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Surfacing continuous

casting rollers
by Baudoin Loosen, S.A. ESAB N. V:, Belgium

There is no doubt that continuous casting has generally been introduced in steel
production plants. Continuous casting produces advantages in terms of production
time, production surface, energy savings, investments, production losses together
with much higher productivity.
Productivity is intlucnced by the
number of interruptions in production. These interruptions are
associated with the rate of roller
wear. Special attention has been
paid to the metallurgical aspects
of this wear and the economy of
reconditioning the rollers.

Roller wear
Roller wear has different causes.
The importance of the different
types of wear is also different as
the conditions in the different
parts of the continuous casting
machine can vary significantly.
The different causes can be described as follows.

Rollers arc heatcd up by contact

with the hot metal. They arc then
cooled by water spraying. The
maximum temperature and the
frequency of heating and cooling
can be different, but these thermal shocks always produce surface cracking in the rollers. Maximum temperature. remaining
time. cooling rate and frequency
influence the speed of wear, but
the chemical composition of the
wear surface also has an cffcct.

The corrosion of the surface is

due to the surface coming into
contact with the cooling water.
The composition of the cooling
water is different due to local influences such as the origin of the
water, the contact of the water
with slag at high temperature and
contact with the insulation material. pH measurements often produce figures of 5 and sometimes
even 4. This can produce either

The harsh enviroment in steel mills imposes rigorous demands on the materials
and products that are used.

stress corrosion or intercrystalline

corrosion, both of which increase
the surface cracking.

In the lower parts of the installation, there is oxidation on the surface of the steel. This produces
oxides which can provoke high
abrasive wear.

wear due to erosion. Roller wear

is a very complex mechanism.
which is influenced by many local
conditions. Most users define the
wear limit as occuring when the
diameter of the roller is decreascd
by 4 mm or when cracks appear
which can cause the rupture of
the roller.

Treatment of the rollers


The bending of the rollers during

production causes high stress in
the surface of the rollers. As has
already been established, this surface displays cracks due to thermal shocks or corrosion. These
cracks will increase due to fatigue
stress. The cracks can sometimes
increase so much that the rollers

As mentioned above. a minimum

of 2 mm of metal with the final
composition after machining the
surface is required. This means
that we actually need 1 buffer
layer and 2 surfacing layers to obtain a final layer with a thickness
of 5 mm. After machining. 3 to 3
mm will remain. The total thickness to be welded is 12 mm. The
rollers will be machined 10 mm
below the final dimension.


Water contact between the roller

surface and the hot metal produces steam which can have very
high pressure and very high speed.
This is another potential source of

Worn rollers

Worn rollers, which have already

been in production. will display a
surface with a great many surface
cracks and corroded surfaces. All

the cracks have to be machined

away. This sometimes necessitates
very deep machining into the base
metal. When all the cracks have
been machined away, it is often
necessary to build up the base
material with weld metal of the
same composition. Before starting
with the surfacing layers, the roller surface must be straight and
have the dimensions mentioned

Choice of weld material

Building-up material
Normally. we use the same material as the base metal, which has
the following composition: 1.2%
Cr and 0.5% MO .
Very good results are obtained
with OK 13.10 wire and OK 10.61
Buffer layer
Buffer layers are not always necessary. In most cases. we use the
same wire as the final layers.
Three layers are then made with
flux-cored wire OK Tubrodur
15.73 and OK Flux 10.61.
In some cases, a layer with 17%
Cr is used as a buffer layer. This
is done to obtain the finishing
composition of 12% Cr more rapidly. In such cases, solid wire OK
Autrod 16.8 and OK Flux 10.6 are
Finishing layers
The best results when it comes to
resistance to this complex wear
have in fact been obtained with
the following composition:
C 0.14% Cr 13.5% V 0.25%
Si 0.3% Ni 2.5% Nb 0.25%
Mn 1.2% Mo 1.5%
The welding consumables
which produce this composition
are flux-cored wire OK Tubrodur
15.73 and OK Flux 10.61. Strip
and flux can also be obtained on
During welding, weld defects can
appear. These defects have to be
repaired immediately, without
cooling the roller. This means
that the defect has to be ground
and welded with flux-cored wire
OK Tubrodur IS.73 for MAG
welding. A diameter of 1.6 mm is
the best solution and the composition is identical.

