Forgemasters cast 300 tonne ingot

Sheffield Forgemasters International

(SFIL) has cast its first ever 300 tonne ingot using a new ingot mould.

The ingot, the largest produced by Forgemasters, is due to go through the forging process in the latter half of December.

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

The new mould is said to have significantly increased the size range of Forgemasters’ steel rolls. It can now produce rolls for plates of steel over 4.5m wide, which is suited to shipbuilding industries.

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.’

Dr Martin Kearney looks on at the 300 tonne ingot

The two-year development of ingot sizes has taken Forgemasters’ stock production from 2.7m in diameter, to 2.9m before creating a mould for ingots of 3.3m diameter.

Forgemasters say they are aiming to produce twelve of these ingots a year, with the next due to be cast in February 2008.