A novel hybrid strip finishing process to improve mechanical properties and reduce energy consumption
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The growing demand for new steel grades, such as high formability steels and high or ultra-high strength steels for structural and safety-related automotive components, make manufacturing steel sheets an increasingly complex task. A novel hybrid process (HyP), that combines the skin-pass and tension levelling processes into one production step is proposed to improve the steel strip manufacturing chain. The HyP applies asymmetrical rolling (H-ASR) by using different roll diameters and by bending the strip before it enters the roll gap. The potential advantages of H-ASR, such as the introduction of through-thickness higher plastic deformation and the use of reduced roll force and power, were investigated by means of elastic-plastic finite element models and experimental data. The numerical models were validated by experiments at a HyP pilot facility and by industrial trials. Analytical estimation of the appropriate bending limits was included. The contact condition, material deformation and stress state during rolling were analysed and compared with the results of a conventional skin-pass process. It was verified that the proposed H-ASR introduced higher shear deformation throughout the strip thickness than a traditional skin-pass process. The positive influence of this fact was verified by tensile and formability tests on material processed by the HyP pilot facility. The results indicate that the HyP produces sheets with better drawability, satisfactory strength, and formability qualities comparable to those of the conventional finishing processes. What’s more, the HyP boasts all these advantages while using a space-saving layout and reducing energy consumption as compared to traditional finishing processes.
KeywordsSkin-pass Tension-levelling Asymmetric rolling Mechanical properties Finite element
The authors would like to express their gratitude for the financial support provided by the European Union, under the RFCS project reference RFSR-CT-2007-00016, which has made this research possible. Special thanks to U. Weirauch Engr. and K. Boguslawsky Engr., both from Andritz Sundwig GmbH (Hemer, Germany), for their invaluable dedication in building the HyP pilot facility and for their subsequent assistance. The authors would also like to thank G. Zwickel Engr. and M. Ullrich Engr., both from Bilstein Group GmbH (Hagen, Germany), for providing the extremely valuable skin-pass process experimental data. We would also like to express our gratitude to H. Gouveia PhD. from ISQ (Porto Salvo, Portugal) for the tests conducted on the processed materials. One of the authors (JFC) would also like to acknowledge the University of La Rioja for the FPI fellowship program. Finally, we would like to add that this work used the Beronia cluster (Universidad de La Rioja), which is supported by FEDER-MINECO grant number UNLR-094E-2C-225.
This study was funded by the European Union, under the RFCS project reference RFSR-CT-2007-00016.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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