US 3167830 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS l1 SheetsSheet 1 Filed Dec. 8, 1960 III-III III-III- Richord Huzeleft Robert William Huzelelt a t/:5 War/7k! MIL ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS ll SheetsSheet 2 Filed Dec. 8, 1960 ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS 11 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Dec. 8, 1960 IN VEN TORS Richard Huzelefl Robert William Huzelefl ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS ll Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed Dec. 8, 1960 IN V EN TORS Richard Huzelefl mum Robert William Hczelett ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL 3,167,830
CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 8, 1960 ll Sheets-Sheet 5 Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL 3,167,830
CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 8. 1960 11 Sheets- Sheet 6 INVENTORS Richard Hazel." Robert William Hozolofl BY ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL 3,
CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 8, 1960 ll Sheets-Sheet 7 Richard Huzelefl BY Robert William Huzelefl Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS ll Sheets-Sheet 9 Filed Dec. 8, 1960 1 m m 0 n m m mmm m m h 0 W m n RR V. B
ATTORNEYS Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL 3,
CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 8. 1960 ll Sheets-Sheet 1O INVENTOR. Richard Huzelefl BY Robert William Huzelefl Feb. 2, 1965 R. HAZELETT ETAL 3,167,830
CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Filed Dec. 8, 1960 11 Sheets-Sheet 11 INVENTORS Richard Huzelett y Robert William Hazelefl earl/ 2 A/srr/S; 4! Mid,
A TTORN E YS 3,167,830 CONTINUOUS METAL CASTING APPARATUS Richard Hazeiett and Robert William Hazelett, Mallets Bay, Winooski, Vt., assignors to Hazelett Strip=Casting Corporation, Winooski, Vt.
Filed Dec. 8, 1960, Ser. No. 74,520 15 Claims. (Cl. 2257.4)
This invention relates to machines and processes for casting metal strip directly from molten metal and more particularly for continuously casting wide slabs, thin shapes and metal strips, and the like, between spaced portions of a pair of endless flexible casting belts which are moved along with opposite surfaces or" the metal being cast.
The invention is described as embodied in the structure and operation of a continuous strip-casting machine in which the molten metal is injected under a controlled head or pressure into a casting region between the spaced portions of a pair of moving flexible casting belts and a continuous strip of solidified metal is delivered from the machine. One of the moving belts is positioned generally above the other, and the spaced portions of the upper and lower belts confine the molten metal in a casting region between them and carry the molten metal along as it solidifies between them. To withdraw the large quantities of heat from the solidifying metal, both the upper and lower belts are cooled by means of rapidly moving substantially continuous films of liquid coolant travelling along against their reverse surfaces adjacent to the casting region. The two casting belts are individually mounted upon a pair of special carriages, and each belt is guided around its carriage in an elongated triangular path providing advantages in tensioning and steering of the belts.
Among the many advantages of the illustrative embodiment of this invention described herein are those resulting from the fact that the molten metal is enabled to be confined and subjected to a predetermined pressure or head as it is being injected through an injection nozzle into the casting region between the belts, while an intense cooling of both the upper and lower casting belts in created immediately adjacent to the injection nozzle.
Another advantage of this illustrative machine is its adaptability for providing a wide variety of different continuous casting conditions as may be desired by an operator for accommodating different kinds of metals or different alloy compositions. The operator is enabled quickly and conveniently to adjust the machine for different types of casting operation. The machine can be adjusted for injecting the molten metal through an injection nozzle or for casting with an open bath of molten metal or for a half-open bath. The upper carriage is adjustable in position longitudinally with. respect to the lower carriage for adapting to these different types of casting.
Moreover, the casting region between the upper and lower moving belts is enabled to be adjusted in angle with respect to a horizontal plane. The castingregion can be adjusted from a position in which it extends h ori zontally to a position in which it extends downwardly at a steep inclination. In order to provide for adjustment of the inclination of the casting region, both the upper and the lower carriages are mounted from a single com mon pivot axis which extends transversely to the direction of casting, this common pivot axis passing through the lower carriage.