Choice of welding
Different techniques can be used
to obtain the final surface of the
roller. Welding can be performed
with one wire or twin arc, with or
without a weaving system. Finally,
strip cladding with a strip width of
30 to 100 mm can be used. Depending on the dimensions of the
rollers, different systems have advantages or disadvantages.
Single wire welding is the most
common method and it can be
used on small and large rollers
but the productivity is low. Deposition rates between 5 and 9 kg/h
can be obtained with a welding
current of between 400 and 700
A. A weaving system produces
more uniform layers which are
easier to machine.
Twin-arc welding produces
much higher productivity. When
weaving is used, deposition rates
of between 10 and 18 kg/h are
possible with a welding current of
between 600 and 1,000 A. Usually
two wires with a diameter of 2,4
mm are used. With the weaving
system, beads with a width up to
60 mm can also be obtained on
the smallest roller with a diameter
of 200 mm. Bead appearance is
very good and very flat, so that
machining is easy.
The advantage of strip cladding
is that different widths can be
used on different roller diameters.
On small rollers, 30 mm strip is
used while strips of 60 up to 100
mm can be used on the larger
ones. Deposition rates of between
6 and 20 kg/h can be obtained.
Another advantage of strip cladding is the low percentage of dilution. This makes it possible to
eliminate the buffer layer. The
only inconvenience at the moment is that the flexibility when it
comes to obtaining special compositions is not as great as it is
with cored wires.
The final choice of welding
method has to be made after
taking account of all the economic aspects such as product cost,
deposition rate, dilution, surplus
thickness required for machining,
final cladding appearance and
susceptibility to defects. It is possible for one welder to control
two welding heads. This means

that an average productivity rate

of 25 to 30 kg/h per welder is possible.

Welding procedure
Preheating temperature
Preheating the rollers is very important. The minimum temperature is 250C. The preheating
must be homogeneous throughout the surface. The best way to
do this is to put the rollers in an
oven at 300C. The temperature
should be measured with contact
thermocouples on different places
on the surface of the roller. Too
low a preheating temperature
could cause serious problems
during welding. The first layer
which has a lower chromium content and a higher carbon content
as a result of the dilution. will
quickly build up martensite and
can initiate cracks. With the second and third layers. these cracks
will grow and damage the roller.
Interpass temperature
After preheating, welding has to
start as quickly as possible.
During welding, the temperature
of the roller will rise due to the
heat input. The temperature
should be kept between 300C
and 450C. A higher temperature
will cause the welding quality of
the flux to deteriorate. A lower
temperature can produce martensite cracks. During welding. an air
cooling system can be placed just
in front of the place where the
welding is going to be performed.
Compressed air can be blown
onto the surface of the plate.
Never let the roller cool between
two layers. If work has to bc
interrupted for a long period (end
of the day), the roller has to be
placed in an oven at 300C until
welding can begin again. The best
way is to weld until all the cladding is finished.

After welding. the roller can be

cooled at a cooling rate of SOY/h.
Cooling under a thermal blanket
is preferable.

Post-weld heat treatment

and temper response
Heat treatment
After welding and cooling. the
rollers are put into the heat treat-

tain this temperature for 8 h. This

is necessary to obtain a uniform
hardness. After treatment, remove the rollers from the furnace
and cool them in still air. The best
way is to put them under a fibreglass blanket. See Fig. 1.
Different hardnesses can be obtained with this cladding composition. After welding and cooling,
the surface hardness is between
45 and 4 8 HRC. After tempering,
the hardness can vary from 34 to
48 HRC depending on the temper
temperature (see Fig. 2). If the remaining time in the furnace is
8 h, the surface hardness can be
obtained with a maximum difference of 2 HRC.

Temper Response Curve

OK 15.73 - OK 10.61

to produce a service life of more

than 3,000,OOO tonnes of steel. In
the future, the final quality will be
obtained in two lavers instead of
three. This will reduce the cost by
more than 30%.
The other objective is to increase service life. This can only
be done by finding a composition
or a welding procedure which reduces the cracking problems
caused by corrosion.

Quality improvement

ment furnace. Normally, different

rollers are put into the furnace togcthcr. Connect thermocouples
on the surface of different rollers
SO that good temperature measurements can be made. Heat the
roller at a maximum rate of
SOC/h to the tempering temperature. Equalise the roller temperature to -+ 5C for each thermocouple. After the roller has
reached the temperature. main-

The most important problem is

still the cracks which appear in
the heat affected zone between
the layers. Tests are being conducted to reduce intcrcrystalline
corrosion and stress corrosion.
The main idea is to reduce the
carbon content to a minimum.
Normally, the C content is around
0.12%. New tests arc being made
with C 0.05%. Tests are will be
conducted at a later stage with C
0.01%. Results will be obtained
after one year of use.

Mr. Baudoin Loosen obtained his

diploma o f Welding Engineer in
1959 After his military service, he
started in Areos and worked with
R&D. From 1972 mr Loosen was
responsible for the customer
technical service of Areos and in
1980 he was appointed product
manager, welding consumables.
After the Esab aquisition of Arcos

The actual technique of cladding
o f the rollers has made it possible

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