Definitions of common steel processing terms and machines.
Annealing equipment is used to modify the grain structure of material. After the process of rolling steel through skin pass or a reducing mill, the granular composition of the steel changes and the steel becomes hardened. The annealing process heats up the material in a furnace to soften the material by reducing the internal stress back to its original specifications. Types of annealing equipment are bell type furnaces, continuous annealing lines, and box annealing furnaces.
Coil Banding Lines or Coil Packaging Lines are one in the same. Often we get customers overly focused on the speed of a slitting line. However, if you cannot handle the new slit coils efficiently, it’s of little value how fast you can slit the steel. To keep your slitting line productive, you must get the coils off the slitting line quickly and efficiently.
A coil banding line bands the newly slit steel coils for shipping. A banding line may be as simple as a two arm turnstile, a downlayer, a linier conveyor and conical roll table. In that application, the operator manually straps the steel coil and takes it away with a cantilever jib crane. Or, it may be a complex, fully automatic line with a four arm turnstile, an automatic banding station with a stacker, and an eight station carousel, a scale with UPC labeling and shrink wrapping all controlled by a PLC.
A Coil Car is used to transport a coil from point to point. A coil car will generally transport the coil by cradling it instead of through the center.
A coil car can transport a master coil to be processed or remove a slit coil for storage or transportation.
The various types of coil cars include: L-Type Coil Cars, Transfer Coil Cars, V-Bed Coil Cars and Pit Type Coil Cars.
A Coil Painting Line consists of multiple machines working in synchronization with each other to apply a color or finishing coat to a coil. Most coil coating lines are for high production use, processing many tons a month. The machines in a coil coating line are an uncoiler with a coil car, a shear and end welder, entry accumulator, brushing unit, hot water rinsing station to clean the surface of the material, air drying station, chemical coater, chemical drying machine, cooling roll, paint primer coating roll, paint primer oven, finish coating roll where the paint is applied, finishing oven, exit accumulator, usually a protective film applicator, an exit shear, and a recoiler with a coil car.
Corrective leveling is configured like a basic steel coil leveler. However the backups are fully adjustable to create bend in the rolls. A corrective leveler can reduce shape defects across the strip and remove the entire coil set. These levelers are 17 to 23 work rolls and have adjustable backups. Some may have a 5HI or 6HI configuration for surface-critical material such as painted or stainless steel.
See also Levelers and Flatteners
A Cut-to-Length Line or CTL takes flat-rolled steel, or steel coils, unrolls it, levels it and cuts it to desired length as a sheet. Cut-to-Length lines are also known as blanking lines, level lines or shear lines.
Fifty years ago most steel sheet was purchased directly from the mills. However, it became more efficient to send the master coils to a service center where the material could be processed for the end user.
Cut-to-length lines or CTL lines can be start and stop, such as in heavy gauge metal processing which process materials up to 1" thick. Alternatively, cut-to-length lines can operate as a free loop on lighter gauge materials up to 0.06" thick. The basic parameters of cut-to-length lines (CTL Lines) are steel coil width, coil weight, material type, minimum and maximum thickness, tolerance, finished sheet length range and desired flatness.
Galaxie is one of the world’s largest dealers in used cut-to-length lines. Our cut-to-length line offerings include well-known brands such as: Herr Voss, ProEco, Delta Brands, Red Bud, Rowe, and Braner.
A Downlayer is usually the first part of a coil banding line that is designed to grab a metal coil off of a turnstile or a recoiler on a slitting line. The coil is either pushed onto the downlayer from a turnstile or a recoiler’s push off plate, or a newer design, such as a pick and place downlayer, will slide onto a turnstile to grab the slit coil. Once the slit coil is on the downlayer, the downlayer lays down flat so it is symmetrical with the banding line and then will discharge the coil down the rest of the line. Usually a downlayer is hydraulically operated.
