Microsteel (PTY ) Ltd
PO Box 23036 Isipingo
Kwa Zulu Natal 4110
Republic of South Africa
Tel : 27 31 902 2313
Fax : 27 31 902 8530
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Microsteel is located in the City and Port of Durban South Africa
Microsteel is a 50/50 joint venture between Iscor and overseas financiers to convert Iscor Durban from the production of carbon steel to stainless steel billets. A completely new plant has been erected to achieve this. A sufficient quantity of good quality scrap is available in the Durban area and large amounts of local ferrochrome are exported through the Durban harbour. The nickel requirements will be obtained from secure international sources. In addition, the site selected for the Microsteel plant is located only about 20km from the quayside, which has transport cost benefits for the export of the billets and is advantageous for the necessary imports such as nickel, refractories, etc.
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Manager , Finance & Administration
Ettienne du Preez
Quality Assurance Superintendent
Cor van Veen
Production statistics and methods
The plant will produce 80 000 - 100 000 tons/year of stainless steel billets and ingots.
The Microsteel plant utilizes two 12ton induction furnaces for the melting of the steel scrap and alloys. These induction furnaces have been purchased from Inductotherm, U.S.A.
The refining step is in two stages, first a converter stage followed by finish-refining in a vacuum process. This allows the advantages of each process to be exploited and their limitations to be avoided.
The first stage of the refining operation, as well as alloying additions, is done in a 12/15 ton bottom blown converter with a top oxygen lance. The unit has been supplied by Technometal of Germany, with full design and metallurgical back-up from Voest-Alpine.
The partially refined metal is transferred to a vacuum process for final decarburization and alloying. The unit purchased is the Detem unit supplied by Technometal.
An inherent advantage of the VOD facility is that the vacuum degassing reduces levels of N2, H2 and O2 to exceptionally low levels. This is an
important means of ensuring that the quality of metal produced can match even the most stringent specifications.
2.3 CONTINUOUS CASTING
An advanced continuous billet casting machine with level 2 automation and a turn-over cooling bed has been supplied by Voest-Alpine to ensure the production of billets of the highest quality.
2.4 BILLET GRINDING
Cooled billets from the casting machine cooling bed will be transferred to automatic billet grinding machines for 100% conditioning before strapping for despatch.
3. RANGE OF PRODUCTS
Microsteel will concentrate on the continuous casting of billets. However, provision is made for ingot casting facilities. No rolling facilities are being installed and therefore only billets and ingots will be produced by Microsteel.
The continuous caster is designed to cast billets in the range from 100mm to 180mm square, with the preferred range being from 120mm to 160mm square. The maximum billet length is 12m.
Square ingots for rolling to long products, slab shape ingots for rolling to flat products, round ingots for remelting and ingots for forging will be produced. Ingots up to 12ton mass in stainless steel and up to 15ton mass in other grades can be produced.
Due to the specific equipment selected the Microsteel plant will be able to produce a wide range of steel grades, ranging from commercial stainless steels to high alloy and speciality steels to suit individual customer requirements. Due to the small heat size (12ton) it is also possible to rapidly switch between the different grades.
Billet production will concentrate on 300 and 400 series stainless steels for rolling to rods for cold forming and for wire drawing, for rounds rolling for machining applications and for rolling to sections. Stainless steels for large section size production by forging will be produced in ingot form.
Special stainless steels and tool steels, eg. super ferritic, precipitation hardening grades, heat resistant steels, cold and hot work steels, will be produced in a range of ingot shapes and sizes to suit customer requirements. Forging ingots in carbon and alloy steel will also be produced.
4. PRODUCTION PROGRAMME
Microsteel has commenced production during July 1996 although commissioning commenced earlier.
The Managing Director of Microsteel is Mr DeonDreyer. Deon obtained his B Ing(Chemistry ) degree from the University of Stellenbosch. He worked at Mintek ( The South African government's metallurgical research facility ) on new developments in the production of stainless steel. Thereafter he went into the ferrochrome industry and became the Works Manager at a ferrochrome producing plant before accepting the position of Managing Director of Microsteel. If you wish to contact Deon you can reach him at Microsteel or you can E Mail him on
Dave Hatfield is the Works Director at Microsteel and can be contacted at Microsteel
Microsteel is a company that believes strongly in the concept of multi - skilling as a means of effective cost containment. Charles Clarkson is the Manager , Finance and administration responsible for the following areas
- Financial Management and Reporting
- Materials Management including procurement
- Human Resources and Industrial Relations
- Safety and Security
- Shipping and Customer Product Logistics
He is a professionally qualified person with many years of practical experience.
