes the steps of: (a) continuously casting molten steel containing residuals selected from the group of copper, nickel, chromium, molybdenum and tin into a strip; and (b) cooling the strip at a selected cooling rate of at least 0.01°C/sec through the austenite to ferrite transformation temperature range between 850°C and 400°C; which method is characterised by selecting the concentration of residuals in the steel composition to produce a microstructure that provides the steel in the strip produced in step (b) with a.yield strength of at least 450 MPa, the microstructure being: (i) a mixture of polygonal ferrite and low temperature transformation products; or (ii) predominantly low temperature transformation products.
Full Text This application claims priority to Australian Provisional Patent Application No. PR0460, filed October 2, 2000.
Background and Summary of the Invention
The present invention relates to a method of producing steel strip and the cast strip produced according to the method.
In particular, the present invention relates to producing steel strip in a continuous strip caster.
The term "strip" as used in the specification is to be understood to mean a product of 5mm thickness or less.
The applicants have carried out extensive research and development work in the field of casting steel strip in a continuous strip caster in the form of a twin roll caster.
In general terms, casting steel strip continuously in a twin roll caster involves introducing molten steel between a pair of contra-rotated horizontal casting rolls which are internally water cooled so that metal shells solidify on the moving rolls surfaces and are brought together at the nip between them to produce a solidified strip delivered downwardly from the nip between the rolls, the term "nip" being used to refer to the general region at which the rolls are closest together. The molten metal may be poured from a ladle into a smaller vessel from which it flows through a metal delivery nozzle located above the nip so as to direct it into the nip between the rolls, so forming a casting pool of molten metal supported on the casting surfaces of the rolls
immediately above the nip and extending along the length of the nip. This casting pool is usually confined between side plates or dams held in sliding engagement with end surfaces of the rolls so as to dam the two ends of the casting pool against outflow, although alternative means such as electromagnetic barriers have also been proposed. The casting of steel strip in twin roll casters of this kind is for example described in United States Patents 5,184,668, 5,277,243 and 5,934,359.
The concentration of residuals in the steel composition can have a significant effect on the finished micros true ture, and in turn affect yield strength properties of cast strip. In particular, higher concentrations of residuals make it possible to use lower cooling rates to transform the strip from austenite to ferrite in a temperature range between 850°C and 400°C to produce microstructures in cast strip that provide high yield strengths. It is understood that the transformation temperature range is within the range between 850°C and 400°C and not that entire temperature range. The precise transformation temperature range will vary with the chemistry of the steel composition and processing characteristics.
There is provided a method of producing steel strip which includes the steps of:
(a) continuously casting molten steel into a strip, said molten steel comprising a concentration of residuals in the steel composition selected with regard to the microstructure of the strip that is required to provide required mechanical properties; and
(b) cooling the strip to transform the strip
from austenite to ferrite in a temperature range between 850°C and 400°C.
The continuous caster may be a twin roll caster.
The term "residuals" covers levels of elements, such as copper, tin, zinc, nickel, chromium, and molybdenum, that are included in relatively small amounts, and are usually as a consequence of standard steel making. By way of example, the elements may be present as a result of using scrap steel to produce steel.
In one embodiment, the total amount of the residuals is 1.2 wt% or less. These residuals may be up to 2.0 wt% where harder steel strip is desired with yield strengths up to and in excess of 700 MPa. This weight percent is the total weight percent in the steel strip including the residuals from scrap steel and steel processing.
In one embodiment, the cast strip produced in step (a) may have a thickness of no more than 2mm.
In one embodiment, the cast strip produced in step (a) may include austenite grains that are columnar.
The steel may be low carbon steel. The term "low carbon steel" is understood to be mean steel of the following composition, in wt%:
C: 0.02-0.08 Si: 0.5 or less; Mn: 1.0 or less; residuals: 1.2 or less; and Fe: balance.
The low carbon steel may be silicon/manganese
killed and may have the following composition by weight:
Carbon 0.02 - 0.08%
Manganese 0.30 - 0.80%
Silicon 0.10 - 0.40%
Sulphur 0.002 - 0.05%
Aluminum less than 0.01%
The low carbon steel may be aluminum killed and may have the following composition by weight:
Carbon 0.02 - 0.08%
Manganese 0.40% max
Silicon 0.05% max
Sulphur 0.002 - 0.05%
Aluminum 0.05% max
The aluminum killed steel may be calcium treated.
The method may further include the step of inline hot rolling the cast strip after step (a) and prior to step (b).
Step (b) may include cooling the strip to transform the strip from the austenite to ferrite at a selected cooling rate of at least 0.01°C/sec, and usually at least 0.1 °C/sec, to produce a microstructure that provides required yield strength properties of the cast strip, the microstructure being selected from a group that includes microstructures that are:
(i) predominantly polygonal ferrite;
(ii) a mixture of polygonal ferrite and low temperature transformation products; and
(iii) predominantly low temperature transformation products.
It is understood that most embodiments of the present invention will have microstructures of types (ii) and (iii).
The term "low temperature transformation products" includes Widmanstatten ferrite, acicular ferrite, bainite, and martensite.
In order that the invention may be more fully explained, an example will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Brief Description of the Drawings
Figure 1 illustrates a strip casting installation incorporating an in-line hot rolling mill and coiler;
Figure 2 illustrates details of the twin roll strip caster; and
Figure 3 illustrates the effect of residuals on yield strength of cast strip.
Detailed Description of the Invention
The following description is in the context of continuous casting steel strip using a twin roll caster. The present invention is not limited to the use of twin roll casters and extends to other types of continuous strip casters.
Figure 1 illustrates successive parts of a production line whereby steel strip can be produced in accordance with the present invention. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a twin roll caster denoted generally as 11
which produces a cast steel strip 12 that passes in a transit path 10 across a guide table 13 to a pinch roll stand 14 comprising pinch rolls 14A. immediately after exiting the pinch roll stand 14, the strip passes into a hot rolling mill 16 comprising a pair of reduction rolls 16A and backing rolls 16B by in which it is hot rolled to reduce its thickness. The rolled strip passes onto a runout table 17 on which it may be force cooled by water jets 18 and through a pinch roll stand 20 comprising a pair of pinch rolls 20A, and thence to a coiler 19.
As shown in Figure 2, twin roll caster 11 comprises a main machine frame 21 which supports a pair of parallel casting rolls 22 having a casting surfaces 22A. Molten metal is supplied during a casting operation from a ladle (not shown) to a tundish 23, through a refractory shroud 24 to a distributor 25 and thence through a metal delivery nozzle 26 into the nip 27 between the casting rolls 22. Molten metal thus delivered to the nip 27 forms a pool 30 above the nip and this pool is confined at the ends of the rolls by a pair of side closure dams or plates 28 which are applied to the ends of the rolls by a pair of thrusters (not shown) comprising hydraulic cylinder units connected to the side plate holders. The upper surface of pool 30 (generally referred to as the "meniscus" level) may rise above the lower end of the delivery nozzle so that the lower end of the delivery nozzle is immersed within this pool.
Casting rolls 22 are water cooled so that shells solidify on the moving roll surfaces and are brought together at the nip 27 between them to produce the solidified strip 12 which is delivered downwardly from the nip between the rolls.
The twin roll caster may be of the kind which is illustrated and described in some detail in United States
Patents 5/184,668 and 5,277,243 or United States Patent 5,488,988 and reference may be made to those patents for appropriate constructional details which form no part of the present invention.
Typically, the strip passing from the twin roll caster will be of the order of 1400°C and the temperature of the strip presented to the hot rolling mill may be about 900-1100°C. The strip may have a width in the range of 0.9 m to 2.0 m and a thickness in the range of 0.7 mm to 2.0 mm. The strip speed may be in the order of 1.0 m/sec.
The cooling rate in transforming the strip from austenite to ferrite in a temperature range between 850°C and 400°C is selected to be at least 0.01°C/sec, preferably at least 0.1°C/sec, and may be in excess of 100°C/sec. With such cooling rates for low carbon steel it is possible to produce cast strip having microstructures including:
(i) predominantly polygonal ferrite;
(ii) a mixture of polygonal ferrite and low
temperature transformation products, such as a acicular ferrite, Widmanstatten ferrite, and bainite; and
(iii) predominantly low temperature transformation products.
It is understood that most embodiments of the present invention will have microstructures of types (ii) and (iii).
In the case of low carbon steels, such a range of microstructures can produce yield strengths in excess
Of 450 MPa.
The concentration of residuals in the steel is selected having regard to the finished microstructure of the cast strip that is required to provide required mechanical properties for the strip.
The present disclosure is based on experimental work that has found the presence of a high amount of residuals (0.2%Cr, 0.2%Ni, 0.2%Mo, 0,4%Cu, 0.2%Sn) has produced a strip with improved microstructure.
The experimental findings include that the austenite microstructure of strip cast at 75 m/min was similar to the microstructure of strip without residuals. However, when the cast strip with residuals was subjected to a standard cooling rate of 10-15°C/sec, the resultant finished microstructure was very different from that of the cast strip without residuals cooled at the same rate.
The observed microstructure of cooled cast strip with residuals was predominantly bainitic with only a thin band of grain boundary ferrite appearing along the prior austenite grain boundaries, indicating a severely suppressed ferrite transformation caused by the presence of residuals. The mechanical properties of the resultant product are very desirable, with typical values of 540 MPa yield strength, 650 MPa tensile strength and 15% total elongation. Such values could be achieved in the past by microalloying which added considerable cost to the production of the cast strip.
The effect of residuals was to enhance the proportion of low temperature transformation products (particularly the bainites) by lowering austenite to ferrite transformation temperatures and slowing the kinetics of polygonal ferrite formation.
One, but not the only one, of the important consequences of this finding is that an increase in the concentration of residuals effects a reduction in the cooling rate that is required to transform austenite to ferrite to form a required microstructure to provide high yield strengths.
Many modifications may be made to the present invention as described above without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





