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Development Achievements and Prospects of Rolling Technology in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening

"Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, we have made considerable progress. So far, traditional and commonly used steel rolling production technology and equipment have initially realized localization. It is precisely because of the localization of this complete set of large-scale technical equipment that we have This has contributed to the great development of my country’s steel industry.” In an interview with a reporter from China Metallurgical News recently, Professor Tang Di of the University of Science and Technology Beijing summarized the development achievements of my country’s steel rolling technology in the past 40 years of reform and opening up.

Steel rolling technology has five major development stages

Tang Di pointed out that in the 1970s, my country built the 1700mm hot rolling project of Benxi Iron and Steel, the 1450mm hot rolling project of Panzhihua Iron and Steel, and independently designed the 4200mm wide and thick plates of Wuyang Iron and Steel by imitating the equipment of the 1950s of the Soviet Union. engineering. After the equipment was built, the product grade and quality level were generally low, and the operation was not very stable, and it did not even reach the level of the old Soviet equipment.

In 1978, the only modern steel rolling equipment in China was WISCO's "New Third Rolling" production equipment that was put into operation in December 1978, namely WISCO's 1700mm hot rolling, 1700mm cold rolling and silicon steel production line projects. "The vast majority of local enterprises in that era were completely unable to have modern steel rolling equipment. The main equipment was the equipment developed by my country after 1960, mainly the 2300 mm three-high Lauter medium plate rolling mill and the 250 (300) mm horizontal rolling mill. Small-scale rolling mills, 76mm seamless steel tube rolling mills and stacked sheet rolling mills. These rolling mills have only reached the technical level of the early 20th century or even earlier." Tang Di said.

Tang Di reviewed the development of steel rolling technology in the 40 years of reform and opening up, and believed that after reform and opening up, the development of steel rolling technology can be divided into five stages: one is the large-scale introduction stage; the other is the systematic digestion, absorption, and learning stage; the third is improvement. Manufacturing level and continuous promotion stage; the fourth is the partial innovation stage; the fifth is the independent research and development and system innovation stage.

The first stage is basically the full introduction of technology. The most important one is the introduction of Baosteel's first phase. Almost all the main equipment and supporting equipment are imported. At that time, many enterprises also followed this path, such as bars, high-speed wire rods, seamless steel pipe rolling mills, and wide and heavy plates. Rolling mill etc.

In the second stage, the earliest success in the localization of domestic steel rolling technology and equipment was the bar continuous rolling production line in the early 1980s. Subsequently, in the late 1980s, my country successfully realized the localization of high-speed wire rod mills, and in 2000 The localization of hot strip rolling mills was successfully achieved in 2001 for wide and heavy plate rolling mills, in 2004, for seamless steel tube rolling mills, and in 2009, for cold tandem mills, and so on.

In the third stage, domestically-made equipment can basically meet the performance requirements of the product, get the recognition of domestic users, and begin to promote the use on a large scale.

"In recent years, my country's steel rolling technology has gradually entered a stage of independent innovation. Although it has just started, it can indicate that a new stage is beginning. Of course, we have not yet reached the stage of independent research and development and system innovation, and should be achieved in the future." Tang Di emphasized.

The achievements in the localization of steel rolling technology and equipment are obvious to all

"During the development of the steel rolling industry, my country's steel rolling technology and equipment have been continuously localized, and the technical level has been continuously improved." Tang Di introduced milestones in the process of steel rolling technology and equipment localization.

The first result of the localization of complete steel rolling equipment is the small bar rolling mill. In the early 1980s, the Beijing Institute of Iron and Steel (later renamed the University of Science and Technology Beijing) took the lead in successfully developing a short-stress line rolling mill. The Equipment Research Institute of the Ministry of Metallurgy and the Beijing Iron and Steel Design and Research Institute subsequently launched their own complete sets of small bar rolling mill production lines. , The domestic bar rolling mill complete sets of equipment can basically be based on domestic. At present, there are more than 20 domestic enterprises that can manufacture complete sets of small rolling mills. In addition, the localization of complete sets of technical equipment for high-speed wire rod mills began in the late 1980s. At present, my country’s Hafei and Xiye Metallurgical plants can provide modern complete sets of high-speed wire rod mill equipment.

The second achievement of a breakthrough in localization is the complete set of equipment for hot strip rolling. In the late 1990s, in the modernization of Anshan Iron and Steel, the goal of localization of complete sets of hot strip steel equipment was initially realized. Anshan Iron and Steel, Beijing University of Science and Technology, and First Heavy Industries jointly completed the first set of mechanical equipment, automatic control systems and models. The construction of a modern hot strip rolling mill that is all domestically produced. Since then, Laiwu Steel's 1500mm hot strip rolling, Rizhao Steel's 1580mm hot strip rolling, Jinan Iron and Steel's 1700mm hot strip rolling, Chongqing Iron and Steel's 1780mm hot strip rolling, Anshan Iron and Steel's 2250mm hot strip rolling lines have all been successfully constructed. At present, the traditional hot strip rolling mills can be manufactured independently, and occupy most of the domestic market share. In 2017, the 1780mm stainless steel hot strip mill jointly built by Tsingshan Group, First Heavy Industry and Beijing University of Science and Technology in Indonesia was successfully put into operation. This is a meaningful step taken by my country in the export of complete sets of modern hot strip mill technology and equipment.

