Tata Steel uses a wide range of cutting technologies throughout its production processes to cut and process steel in thicknesses ranging from tens of centimetres down to tens of microns. We are looking for the next generation of high speed cutting technologies that can enhance our own production processes and potentially those of our customers as well.
Steel processing lines, particularly those based on strip steel, can run at hundreds of metres per min. Steel coil on these lines sometimes needs to be continuously trimmed to optimise the edge for further processing downstream, either by Tata Steel or our customer. Similarly, our customers will often need to cut our products, often into complex shapes as part of their own production processes. Speed of cutting and the quality of the cut edge are critical factors that have to be optimized. Tata Steel is interested in technologies for the cutting of its full range of finished and intermediate products but is particularly keen to explore approaches for the high speed (50m/min plus) processing of its thinner gauge products, for example 3mm and below, including hot rolled, cold rolled and coated.
The key factors are speed of cutting, both linear and variable (cutting of shapes) and the quality of the cut edge, in particular minimization of any burr associated with the cutting process, particularly on the lower gauge products. A burr of <10ųm would be a target for the thinnest gauge products (<0.5mm).
All technological approaches will be considered, including but not limited to mechanical (including, for example, stamping), plasma, oxyfuel or other similar thermal processes, laser or high pressure water cutting. Simultaneous cutting and edge preparation/ optimisation technologies would also be of interest.
Theoretical ideas with no experimental support, funding requests for proof of concept.