Voestalpine starts up continuous caster at Donawitz

Voestalpine’s Metal Engineering division has commissioned a new, fully automated continuous caster, with an annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes, Kallanish learns from the company.

The division at voestalpine’s Donawitz site produces high-grade steels for processing into special rails for railway infrastructure, premium wires for the automotive industry, and high-quality seamless tubes for oil & gas exploration.

It spent around €90 million ($105m) on the new caster, which it says will allow the group to make even higher-purity steels with optimal surface properties. For example, cracks caused by extreme stresses on rail surfaces can be prevented through the use of homogenous material structures, it says.

The CC4, as it is called, replaces a caster that had been in operation for 40 years, and fully complies with all Industry 4.0 standards, voestalpine emphasises.

The facility was supplied by Primetals and can produce round blooms with a diameter of 230mm and rectangular blooms with a cross-section of 270x360mm. It is designed so that it can also produce a format of 440x330mm. It will be able to process rail steels, case-hardening steels, machining steels, feedstock for seamless steel tubes, heat-treated steels, spring steels, and various other sorts.