An Edging Line is used to remove burr from slit coils or sheared bar. An edging line can be for cut to length material or coil to coil, some being oscillate wound coils. An edging line consists of an uncoiler and coil car, flattener, edge conditioning section that uses different sized dies to apply pressure on the edges of the material to create a new usually rounded, deburred edge, a mill stand, decamber section, and a shear or a recoiler at the end of the line. Popular edging line brands are Tishken, Cauffiel, and Gauer.
An Extrusion Press heats up a billet of material, usually aluminum, before pressing the heated material through a die of a desired shape. Once the material is pressed through the die, it is cooled and then stretched so it is straight.
A Flattener is essential to coil processing. It is on the front end of a tube mill, pipe mill, spiral pipe mill, press, rollforming line, slitting line, or cut to length line to flatten the material before it is further processed. A coil flattener usually consists of three, five, or seven rolls. Material is flattened by removing stress from the material as it passes through each roll. Material is pressed from the top and bottom rolls until it is flat enough to process through the rest of the line. A flattener is different from a precision leveler because it usually only flattens the coil enough to be processed by removing cross bow or coil set. A precision leveler will achieve a more uniform “flatness” since they apply more pressure on the material with more rolls to remove more of the material’s stress.
Galvanizing is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, in order to prevent rusting. The term is derived from the name of Italian scientist Luigi Galvani. Although galvanization can be done with electrochemical and electrodeposition processes, the most common method in current use is hot-dip galvanization, in which steel parts are submerged in a bath of molten zinc. In industry, the term GI stands for galvanized iron, referring to a common galvanized steel used in many applications such as air ducts and trash cans.
Steel Coil Levelers fall into four categories:
Leveling is the process of straightening through a number of offset rolls, usually from 13 to 23, with a smaller diameter. Typically these machines are backed up with rolls behind the work rolls to minimize deflection.
Corrective Leveling is configured like a basic steel coil leveler. However the backups are fully adjustable to create bend in the rolls. A corrective leveler can reduce shape defects across the strip and remove the entire coil set. These levelers are 17 to 23 work rolls and have adjustable backups. Some may have a 5HI or 6HI configuration for surface-critical material such as painted or stainless steel.
Tension Leveling is the ultimate in corrective leveling. The material is run through an entry and exit set of bridle rolls – with the corrective leveler located between them. The strip is under great tension with a slight elongation above the yield point of the material and is simultaneously leveled. The material is shape corrected and relieved of most internal stresses. This process usually involves a dedicated line.
No matter how simple or complex your leveling needs, a Galaxie sales engineer is able to match the best machine to meet your coil leveling goals. We carry Herr Voss, Paxson, Mesta, Bronx, and Stamco, to name a few.
Multi-Blanking Lines or Multi-Strip Blanking Linestake flat-rolled steel, or coiled steel, unroll it, level it, slit it to desired width and cut it to desired length to form blanks. They are also known as blanking lines or combo lines.
A Pickling Line is used to treat the surface of steel coils to remove impurities. Material is run off of an uncoiler, washed, ran through tanks containing acid treatment, rinsed, and is then recoiled as clean material free from surface impurities. The most common type of pickling line is a push pull pickle line.
Presses can be Mechanical or Hydraulic and are commonly used for forging, clinching, molding, blanking, punching, deep drawing, stamping, and metal forming operations.
A Recoiler is a critical component of a slitting line, pickling line, galvanizing line, edging lines, and tension level line. A recoiler is used to take up material after it has been processed. During the feed up of material, the processed coil is fed into a recoiler’s gripper slot to ensure it is secure for feed up. Once the material is secure, the recoiler’s mandrel is driven by an electric motor to feed material up until the process is finished. Once the coil is completely on the mandrel, it is banded so it is secure for transportation around the plant. Once banded the material is pushed off the recoiler’s mandrel by a hydraulic push off plate onto a coil car or turnstile for packaging.
Roll Forming or Rollforming is a continuous bending operation in which a long strip of sheet metal (typically coiled steel) is passed through sets of rolls mounted on consecutive stands, each set performing only an small part of the bend, until the desired cross-section profile is obtained. Roll forming is ideal for producing constant-profile parts with long lengths and in large quantities.