Another important achievement is the localization of wide and heavy plate rolling mills. The first domestically-made modern wide and heavy plate rolling mill was the 3,500 mm wide and heavy plate rolling mill of Jinan Iron and Steel in 2001. Subsequently, my country built the 3,500 mm wide and heavy plate rolling mill of Handan Iron and Steel in 2005 and the 3800 mm wide and heavy plate rolling mill of Hanye Iron and Steel in 2009. . The construction of these rolling mills has enabled my country to make important progress in the complete set of technical equipment for the wide and heavy plate rolling mills. In particular, the on-line and off-line heat treatment equipment matched with the wide and heavy plate rolling mill. Since the end of the 1990s, Angang's 4200mm wide and heavy plate rolling mill has been equipped with a complete set of controlled cooling equipment for dense tube laminar flow jointly developed by Angang and Beijing University of Science and Technology. Since then, Northeastern University and Beijing University of Science and Technology have developed more advanced heat treatment equipment, which has contributed to the improvement of the quality of wide and heavy plates.

In 2004, the first domestically-made tandem mill representing advanced seamless steel pipe technology was put into operation in Wuxi Simlais Petroleum Pipe Manufacturing Enterprise. So far, domestic equipment manufacturing companies have been able to produce most of the technical equipment needed for seamless steel pipe production.

In terms of the localization of complete sets of cold rolling equipment, in 2009, Baosteel, together with First Heavy Industry, Xizhong Institute and other units, built a completely independently designed and independently manufactured complete set of cold rolling equipment at Baosteel Meishan Iron and Steel Company. The process and equipment reached the world-class level. . This set of cold rolling equipment has achieved complete independence and independent integration. All aspects of unit construction from R&D, design, manufacturing to commissioning and operation, from technology, machinery to electrical, instrumentation, and computer are all realized. Autonomy. Meishan Iron and Steel 1420 pickling tandem mill adopts five-stand six-high UCM rolling mill (universal crown rolling mill), with a maximum export speed of 1700 m/min; the thinnest thickness of the designed product is 0.18 mm (thickness 0.18 mm ~ 2.0 mm, width 700 mm) ~1300 mm), with a production capacity of 850,000 tons/year.

Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, my country's steel rolling production technology and equipment have made considerable progress. For example, Tang Di said that in the early 1990s, a domestic steel company introduced a set of modern hot rolling mills, worth about 9 billion yuan; after we realized the localization of hot rolling mills, a set of such rolling mills was only manufactured in China at 16 Around 100 million yuan. The situation of other complete sets of steel rolling equipment is similar. Because of this, companies can afford and can afford to use, and we have today's 800 million tons of steel production per year.

In terms of product development and production, the thickness of my country's offshore steel can reach more than 380 mm, the thickness of bridge steel can reach 115 mm, the performance can reach 420 MPa, and the thickness of pipeline steel (X80) can reach more than 30 mm, leading the world. The strength of automobile structural steel (hot formed steel) can reach 1,800 MPa, and the maximum strength of cold-rolled steel can reach more than 1,200 MPa. In terms of hot-rolled strip steel, the thinnest strip that can be mass-produced is 0.8 mm, which realizes the use of heat instead of cold. Now Yizhong and Beijing University of Science and Technology Rolling Center are building the world's widest 2550mm hot strip rolling mill. In addition, Yizhong and Beijing University of Science and Technology have also built the first modern 1780mm hot strip rolling mill exported from China in Indonesia.

The steel rolling technology progress of the whole industry is very outstanding

Tang Di pointed out that since the reform and opening up, the industry's technological progress and achievements have also been outstanding.

First, technical personnel and technical teams have increasingly become important forces for enterprises to improve their competitiveness. Many enterprise technology centers are playing an increasingly important role in the development of enterprises, and technical personnel have become more and more core forces, and the competitiveness of enterprises that attaches importance to technical personnel has increased significantly.

Second, after nearly 20 years of introduction, digestion and innovation, the localization of major metallurgical equipment has made great progress. At present, most equipment can be self-sufficient, and even some very advanced equipment can be produced. As the success of localization has greatly reduced the price of equipment, many companies can afford advanced equipment.

The third is that the output of many products in my country is currently the largest in the world. In recent years, some companies have begun to lead the trend of global product research and development, and more and more world-first products have begun to appear.

Fourth, the research team in the steel industry is developing rapidly. Some universities, research institutes, and technology centers of large enterprises have established very strong steel research and development teams. At present, the team of experts and technicians engaged in steel technology research in my country ranks first in the world, and this team has a high level, a very young age, and a reasonable configuration. It has an inestimable role in future technological development.