We claim:
1. A method of producing steel strip which comprises the steps of:
(a) continuously casting molten steel containing residuals selected from the group of copper, nickel, chromium, molybdenum and tin into a strip; and
(b) cooling the strip at a selected cooling rate of at least 0.01°C/sec through the austenite to ferrite transformation temperature range between 850°C and 400°C;
which method is characterised by selecting the concentration of residuals in the steel composition to produce a microstructure that provides the steel in the strip produced in step (b) with a yield strength of at least 450 MPa, the microstructure being:
(i) a mixture of polygonal ferrite and low temperature transformation products; or
(ii) predominantly low temperature transformation products.
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the total amount of the residuals is 2.0 wt% or less.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 wherein the total amount of the residuals is 1.2 wt% or less.
4. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the cast strip produced in step (a) has a thickness of no more than 2mm.
5. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the cast strip produced in step (a) contains austenite grains that are columnar.
6. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the steel is low carbon steel.
7. The method as claimed in claim 6 wherein the low carbon steel is silicon/manganese killed steel.
8. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the steel contains, by wt%:
Carbon 0.02-0.08%
Manganese 0.30 - 0.80%
Silicon 0.10-0.40%
Sulphur 0.002 - 0.05%
Aluminium less than 0.01 %
9. The method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the low carbon steel is an aluminium killed steel.
10. The method as claimed in claim 9 wherein the aluminium killed low carbon steel has the following composition by weight:
Carbon 0.02 - 0.08%
Manganese 0.40% max
Silicon 0.05% max