A further advantage of this illustrative machine is provided by the swing mounting for the upper carriage which enables the upper carriage to be elevated and tipped laterally so that the casting region is opened up widely for convenient access and inspection. This mounting also enables the upper carriage to position itself into self- United States Patent lice 3,167,830 Patented Feb. 2 196? aligning relationship with the lower carriage when the upper carriage is lowered so as to close the casting region in readiness for the casting operation.
The two casting belts each follow elongated triangular paths which are substantially identical in configuration and which provide two long straight portions for each belt of substantially equal length. These two long straight portions of each belt are generally parallel and extend to and from the steering roll. The steering rolls are adapted to have their axes skewed slightly one way or another for steering the wide casting belts. Steering action is enhanced by this advantageous configuration.
At the input end of the casting region, the two casting belts are each advantageously curved around the input rolls by an angle of approximately so that the 'two entering flights of the casting belts provide maximum access for injecting the molten metal through the injection nozzle. The input rolls are grooved with narrow deep grooves and oval coolant feed tubes of large coolant capacity apply intensive cooling to the areas of the two belts adjacent to the injection nozzle.
A further advantage of this illustrative embodiment of the machine results from the fact that the paths of each of the casting belts defines an acute angle at the tension rolls. The tension rolls are mounted on swingable tension arms which move into a full tension position wherein the arms approach the bisector of the acute angle. Thus, a greater stability is obtained, and less force is required to produce the ultimate tension in the belts, for a marked increase in mechanical advantage is obtained as the fully tensioned position is reached. Also, a uniform tension force is desirably produced across the full width of the' belt regardless of any deflections in the tension arms which may occur as a result of the high tension stress in the belts.
In this specification and in the accompanying drawings are described and shown continuous casting apparatus embodying this invention for continuous casting of aluminum and its alloys, and various modifications thereof are indicated, but it is to be understood that these are given for purposes of illustration in order that others skilled in the art of metal casting may fully understand the invention and the manner of applying the apparatus in practical use so that they may utilize various embodiments and adaptations of this invention as best suited to the conditions for casting a particular metal or alloy.
The various features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood from a consideration of the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a continuous stripcasting machine embodying the present invention as seen looking at the input end of the machine into which the molten metal is introduced. For convenience of illustration, the tundish or container for the molten metal and the injector nozzle which is adapted for feeding molten metal into the machine are omitted from this view;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of this machine as seen looking at the output end;
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal sectional view taken along a plane perpendicular to the axes of the various rolls, and including the tundish and the injector nozzle for feeding molten metal into the machine;
FIGURE 4 is a cross sectional view of the machine taken generally along the line 4-4 in FIGURES 3 and 5 looking toward the input end;
FIGURE 5 is a top plan view showing the upper belt removed and with parts shown partially broken away and in section for clarity of illustration;
FIGURE 6 is a partial longitudinal sectional view, on
enlarged scale, showing the tundish and the molten metal injector nozzle in cooperating relationship with the belt cooling system at the input end of themachine. This view corresponds generally with the input end of :the machine as shown in FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 7 is a partial cross sectional view taken along tively, which are also called the nip rolls.
ating'relationship with thecasting belt at the input end of the machine;
' FIGURE 10 is a cross sectional view of the coolant nozzle taken along the line 10l0 of FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 11 is'an axial sectional View of amodified form of coolant discharge nozzle in operating relationship with the casting belt at the input end of the'casting region; FIGURE 12 is an enlarged end view of 'thecoolant nozzle of FIGURE 11 FIGURE'13 illustrates theinclination adjustment support for adjusting the inclination of the casting region between the belts;
FIGURES 14A, 14C, 14D, and 14E are schematic illus'-' trations showing the various operating conditions for the machine;
i In the continuous metal casting machine which is shown in the drawings as an illustrative example of the apparatus of an inch. a thickness of 0.050 of an inch. 7
3,1 ezsso with'asuitable protective coating 'orl dressing, such as is described in US. Patent No. 2,904,860. Thesebelts are wide and thin, for example, of the order of 50 inches wide and having a thickness in the range from 0.015 to 0.060 Inthis illustrative machine the belts have The two casting belts are supported and driven by means; of special upper and lower carriages, generally ,indicated'in FIGURES'LZ, and 3 at U and L, respectively.' Each carriage includes three main rolls for sup porting, driving and steering the belt therearound. There are the upper and lower input rolls 28 and 30, respec- These nip rollseach'have deep and closely spaced circumferential grooves 31 therein adjacent to they curvingreverse surfaces of the belts as seen mostclearly in FIGURE 7. The.