It typically begins with a large coil of sheet metal, supported on an uncoiler. The strip is fed through an entry guide to properly align the material as it passes through the rolls of the mill, each set of rolls forming a bend until the material reaches its desired shape. Roll sets are typically mounted one over the other on a pair of horizontal parallel shafts supported by a stand(s). Side rolls and cluster rolls may also be used to provide greater precision and flexibility and to limit stresses on the material. The shaped strips can be cut to length ahead of a roll forming mill, between mills, or at the end of the roll forming line.
Galaxie offers a wide variety of rollforming machines such as: Rafted, Gutter, and Joist
A Rolling Mill or Reduction Mill has a common construction independent of the specific type of rolling being performed:• Backup rolls - are intended to provide rigid support required by the working rolls to prevent bending under the rolling load
Slabs are the feed material for hot strip mills or plate mills and blooms are rolled to billets in a billet mill or large sections in a structural mill. The output from a strip mill is coiled and, subsequently, used as the feed for a cold rolling mill or used directly by fabricators.
Scrap Choppers are usually a component of slitting lines, cut-to-length lines, pickling lines, or other coil processing lines that create edge trimmed material. Scrap choppers “chop” metal strip as it is pulled through them with two rotary shear blades powered by an electric motor. After material is chopped, it is caught by a scrap conveyor bin.
Scrap Winders are usually a component of a slitting line. A scrap winder operates at the same speed as a slitting head to wind edge trimmed material from the slitting head into the unit. Once the scrap winder is full of material, the operator will strap the wound scrap and move it to an area in the plant where slitter scrap is collected.
There are many uses for Shears in coil processing. A shear is used to crop the tongue off a coil on an entry or exit end of a slitting line, cut to length line, pickling line, or galvanizing line, used on the entry end of a tube and pipe mill before material is welded together then fed into an accumulator, and used to cut material into sheets on a cut to length line. Shears are pneumatically, hydraulically, or mechanically operated. Popular types of shears in a cut-to-length line are straight cut shears, rotary shears, and flying shears.
A Sheet Stacker is a component at the end of a cut to length line or blanking line. Sheet stackers are used to stack the cut material after it has come off an uncoiler, flattened through a leveler, and then sheared. Material is fed into the stacker, end stopped, sheared, and then will drop onto a pallet on top of a conveyor. A stacker will have side positioning arms to make sure the material is uniform in its stack. A sheet stacker also has an end stop arm so the material does not go further than a specific, measured length. Once the material is completely stacked it is either discharged at the end of a stacker or the side with a roller conveyor. There are a few types of stackers: sliding stackers, air blowing stackers, bomb-door or “drop type” stackers, magnetic and vacuum type stackers, and a combined bomb-door/air blowing stackers.
A Slitting Line divides master metal coils into smaller coils of a precise width so secondary users such as metal stampers, tube producers or roll forming houses can use it in production of some type of finished product.
Slitting Lines are built to handle a wide array of steel coils. They range from 8” to 84” in width. Master coil weights can range from 3,000 to 80,000 pounds. Flat rolled steel can be produced as thick as 7/8” thick to as thin as .006” with certain specialty metals. Speed can range as fast as 2,000 feet per minute, or as low as 100 feet per minute, depending on the desired processing.
Welded Tube Mills and Welded Pipe Mills have been popular since modern flat rolled, or coiled, steel first make its way into the steel business more than a century ago.
The tube mill is really a series of individual machines starting with an uncoiler, straightener, shear and end welder – commonly known as the entry line. The forming mill consists of a break down section and forming section, usually consisting of three to six passes. Each pass made up of a upper and lower arbor that contains roller die tooling which forms the steel strip gradually into a round shape. This process is carried on through the fin passes which get the newly formed tube ready to weld. In the weld box the tube is welded by a high frequency or solid state welder. The inner and outer bead may be removed, before the four-to-six stand sizing section, where tube is made dimensionally accurate, or formed further into a square or rectangle. The final process cuts the new pipe to length, where it can be bundled in a magazine.
