Compact helical bevel gearboxes prove power at ArcelorMittal plant 14 August 2013

Watt Drive (part of the WEG Group) compact helical bevel gearboxes are proving their performance on a new straightening unit at steel producer ArcelorMittal's plant in Belval, Luxembourg.

The project, to convert one strand on ArcelorMittal's six-strand caster to a new casting format – the Beam Blank 4 (BB4) –was carried out by engineering firm TBR Casting Technologies (part of the Inteco Group).

Leonhard Paar, engineering manager at TBR Casting Technologies, explains that the BB4 format required a new straightening unit around 30% larger than the largest previously used, to facilitate production of girders and special profiles in the downstream rolling mill.

TBR called on Watt Drive's expertise and selected its K139 helical bevel gearbox – four for use on the straightener and one as a spare – not least because of their small size and simple mounting on the plant shaft.

"The comparatively slim design of the K139 gearbox was a fundamental prerequisite for creating a reliable and easy to maintain straightener," states Paar.

"Thanks to its particular compactness and robustness, the larger BB4 format at the modified plant can be cast to the required quality, while at the same time reducing the servicing overhead," he adds.

In fact, because of the demanding requirements, Watt Drive customised its standard K139 helical bevel gearbox not only to withstand high ambient temperatures on the BB4 strand, but also to deliver high torque throughout the large control range requirement.

In addition, Watt Drive took into account ArcelorMittal's requirement for an integrated water cooling system when designing the self-ventilated motor and gearbox.

The cooling system reduces the oil temperature by means of internal gear pipework, but special motor and gearbox seals were still required, so Watt Drive used temperature-resistant Viton shaft seal rings on hardened running surfaces.

Each of the helical bevel geared motors now delivers 5kW drive power with 17,580Nm torque at a rotational speed of 2.2 rpm, 50 Hz. The drives are designed for frequency inverter operation to regulate the strand speed – the larger the beam blank formats, the slower the speed of strand drive. An integrated 100 Nm brake with

Interestingly, to improve ease of maintenance, Watt Drive also designed the oil level indicators to be more prominent and easier to read. Also, the gearboxes have been fitted with oil expansion chambers to prevent pressure build-up and seal damage, given the quantity of oil required in these vertical construction gearboxes.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
WEG Electrical Motors (UK) Ltd

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