grooves are for the purpose of providing intense'icooling of the casting beltsi'adjacent to the injection nozzle, as will be explained further below. a
At the discharge. end of each carriage are the upper and lower output rolls 32 and 34, respectively. In order to steer the belts, each-0f these output rolls is mounted' so that its axis can be skewed slightly with respect tothe other two rolls in the carriage, as will be "explained later on. These output rolls have deep circumferential grooves 35, similar to the grooves Satin-the nip'rolls.
ofthe present invention, the molten metal 1 is supplied from a ladle or pouring box 2, as shown in FIGURE 6.
The rate at which the molten metal flows down through a' pouring spout 4 into a, tundish 5 is controlled by the operator by adjustment of a tapered stopper esecured to a control rod 8. From the tundish 5 the molten metal supply 10. is fed forward through an injector nozzle 12 into a casting region C formed between the spaced paral-' lel surfaces of upper and lower endless flexible casting belts 14 and 16, respectively.
The pouring box 2, tundish 5, and injector nozzle 12 are lined with a suitable layer of heat insulation material 18; for example, in pouring aluminum and aluminum alloys, a suitable insulation layer is formed from a rigid sheetmaterial made from asbestos and an inorganic bind er, such as is obtained commercially under the trademark Marinite from Johns-Manville Co. For emergency draining of the tundish. 5, there is provided a tap hole 20 with a removable clay plug 21. 1
In order to facilitate changes in the thickness of the metal being cast, the injection nozzle 12 comprises a pro jecting rectangular steel shell 22 rigidly secured to the outer metal wall 23 of the tundish by means of brackets 24. A removable insulation liner 25 defines the bore of the nozzle and projects forward into the space between tensile strength, for example, such as the cold-rolled lowcarbon sheet steel belts described in our prior copendlng applicatio Serial No. 722,005, filed March 17, 1958, and. issued as Patent No. 3,036,348, dated May 29, 1962. In
many instances'the front faces ofthe casting belts, which are the surfaces adjacent to the molten metal, are coated The driving power for revolving the belts is applied to the output rolls by means of a pair of drive shafts 42 and 43, as shown in FIGURES 2 and.5.' V v i The third main roll in each carriage is the'upper and lower belt-tensioning roll 36 and 38, respectively, and the operation of these tension rolls is illustrated in FIG- URE l5. Eachtension roll has a resilient layer 39 of rubber engaging the belt. During the operation the two casting belts are :driven at the same linear speed, and they are each maintained under a high tension force, for example, such as 10,000 to 20,000pounds per square inch of cross sectional area of the belt. In this example, with a belt 50 inches wide and 0.050 of an inch thick and operating at.20,000 p.s.i., the tension force appliedto each belt is 50,000 pounds.
The moving belts are guided, that is, backed up-by' a series of parallel rollers 44 so that their opposed front surfaces are held in the desired spaced relationship along thelength of the casting region. These back-up rollers 4-4- include narrow tapered peripheral ridges 45 engaging the reverse surface of each belt, as shown most clearly in FIGURE 7. It will be noted that the first back-up roller 46 for each belt has smaller peripheralridges 47 and has its axis positioned more closely adjacentto the belt. The reason for this desirable relationship will be explained further below. 7
'In order to solidify the metal in the casting region, heat is withdrawn through each belt by means of a rapidly moving layer, 48 of liquid coolant traveling'along the reverse surface of the belt. The narrow tapered ridges 45 and 470i the back-up rollers enable this coolant layer 48 to continue substantially continuously along the'reverse surfaces of the belts, as described in detail and. claimed in said prior copending application Serial No. 722,005, filed March 17,. 1958, now Patent No 3,036,348;
As shown in FIGURE 4, this coolant 50 is supplied from a large reservoir, such as a tank 52 positioned between the support columns SSbeneath the base frame 54 I of the machine. This'liquid coolant 50 is preferably water cident with the plane of the casting region C, and thus a symmetrical distribution pattern is provided for the upper and lower carriages U and L.
