Russia’s Elektrostal OAO has ordered a 20,000-mt closed-die press for nickel-based superalloys from Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH. The new machine will be the first of its type with an integrated die-heating system, meaning it will be able to forge high-precision alloys like Inconel also.
Elektrostal is a specialty steelmaker near Moscow that produces forgings, discs, hot-rolled and forged bars, stampings, cold-drawn wire, hot-rolled sheet, and cold-rolled strip for both domestic and international distribution. According to Siempelkamp, the new press will allow the producer to raise the value of its finished products and increase the sales volume for its high-alloy steels.
With the new press in operation by early 2013, Elektrostal will manufacture high-temperature forgings up to 1,200 mm long and 800 mm wide, weighing up to 800 kg. Likely markets for such products are turbines for power generation or aircraft engines, which require materials capable of enduring high thermal loads. Siempelkamp stated its design emphasizes precision guiding because of the high dimensional tolerance required of such forgings.
Elektrostal specifically requested the integrated die-heating capability because of the particular demands of forging Inconel and other superalloys. The press dies will be heated to a maximum 800°C, and the machine also will adjust forming speed to the specific demands of the product, resulting in near-net-shape parts with a maximum degree of dimensional reliability and a process with a high rate of reproducibility.
According to Siempelkamp, a specific challenge for the installation is a crane runway above the shop floor, restricting the total height of the press to 9 m. Thus, Siempelkamp has developed a below-floor design with a moving crosshead connected by four columns to four annular pistons (1.600 mm/P max. 350 bar.)
“The pistons are positioned according to the cylinders arranged in the lower crosshead. The four columns, as pre-stressed tie-rods, serve the purpose of force transmission. The self-acting hydraulic adjustment of the press guide is disengaged from the elements of force transmission, thus avoiding reciprocal influence of force transmitting and guiding components,” according to the builder’s statement.
The press was designed at Siempelkamp’s headquarters in Krefeld, Germany, with advanced simulation software determining that the press design achieves the required precision and that all components are structurally reliable to guard against equipment failure during operation. The main press components weighing approximately 260 mt are being cast at Siempelkamp’s foundry Krefeld, for delivery during the summer of 2012 due.
Siempelkamp calls the design “an all-in-one solution for forging of complex component parts, including hydraulics and electrics, die heating system, loading and spraying robot and forging manipulator.”