Bill Armstrong was the Project Manager during the Microsteel project phase and subsequently became the Engineering Manager. Bill isd assisted by a team of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers , Draughtsmen and multi - skilled artisans. On the wrong side of 50 Bill has a career history and qualifications in electronics , technical writing , production engineering and maintenance engineering in the electronic, timber housing , textile and steel industries.
Alan Smith is the Quality Assurance Superintendent at Microsteel .
Some of Alan's favourite Links
Bill haith is the Production Manager at Microsteel and can be contacted at Microsteel
Cor Van Veen
Bill haith is the Production Manager at Microsteel and can be contacted at Microsteel Bill haith is the Production Manager at Microsteel and can be contacted at Microsteel
Ex Stock Material Currently Available
The following list of materials is ex stock material available for immediate delivery, the material s full conform to applicable specifications and come full mill certified with complete metallurgical analysis. The material is fully groun unless otherwise stated as is of prime quality
Stock Lot #1
300 MT AISI 304 L 115 mm square and in 12 meter lengths
Stock Lot #2
100 MT AISI 316 L 115 mm square and in 12 meter lengths
Stock Lot #3
20 MT AISI 630 - 17 - 4 PH 115 mm square and in 10.40 meter lengths
Stock Lot # 4
10 MT AISI 304 L 5.80 meters long 160 mm square Unground
Stock Lot # 5
35 MT AISI 304 130 mm square and in 5.80 meter lengths Unground
Stock Lot # 6
120 MT SUS 304 160 mm square and in 11.40 meter lengths .
For pricing on this stock material contact Etienne du Preez Markerting Manager on
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Billet Specifications
The following is a general specification for continuously cast steel billets.
Most current AISI and other published specifications can be manufactured at Microsteel, upon receipt of enquiries from customer's the Chemical Specification requirements will be reviewed to ensure that the customers requirements are within Microsteel's capabilities. Full chemical specifications will be established and approved by the customer prior to manufacture by Microsteel.
Chemical analysis is obtained by Optical Emission Spectroscopy. Other chemical test methods are available at extra cost at the customer's request.
Cross Section Sizes
Currently Microsteel manufactures billets in 115 mm, 130 mm & 160 mm square sizes. Tolerance on these dimensions is ± 3 mm for as cast billets and + 0 / - 5mm for fully ground billets.
Corner radius on all as cast billets is 5 - 6 mm, this is to ensure high quality through even cooling. Fully ground billets are supplied with the corners removed to a minimum width of 5mm.
We manufacture billet lengths up to 12000mm ± 50mm. Billet lengths between 3000 mm - 12000 mm are torch cut. Shorter lengths are saw cut.
Squareness is controlled within 3%.
Billet straightness is a maximum of 5 mm per 1000 mm and a maximum of 50 mm over the billets length. Twist is held to a maximum of 5°.
Each billet is identified by a high quality durable sticker that shows the Supplier, Customer, Order No, Heat No, Billet No, Specification and Size. Each bundle is identified with a high quality durable sticker ( 1 per bundle ) that shows Supplier, Customer, Customer Order No, Steel Specification and size, additional information can be included at the customer's request. Billets are also hot stamped with the Heat No on the front end of the billet.
Heat Numbers are a five digit chronological number with a hyphenated number which is the billet sequence number eg 12345-5. This number is the number that provides traceability of the billet.
Billets can be fully ground to a 120 - 150 micron finish, if required. The billets are shipped free of surface defects that may be detrimental to the further processing of the billet or detrimental to the final product quality of materials produced from the billet (in any event surface defects will not exceed a depth of 1.5mm). Where surface defects have been removed by grinding these grinding spots will be of a maximum depth of 5mm and will be blended.
Billets are sold as cast.
Macroetch tests are carried out in accordance with ASTM E381. Micro cleanliness testing is performed in accordance with ASTM E45 Method B. The level of acceptable inclusions is as agreed under the contract of sale.
Physical characteristics such as Tensile Strengths, % Elongation, Hardness, Impact Strengths etc are specified, these are established and controlled on known and controlled billet chemistry.
Special testing is available at customers requests.
Test certificates are available for each heat. Test certificates show Suppliers name, Heat No, Billet size, Customer's Name, Order No, Specification and actual analysis. Additional information may be included at the Customer's request.
Packaging , Handling and Shipping.
The billets are normally bundled in fours and secured using metal straps at equidistant places along the billets length, the number of straps is dependent on the billet length ( four for 12000mm lengths). Billets are handled and shipped to ensure that the quality of the billet is preserved. Special shipping/handling instructions can be accommodated at the customer's request.
For more information and for a copy of this specification contact Alan Smith