TimkenSteel recently started running heats of metal through a new $200 million jumbo vertical bloom caster at its Faircrest Plant in Canton, Ohio. The first heat was run on Oct. 21, and the first allocation from the caster to a customer occurred on Nov. 11. The five-story vertical caster rises 180 feet above the ground and 90 feet below it for an overall height of 270 feet, which makes it the largest continuous bloom caster in the world and the only one of its kind in North America. When fully commissioned, the caster will become a 24/7 operation that features innovative, full-process monitoring and control.

The caster uses an optimized tundish design and advanced, clean steelmaking technology, which includes electromagnetic stirring, dynamic soft reduction, air-mist cooling and thermal treatment for optimized surface quality. The caster has the ability to process steel grades that are difficult to produce and offers the world’s only combination of continuous vertical bloom caster and in-line forging press.

The integrated forging press expands the company’s capabilities and helps improve sound centers in large-bar sizes. The caster’s design provides a combination of casting efficiency, large section size and cleanness levels of bottom-poured ingots. The caster will produce three simultaneous strands of metal at all quality levels (including para-premium blooms for bearing and aircraft applications). These are cast in 18 x 24 inches and 11 x 17 inches.