At Kloeckner we offer clients a range of different services and really pride ourselves on the diversity of our offering, we aim to ensure a bespoke solution to as many clients as possible.
One of the products we’re known for is reversing mill plates.
Our Durham facility is one that is unique within the Kloeckner Group and the reversing mill plates, stocked and processed exclusively onsite here allow us to offer a tailor-made product for very discerning industries.
What are reversing mill plates?
In comparison to material found on coils which are a continuous cast and a continuous roll, reversing mill plates are first cast into slabs, the slabs are then re-heated and re-rolled, generally on a set of four roles, back and forth until the plate is down to the required thickness, size and tolerances.
Why use reversing mill plates?
The main advantages of reversing mill plates over coil plates are the broad range of specifications; range of sizes, thicknesses and flatness and less deviation across the product, allowing essentially for the production of a bespoke, specialised product, that is fully customisable in regards to these specific elements.
With a coil product the client is mainly stuck with one width for example: 2m. With a reversing mill plate we’re able to offer our clients plates of up to 4m wide. Clients are also able to specify the thickness they require. Coil tends to come in standard thicknesses for example, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12mm whereas reversing mill plates allow for orders of thickness of anything from 5mm right through to 220mm and can contain specific incremental thicknesses if required such as 10.2mm or 22.4mm as an example.
The process also affords you the ability to do further heat treatments to the plates such as quenching and tempering (the process of heating and cooling it down) to affect the physical and mechanical properties. This process is repeated over and over to make for far more hardwearing, resistant material.
The reversing mill plate market
Kloeckner Metals UK is now receiving far more orders for materials in a precise thickness than in previous years.
One of the main reasons there has been an increase in appetite for the process is simply better education on its benefits.
The Durham Operations Manager, Mark Hamilton explains:
“We will always try to fact find with our clients to offer them the best possible solution.
If a client approached us for advice on which product to use for their requirement, it’s our responsibility to ask about the end use, educating them on the different grades of reversing mill plates.
We’d also notify clients on how customisable they are and inform them of the potential savings in further welding or fabrication down the line.
We will go the extra mile to find out what people are doing with the products, which is a real point of difference for Kloeckner among its competitors.”
Adam Dudley, Head of Plates & Profiles adds more on the products offered at the Durham site:
“We start with the more common day to day requirements such as structural steel plates S275 and S355.
When it comes to more niche reversing mill products there’s also abrasion plates, pressure vessel plates at the high-end, higher specification market.
Boiler plates for example have much superior mechanical qualities meaning they can withstand higher temperatures and higher pressures in more demanding applications. The range we have in terms of reversing mill plates is probably one of the best on the market”.
Reversing mill plates go into some pretty amazing industries, the quenched & tempered or abrasive resistant grades for example are used for instances where you need real strength like in yellow goods manufacturing – mining machinery, digger buckets, drilling equipment, oil and gas equipment, and heavy plant.
On the other hand the boiler & pressure vessel grades are more suited to applications that need to perform well under high temperature, pressurised conditions such as industrial scale boilers or pressurised storage vessels.
Reversing mill plates can also be used in the likes of wind turbines, chemical, oil and gas storage tanks, large scale anchoring systems for oil rigs to the sea bed, bridges, and even the score board at the Lords Cricket ground!
Mark explains that the site in Durham really is a ‘one stop shop’:
“If a client were to approach us with a brief for say a storage tank, we could advise on the various options available to best suit their specific needs from both a practical and economical point of view, then we could also go on to supply the chosen material, profile it and ensure it’s tested to the correct requirements.
Our extensive range of processing capabilities means we could also offer plasma-cutting, gas cutting, rolling, forming and drilling it could be shot blasted and painted (sub-contractually) as well as being delivered in a bespoke kit form to the client.
We can offer a bespoke project managed service, from start to finish”