Steel strip processing

Experience in cutting-edge product integration

High-performance strip processing lines and equipment for all applications.
John Cockerill responds to the challenges its clients face by providing them with solutions for treating the latest high-resistance steels (AHSS and UHSS), including DP (dual-phase), TRIP (transformation-induced plasticity), FB (ferrite-bainite), CP (complex phase) and TWIP (twin-induced plasticity).

Very high-resistance steels (AHSS and UHSS) are considered the best option for decreasing the weight of a vehicle. The steel industry is now in the process of preparing the third generation of this type of steel and John Cockerill is developing solutions to the technological challenges that they represent, which requires a certain amount of innovation with regards to automated cooling techniques. With this in mind, we have also developed a patented pre-oxidation chamber process that controls oxidation on the surface of the strip linked to the annealing of silicone steels and ensures good zinc adhesion. Combining the pre-oxidation and oxidation chambers makes it possible to control oxidation on both sides of the strip.

With regards to steel strip processing equipment, John Cockerill offers a comprehensive range of lines, furnaces and other equipment designed and manufactured to add maximum value. We design and deliver new facilities whilst at the same time upgrading and improving the quality and productivity of existing lines. Taking our clients’ needs as our starting point, we develop innovative combined line solutions, including, for example, combined continuous annealing and galvanising lines (Combi CGA-CGL) that guarantee a superior surface quality for very high-resistance automotive structural parts. Combined continuous galvanising and colour coating lines limit investment costs and working capital needs by reducing stock levels whilst at the same time eliminating the need to oil the galvanised strip or remove any grease before colour coating.

Our hot-dip galvanising lines mean that we are able to apply a wide range of coatings, including our latest offering, ALuSi.

Our cutting-edge strip processing lines incorporate all of our latest innovations, including a several-stage strip cleaning process, vertical furnaces (including the L-Top mathematical model and the energy-recovering Jet Cooling System), the soaking section and the Air Knife system, the APC Blowstab® cooling system, the online skinpass system and the tension levelling system, organic and chemical post-treatment procedures, side trimmers and exit shears.

Innovatively designed furnaces

The latest-generation John Cockerill processing and the corresponding mathematical models are designed to process the widest possible range of products, from steels with a very low carbon content to very high-resistance steels of any width. They also minimise thermal inertia and follow for greater energy efficiency, as well as allowing process settings to be changed more quickly.

The best possible heating solution is determined based on physical, mechanical and thermal models that can be used to anticipate how the strip will behave on the line.

Non-oxidising ceramic fibre furnaces, Iconel P or PP radiant tubes, the latest-generation jet coolers and patented mathematical models designed to monitor all process conditions, both temporary and permanent, are just some of the technologies we use to ensure that John Cockerill furnaces offer the very best in cutting-edge design.

John Cockerill has set the benchmark with its Blowstab® patented strip stabilising and cooling system, controlling the vibration of the strip within the jet cooler and after the zinc pot. Dynamically controlling the tension in the strip, the roller profile and the temperature of the strip on a global level makes it possible to optimise the entire process, as well as the quality of the product.

John Cockerill’s mathematical models have been successfully adopted not only with our own furnaces but also with those of our main competitors for the purposes of improving both productivity and the quality of the strip.

Automated and cutting-edge cooling technologies

One of the major fields of innovation that has emerged over recent years relates to the development of a number of complementary and ultra-fast strip cooling techniques that make it possible to process the latest-generation steels.

In order to guarantee the required strip quality and stability and to reduce energy consumption, John Cockerill offers both its patented cutting-edge low-vibration cooling system Blowstab® and the latest-generation cooling equipment in the form of the IWAC® liquid cooling system and the UDC® ultra-dry cooling system. These solutions offer a cooling speed of 1000°C and 600°C per second respectively without oxidising the strip, to make cold-rolled steel even more resistant whilst maintaining its ductility.

The range

Strip processing lines

  • Continuous annealing lines (CALs);
  • Continuous hot-dip galvanising lines (CGLs) designed to apply various coatings, including the very latest AluSi coatings;
  • Dual-product lines;
  • Continuous electro-galvanising lines (EGLs);
  • Electrolytic cleaning lines (ECLs);
  • Flow lines;
  • Colour coating lines (CCLs);
  • Inspection/correction/tension levelling lines.

Process equipment

  • Multi-stage cleaning section;
  • Bath equipment (zinc pot and air knife system);
  • Tension levelling/Skinpass rolling mill;
  • Chemical and organic roller coaters;
  • Shears / Side trimmers / Slitters.

Furnaces

  • For continuous galvanising lines (CGLs) and continuous annealing lines (CALs)
    • Non-oxidising furnaces (NOFs)
    • Radiant tube furnaces (RTFs)
    • All other types of special chamber
    • Blowstab®, IWAC® and Ultra Dry Cooling (UDC®) systems
    • L-TOP® (vertical furnaces) and LHTOP® (horizontal furnaces) mathematical models
  • For stainless steel processing lines
    • Hot rolling only (for annealing and pickling lines)
    • Cold rolling only (for annealing and pickling lines)
    • Combination of hot and cold rolling (for annealing and pickling lines)
    • Bright annealing with high internal purity (vertical or horizontal)
    • Bright annealing with muffle tubes (vertical or horizontal)
  • For silicon steel processing lines

Key benefits

Strip processing lines

  • Reliability;
  • High production outfit;
  • Optimised processing sections (mechanical, thermal and chemical);
  • High operational flexibility;
  • Proven optimised availability;
  • High and consistent product quality;
  • Line design conducive to reducing maintenance costs (easy maintenance of equipment increases its availability).

Furnaces

  • Dynamic overall process control;
  • Latest-generation burners;
  • Extremely efficient combustion modes;
  • The most appropriate thermal treatment for high-resistance steel;
  • Patented high-performance cooling systems;
  • Reduced alloy content to facilitate recycling;
  • Optimal heating and cooling curves to achieve the desired strip properties at the lowest possible energy cost.

Related pages

Metals

Reheating furnaces for metal sheets, billets and blooms

Metals

Pickling

Metals

Rolling mills