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600 tonnes of steel heads to South America

16 June 2011

Two massive castings weighing almost 600 tonnes collectively have started on a 4,000 mile journey from Sheffield to Venezuela.

Two massive castings weighing almost 600 tonnes collectively have started on a 4,000 mile journey from Sheffield to Venezuela.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has made two major castings for the export to South America.

Measuring 13 metres in length, 4.7m in width and 2m high, the castings are two of the largest that the 200-year-old steelworks has ever produced and are part of a larger multi-million pound contract.

At 290 tonnes each, the castings will create a large scale mill housing to roll plate steel for German company SMS Siemag, part of the SMS group, a global leader in plant construction and mechanical engineering. 

The 600 tonne castings form the outer frame of the rolling mill with a series of stacked rolls inside the housing, applying huge forces to roll the steel plate to a desired size.

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at SFIL, said: “This contract is a further extension of our ongoing relationship with the SMS group of companies which we have maintained for over 30 years.

“This casting is amongst the largest we have ever produced at Forgemasters and we are proud that we are the only European foundry able to cast products of this scale.

“To cast components of this complexity takes an enormous amount of preparation and innovation. The sheer size alone highlights the excellent skills and vision of our engineers.” 

The vast components will travel from Forgemasters Brightside Lane site on a heavy loader to the port at Grimsby. Due to the strict transportation requirements the roads out of the city were closed and a police escort accompanied them. 

Production of the castings required Forgemasters to make a six ladle pour each with 100 tonnes of molten steel into a specially designed mould. The castings will now travel over 4,000 miles to their destination in Venezuela, where they will undergo finishing work.

As part of the contract Forgemasters is currently underway with the first pair of rolls which will fit inside the structure, weighing 130 tonnes each, and production of the next set is expected to begin in April 2012.

The production of the rolling mill house is part of a number of castings Forgemasters has produced over the years for the SMS Group which includes a 325 tonne casting for the foundation platen for the Kisco closed-die press in South Korea, valued at more than £1 million.

SFIL continues to supply an increasing global demand for high quality engineered products to key industries such as defence, nuclear, oil and gas exploration, power generation, marine and construction.