When the inclination 'of the casting region is changed, as explained below, the supply main 55 is arranged to move so that its axis remains coincident with the plane of the casting region. To accommodate this movement, a flexible duct 56 (FIGURE 5) extends from the discharge of the pump (not shown) and is secured onto a flange 57 at the input end of the supply manifold 55. This flexible duct 56 is adapted to withstand the pressure of the large volume of coolant being pumped and is shown as being formed from a spirally wound and interlocked metal strip. The pump has a large capacity, and in this machine is a centrifugal pump capable of delivering 3,000 gallons per minute at a gauge pressure of pounds per square inch. A continuous measurement of the pressure of the coolant in the manifold is provided through a pressure sensing line 51 (FIGURE 1) connected to the end of the manifold.
From the manifold 55 which is rigid, the coolant rushes through a balanced distribution system comprising a series of flexible pressure hoses 58 connected to the individual header passages 59 in a series of coolant application and scoop units 60. These units 66 extend transversely of both carriages parallel to the reverse surfaces of the respective belts 14 and I6, and each unit includes a series of coolant application nozzles 61 connected to the header passage 59 and directed toward the belt. The units 6d serve to maintain the high-speed coolant layers 48 and are identical with those which are described in detail and claimed in our prior copending application Serial No. 861,134, filed December 21, 1959, and issued as Patent No. 3,041,686, dated July 3, 1962, to which reference may be made for further information.
In their function of maintaining the coolant layer 43, these units have scoop surfaces for scooping off the excess coolant and for directing this removed coolant into a series of gutters, such as the gutter 63 indicated in FIGURE 3. It will be understood that other similar coolant gutters are used in conjunction with the other coolant units 66, but for purposes of clarifying the illustration, these other gutters are not drawn. There is a first coolant application unit 62 for each belt which differs from the other units 60 in that the units 62 do not have scoop surfaces. The function of the first coolant application units 62, as shown in FIGURE 6, is to apply additional coolant so as to augment and re-accelerate the initial portion 48' of the coolant layer 48 after this initial coolant layer has passed through the shallow clearance beneath the first back-up roller 46.
As indicated by the arrows in FIGURE 4, the coolant which has been removed into the respective gutters 63 is discharged from the ends of the gutters in a direction toward the manifold 55 and cascades down into the reservoir 52. It will be understood that the reservoir 52 may be located remotely from the machine, in which event the returning coolant 65 is caught in a trough and led back to the reservoir.
In order to level up the machine, the corners of the base frame 54 rest upon caps 66 (FIGURES 4 and 5) on the respective support columns 53 and adjustment screws 67 are provided for jacking up the frame. It will be noted from FIGURE 4 that the two carriages U and L are in cantilevered relationship so that their outboard sides (left sides in FIGURE 4) are free of obstruction so as to facilitate removal and replacement of the casting belts. By releasing the tension roll 36 or 38, the respective casting belt 14 or 16 can be slid off from the outboard side of the carriage.
In order to prevent the molten metal from running out in a lateral direct-ion from the casting region C, there are provided a pair of moving edge dams 68 and 70 extending between the casting belts. These dams each comprise numerous steel blocks 71 strung in end-to-end relationship on a continuous flexible metal strap 72. As will be appreciated from FIGURES 2 and 4, the lateral spacing between these moving edge dams determines the width of the strip being cast. Their spacing can be adjusted conveniently by mechanism described in detail further below.
The moving edge dams 68 and 70 are identical and are longer than the lower casting belt so that they both hang down freely beneath the lower carriage L during their return trip. Whenever the operator desires to change the thickness of the strip being cast, the two edge dams 68 and 70 are slid off from the outboard side of the lower carriage and replaced by a pair of thicker or thinner dams as required.
Injection casting method and apparatus with intense cooling of the casting belts adjacent to the injection zone In the injection casting method as shown in FIGURE 6, the molten metal 10 is injected along a straight path while the adjacent flights 75 and 76 of the upper and lower casting belts 14 and 16 converge toward the injected metal from opposite directions and then curve into tangential relationship with the path of the injected metal so as to define the casting region. In this method the curving portions of the two casting belts are intensely cooled as they converge toward the path of the injected metal. The injected metal is fed into the casting region C through the passages 26 of the injection nozzle assembly 12. For purposes of maintenance or adjustment the insulating nozzle 25 is adapted to be slid out or inward through the shell 22, and it can readily be removed and replaced when worn or broken. 26 have a diameter equal to approximately one-half of the thickness of the nozzle 25.