Fifth, through large-scale technological upgrading and equipment renewal, my country's steel production equipment has undergone qualitative changes, and most of the technical equipment of my country's major steel enterprises have been newly built in the last 10 years. It can be said that the world's latest and best metallurgical production equipment is in China.

Sixth, the laboratories of universities, research institutes and some large enterprises have carried out large-scale experimental equipment updates in recent years. The experimental equipment of my country's steel industry is also the most advanced, complete and perfect in the world. However, there are not many experimental equipment developed by ourselves.

Seventh, as the integration of technology R&D with market and corporate competitiveness becomes closer and closer, my country’s steel technology service and R&D model is changing, from the model of "what I do abroad, what I do" to "what the market and users need? , What do I do" model. Iron and steel companies have changed from only researching and developing steel products to being able to provide users with technology and better serve users.

In recent years, the technological development achievements in the steel rolling field are obvious to all. For example, Baosteel has built the world's first high-strength cold-rolled flexible continuous annealing line, the first domestic double-roll thin strip continuous casting and rolling line with independent intellectual property rights, and the world's thinnest oriented silicon steel production technology. Tianjin Zhongzhong Technology has built The world's largest and independently developed H-beam continuous rolling production line, TISCO has built the world's first fully continuous, full-process stainless steel cold rolling line, and Shougang has completed heavy truck lightweight design and steel grade development based on forward design, and so on.

The path to a steel powerhouse

Tang Di pointed out that although my country’s steel rolling equipment technology has solved the problem of existence after 40 years of reform and opening up, the equipment technology basically comes from abroad, and there are not many original creations by himself, and foreign countries have been developing new technologies. Such as on-line solid solution and isothermal treatment of bar and wire, endless rolling of thin slab continuous rolling, etc. my country's comprehensive development level of equipment, technology, and products is relatively low, and theoretical and technological innovations are relatively weak, and there is basically no leading technology.

Tang Di believes that the future development direction of steel rolling technology includes: continuity, short flow, near-final processing, multi-process integrated processing (high efficiency), full-process quality and performance control, intelligence (unmanned workshop, robot application), Comprehensive development of product performance (stable quality, toughening, functionalization), greening (de-pickling, waste heat utilization), and user technology development are gradually systematized.

Tang Di pointed out that in order to achieve the goal of a steel power, the following seven conditions must be met. First, there is a certain amount of output, especially for some distinctive products. The second is the complete variety of steel products, which can meet the needs of various industries in the national economy without shortcomings. Third, the quality and performance of certain characteristic products are the world's top, long-term stability, become a benchmark for learning in other countries, and become irreplaceable in the international market. Fourth, there are first-class personnel training mechanisms, technical R&D teams, and experimental equipment, and these experimental equipment are mainly designed independently and manufactured for specific functional needs. This can ensure the most cutting-edge research. Fifth, the iron and steel industry must continue to innovate and bring forth new results. New ideas, new theories, new processes, new standards, and new technologies are all leading the world. Sixth, the new theory can be supported by new equipment, can realize the research and development of new products, and the equipment can be promoted to the international market, and the products and equipment can form new international standards. Seventh, the overall development is balanced.

Tang Di emphasized that steel companies need to work in the following directions:

The first is refined research work. Now the problem of presence or absence has been solved, but the stability of some products is poor, mainly due to the lack of grasp of the factors that ultimately affect the quality and insufficient control of key links. "Therefore, in order to improve the quality, especially the stability of quality, we need to do meticulous work, carefully study the core technology of each process link, each equipment link, grasp the core, and accurately control." He emphasized.

The second is to strengthen the research and development of technology and equipment, and the differentiation starts with equipment. Equipment is the foundation of high-quality products. If you want differentiated products, you can only create differentiated equipment. Therefore, it is an important way to work hard on technological innovation and equipment transformation.

The third is to strengthen collaborative innovation and comprehensive innovation in scientific research. Now it is more and more difficult to upgrade technology, and the fields involved are becoming more and more comprehensive. For example, the quality of varieties has improved, and the technical fields involved include materials, metallurgy, steel rolling, automation, machinery and equipment, etc., and multidisciplinary collaborative work is becoming more and more important. In addition, the technology research and development of the steel industry itself is a very old subject area. If you want to have new development, you must strengthen the breakthrough of basic theory. On this basis, the research and development of applied technology can promote the overall progress. At the same time, technology and equipment research and development must be strengthened. Without equipment, everything is empty, and we are also very weak in this regard.

The fourth is to change the assessment standards and evaluation system. Some universities are concerned about papers rather than actual technological innovation; some companies are concerned about the first release, not concerned about the use of new technologies and new equipment, and are afraid of problems, especially state-owned enterprises.

Fifth, focus on user technology research and provide better services in the rational and efficient use of steel materials by users. The development of modern technology is very rapid, the requirements for materials are getting higher and higher, and the users are becoming more and more demanding. Helping users to use steel in a reasonable, efficient, economical and correct manner has increasingly become the task of steel mills. If steel mills can provide good technical services to users, the company's benefits will be good.

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