Galaxie is one of the world's largest dealers in used pipe and tube mills. From structural to API mills, we have handled them all for more than two decades. Abbey Etna, Yoder, Mckay, Mannesman, Seuthe, Driestern, Oto Mills, Kusakabe, Nakata, Turek and Heller, and MTM are some of the top manufacturers we have inventoried. Contact Galaxie today with your tube and pipe mill requirements and our sales engineers will match a machine to your needs.
Tension leveling is the ultimate in corrective leveling. The material is run through a entry and exit set of bridle rolls – with the corrective leveler located between them. The strip is under great tension with a slight elongation above the yield point of the material and is simultaneously leveled. The material is shape corrected and relieved of most internal stresses. This process usually involves a dedicated line.
ATension Stand is a critical component of a slitting line. A tension stand presses on slit coil strips to keep tension between the recoiler and the stand, while maintaining slack in the material in the looping pit.
Types of tension stands are rotary, drag board, and combination rotary drag board. A rotary tension stand consists of two coated rolls that press on the material and move at the same speed as the recoiler. A drag board tension stand applies pressure on the material with two felt covered boards. A drag board tension stand applies pressure with air bladders pushing the boards on the material. A rotary drag board tension stand is a combination of the two. In a rotary drag board tension stand you have felt covered boards applying pressure on the material simultaneously with two coated rolls.
A Turnstile is a component used on the entry and/or exit end of coil processing line for coil storage. A turnstile has one arm, two arms, three arms, or four arms with a c-hook slot to place and remove material with a crane. Turnstiles for heavier coils are turned with a hydraulic motor. Sometimes an exit turnstile for a slitting line will have a hydraulic pusher to push slit coils onto a downlayer for further packaging on a coil banding line. You will usually see a turnstile on a slitting line and cut to length line, and sometimes on a pickling line, galvanizing line, tube and pipe mill, rollforming line, or spiral pipe mill.
An Uncoiler is the entry part of all coil processing lines. There are three main types of uncoilers: cone, single mandrel, and dual mandrel. Cone and dual mandrel uncoilers consist of two separate pieces on separate bases that slide into a coil’s ID to secure it. These are usually used for coils with higher thicknesses and weights. A single mandrel uncoiler is the most common type of uncoiler that you will see on slitting lines, cut to length lines, tube and pipe mills, galvanizing lines, multiblanking lines, pickling lines, and rollforming lines. A single mandrel uncoiler has a mandrel that expands and a hold down roll to secure the coil on it. A single mandrel uncoiler also usually has a sliding base to adjust material alignment in the line, a brake to keep tension, and a feed up drive to feed material into the rest of a line.
A Coil Upender is used to adjust the direction of a coil for coil handling purposes. A coil is placed on the upender in “eye to the sky” or “eye horizontal” fashion then the upender, driven by an electric or hydraulic motor, flips the coil to the different orientation. The coil is then picked up by a forklift or crane for further handling.
Welded Tube Mills or Welded Pipe Mills have been popular since modern flat rolled, or coiled, steel first made its way into the steel business more than a century ago.
The tube mill is really a series of individual machines starting with an uncoiler, straightener, shear and end welder – commonly known as the entry line. The forming mill consists of a break down section and forming section, usually consisting of three to six passes. Each pass is made up of an upper and lower arbor that contains roller die tooling which forms the steel strip gradually into a round shape. This process is carried on through the fin passes which get the newly formed tube ready to weld. In the weld box the tube is welded by a high frequency or solid state welder. The inner and outer bead may be removed, before the four-to-six stand sizing section, where tube is made dimensionally accurate, or formed further into a square or rectangle. The final process cuts the new pipe to length, where it can be bundled in a magazine.
Some of the top manufacturers we have inventoried include: Abbey Etna, Yoder, Mckay, Mannesman, Seuthe, Driestern, Oto Mills, Kusakabe, Nakata, Turek and Heller, and MTM.
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