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Sandvik has launched a range of furnace rollers made from Kanthal APMT that are claimed to outlast rollers made from conventional alloys by more than four times.

In a first phase, the furnace rollers will be offered for roller hearth furnaces and walking beam furnaces in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The rollers will be offered to other markets in subsequent phases.

Kanthal APMT, an iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy, is suitable for high-temperature applications such as furnace rollers, used for transporting products that are annealed in air atmosphere.

In particular, Kanthal APMT is characterised by a combination of high creep strength and resistance to oxidation at high temperatures, critical for high-performance furnace rollers.

Tubes made from Kanthal APMT can withstand temperatures up to 1,250C (2,280F).

Consequently, furnace rollers made from Kanthal APMT remain straight and rigid at these temperatures, reducing the tendency to sag and bend – problems commonly associated with conventional metallic tube materials such as nickel-chromium (NiCr) alloys.

The performance of these rollers boosts productivity, reduces maintenance costs and contributes to a cleaner environment.

The new rollers require only one maintenance stop instead of two, providing seven to eight days extra production.

With a typical production rate of one ton an hour, the steel mill can expect to produce an extra 170 tons a year.

The higher reliability also means that costs for large numbers of spare rollers can be eliminated.

Rollers made from Kanthal APMT, together with a new roller design, offer a surface said to improve the quality of the tube products.

In contrast, traditional rollers can compromise the quality of tubes due to the rough and uneven surfaces formed on these rollers.

In addition to the higher temperature capabilities, rollers made from Kanthal APMT require less, if any, water for cooling purposes, reducing energy requirements and making the furnace designed with these rollers a greener approach to tube manufacturing.

Sandvik Materials Technology

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