Application Profiles Metals Market

Steel Mill Slab Caster

Product: Modified Americardan 3285 Universal Joints

The original U-joints installed in this demanding application featured split-flanged yokes. The driven (segment) ends of the U-joints pass through the sidewall of the segment frame and position within 12" of a heat/water wall. The tight space constraints did not allow full access to the roller end of the U-joints. This resulted in mounting bolts that could not be tightened to the torque specifications.

Over time, the loose bolt connections between the spool and split-flange yoke (driven end) allowed the key to shift, causing the keyway and holes to become elongated in the mated flanges. This caused premature wear on the segment rollers, segment bearings, and flange yokes, resulting in uneven torque loads being transferred to other drives which over-torqued the next immediate segment, eventually causing the cross to fail within the flange yoke assembly. In some cases, slabs would have to be stopped inside the caster which required them to be cut out.

Ameridrive engineers’ extensive U-joint experience with steel mill applications allowed them to develop a creative new facing connection that solved the customer’s dilemma. The solution was an integral tapered key or face pad design for the roller end of the U-joints to replace the straight face key flange yokes. The new face pad configuration featured four raised, wedge-shaped integral keys and required only four mounting bolts versus the typical eight-bolt design. With the enhanced reliability of the new U-joint modification, the customer’s up-time increased and slab quality was improved.

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Modified Americardan 3285 Universal Joints


Product Highlights

  • Integral tapered key or
    face pad developed for
    roller ends of U-joints
  • U-joints compensate for
    approximately 10-degree
    angular misalignment and
    shock loads of up to
    800,000 in. lb. torque
  • Tapered key allows for
    easier, more reliable
    connection of U-joints to
    segment roll spools
  • Mill rotation speed:
    8 RPM (5ft./min.)
  • 11 pairs of U-joints
    were modified

Rolling Mill Roughing Stand Drives

Product: Ameridrives Couplings SM38 Mill Spindles

A large Midwestern steel mill was experiencing excessive downtime due to frequent
spindle repair and replacement on their hot strip mill roughing stand drives. The
roughing mill work rolls require extremely high torque to compress/reduce 10” thick
automotive quality heated steel slabs down to 1”- 2” thick. The mill contacted
Ameridrives Couplings based on superior Ameridrives spindle performance at
another of the company’s sister mills.

Five (over/under) pairs of Ameridrives Model SM Mill Spindles were supplied for five
continuous pinion roll stands. The spindles are 38” diameter by 13 ft. long and
provide 80,000,000 in. lb. peak torque. The spindles’ roll-end adaptor features a
“flatted” bore, commonly used in mills for extreme torque capacity. The drive-end
adaptor was shipped separately for off-site pinion mounting.

Model SM Mill Spindles feature Ameridrives Advanced Gear Design. The hub gear
teeth are fully-crowned to provide maximum torque capacity and misalignment with
minimum backlash. One-piece, high eccentricity molded lip-type seals, designed for
operation under full misalignment conditions, provide the most effective closure
available to keep lubricant in and contaminants out.

The customer is very pleased as mill efficiency has increased significantly since
the Ameridrives spindles were installed. The units are expected to run for years
(vs. months using original spindles) with little more than routine greasing.

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Ameridrives Mill Spindels


Product Highlights

  • Spindles are 38” dia. by
    13 ft. long
  • Each unit has a torque
    capacity of 80,000,000 in. lb.
  • Ameridrives Advanced
    Gear Design with fullycrowned teeth increases
    torque capacity by 300%
  • Mill rotation speed:
    65 RPM (870 ft./min.)
  • 10 total spindles delivered
    (8 installed; 2 spares)

Steel Mill Runout Table

Product: TB Wood's DuraFlex® Couplings

TB Wood’s has supplied Dura-Flex WE50M couplings to connect motor shafts to individually driven rollers on a new hot strip runout table installed at a steel mill plant expansion near Budapest, Hungary. The 505-foot long runout table is equipped with 337 six-foot wide, 12-inch diameter, stainless steel rollers, each driven by a 7.5 KW (10HP) motor at 900 RPM. The new line will result in higher speeds and higher throughput from 1.8 million tons to 3 million tons per year.

The Dura-Flex coupling was selected over competitive units due to its ease of assembly and simpler radial-mounting installation, rather than axial mounting, and because of its superior fatigue resistance in the tough steel mill environment. The patented design of the urethane bond to the leading edge of the steel shoe bolted to the hub, and the high quality of the urethane element itself, provide the heat, moisture and chemical resistance desired by the customer. The customer also appreciated the high misalignment rating of the coupling which offered 3/32-inch parallel misalignment and 3° angular misalignment capabilities.

The global support network offered through Altra was important to this installation
in eastern Europe. The couplings were supplied with 100% metric dimensions
including hardware and fasteners. TB Wood’s was able to cut its normal lead time
of 8-10 weeks to only 4 weeks to meet the customer’s expedited deadline.

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TB Wood's DuraFlex Couplings


Product Highlights

  • Highest operating temp
  • Design for easy
  • All metric
  • Global product support


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