Sulphur 0.002 - 0.05%
Aluminium 0.05% max
11. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the molten steel is continuously cast in a twin roll caster.
12. The method as claimed in any of the preceding claims wherein the casted strip of step (a) is in-line hot rolled prior to step (b).


Documents:

412-delnp-2003-abstract.pdf

412-delnp-2003-claims.pdf

412-delnp-2003-complete specification (as filed).pdf

412-delnp-2003-complete specification (granted).pdf

412-delnp-2003-correspondence-others.pdf

412-delnp-2003-correspondence-po.pdf

412-delnp-2003-description (complete).pdf

412-delnp-2003-drawings.pdf

412-delnp-2003-form-1.pdf

412-delnp-2003-form-18.pdf

412-delnp-2003-form-2.pdf

412-delnp-2003-form-3.pdf

412-delnp-2003-form-5.pdf

412-delnp-2003-gpa.pdf

412-delnp-2003-pct-210.pdf

412-delnp-2003-pct-409.pdf

412-delnp-2003-petition-137.pdf

412-delnp-2003-petition-138.pdf

abstract.jpg


Patent Number 247836
Indian Patent Application Number 412/DELNP/2003
PG Journal Number 21/2011
Publication Date 27-May-2011
Grant Date 25-May-2011
Date of Filing 18-Mar-2003
Name of Patentee NUCOR CORPORATION
Applicant Address 2100 REXFORD ROAD, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA 28211, U.S.A.
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 MUKUNTHAN, KANNAPPAR 32 KINGSWAY AVENUE, RANKIN PARK, NEW SOUTH WALES 2287, AUSTRALIA.
2 BLEJDE, WALTER 67 LAKESHORE CIRCLE, BROWNSBURG, INDIANA 46112, USA.
3 MAHAPATRA, RAMA 5451 ELKHORN DRIVE, APARTMENT 1027, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46254, USA.
4 STREZOV, LAZAR 7 MARIN STREET, ADAMSTOWN HEIGHTS, NEW SOUTH WALES 2289, AUSTRALIA.
PCT International Classification Number B22D 11/06
PCT International Application Number PCT/AU01/01224
PCT International Filing date 2001-09-28
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 PR0460 2000-10-02 Australia