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December

Forgemasters cast biggest ever ingot in UK

18 December 2007

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has cast its first ever 300 tonne ingot using a unique new ingot mould.

The giant ingot is the biggest forging ingot Forgemasters has ever produced, and is due to go through the forging process before Christmas.

The ingot will be forged into a large steel rolls for use in the huge steel-plate producing mills of India and East Asia. 

Dr Martin Kearney, technical director for the engineering arm of SFIL, said: "Forged rolls of all sizes are in huge demand but the expansion of plate mills in particular, has driven the need for this development. 

"The new ingot size means we will be producing a finished roll weighing approximately 170 tonnes. To do this, the ingot we work from needs to be closer to 300 tonnes.

"The benefits of these large roll sizes are that the steel sheets they produce are wider. This saves massive amounts of welding time on large-scale constructions, but more importantly, constructions using less welding require less inspection for material fatigue along those joints." 

SFIL's subsidiary design and project management company Vulcan SFM and its skilled staff have been integral to the success of the project, working out the complex process for making the huge ingots. 

Added Dr Kearney: "Finite element modelling to simulate the processes involved has underpinned the project, but considerable praise needs to go to the operational personnel and management for overcoming various logistical and engineering issues.

"Our customers have worked very closely with us on this project to create an optimum size of ingot for forging their rolls.

"The sheer size of the components that make up the iron mould assembly, its handling and its positioning within the existing vacuum pouring facility has required a team effort right across the company."