This nozzle 25 may have the same thickness as the strip being cast or be 0.010 of an inch undersize to provide a slight clearance between the inserted nozzle and the surfaces of the belts so as to prevent rubbing, or it may be thicker depending upon the casting system being used and the thickness of the strip. When casting metal strip of a predetermined size, for example, A. of an inch, and larger, then the nozzle 25 is constructed to have the same thickness as the caststrip, and it is inserted directly between the bite of the casting belts at the input end of the casting region. As illustrated in casting thicker metal strip, the insulating portion 25 of this nozzle extends forward beyond the end of the steel reinforcing shell 22 7 into a point between the casting belts just beyond a line 74 extending through the axes A and B of the nip rolls 28 and 30, respectively. When casting continuous strips thinner than this predetermined size, then the nozzle portion 25 is enabled to be thicker than the cast strip by using an injection system described in detail below wherein the end of the nozzle abuts against the converging belts.
By virtue of the right-triangular configuration, as illustrated, the approaching flights 75 and 76 of the casting belts l4 and 16, respectively, converge from opposite directions and extend approximately perpendicular to the plane of the casting region C. This convergence of the belts from opposite directions provides convenient access to the input end of the machine and thus accommodates the tundish 5 which is positioned immediately adjacent to the curving portions of the two belts passing around the input rolls 28 and 36 so that a short injection nozzle can be used. Each belt is shown curving approximately 90 around the respective input rolls 28 and 30.
In order to obtain an intense cooling of the portions of the casting belts which are near to the injection nozzle 12, the input rolls 28 and 30 have deep circumferential grooves 31 with high, narrow ridges 77 engaging the reverse surface of the respective belt as it curves approximately 90 around the roll. A pair of large capacity coolant headers 78 and 80 extend parallel to the axes of the input rolls and are connected to the coolant supply manifold by means of large flexible ducts 81 and 82 as shown in FIGURE 1.
A series of coolant feed tubes 84 are connected to each of the coolant headers and are nested in the grooves 31 as shown most clearly in FIGURES 6 and 8. These.
The closely spaced parallel passagesv the belt. 7 90 in the nozzle 85communicates with the end of the.
coolant feed tubes 84 have an oval cross-sectionso as to provide the maximum amount of coolant flow capacity within the space available, while at the same time providing .addedstrength against any tendency to become straightened out under the high coolant pressures utilized. Each of thesecoolant feed tubes curves around its input roll toward the casting region and terminates at a point behind the belt which is almost directly opposite the end of the outer shell 22 of .the'injection nozzle. Each of the coolant feed tubesincludes a special. nozzle, such as shown in FIGURES 9, 10, 11' and 12, for accelerating the jets of coolant as they leave the end of the feed tubes, as is illustrated. in FIGURE 9. Consequently, the'jets of coolant strike the reverse surface of each belt at a very slight angle, being almost tangent to the belt at the region zle 25.
These rapidly moving unconfined layers 48' of coolant continue travelling along the pl-arrar portions of both belts immediately beyond the end of the injection nozzle 25 and continue until the first set 62 of the coolant application units is reached. As mentioned'previously, all of' these coolant application units 66 are identical with those described and claimed in our prior copending application Serial No. 861,134 except that this first set 62, as is seen most clearly in FIGURE ;6,des, not scoop any of thecoolant from the reverse surface of the belt. This first set of coolant application units 62 serves to apply additional coolant for purposes of re-accelerating and building upfthe rapidly moving unconfined coolant layer 4 8 travelling on along the belt.
inner endof the bore 39 istapered as indicated at 91. This nozzle 85 is shown as being formed from a metal block suitably secured to the .end of. the feed tube 84 as,
Configuration of carriages to enhance steering action It will be appreciated that thesewide casting belts, each of which is, revolving under a high tension in. th range from 10,080 to 20,000 p.s.i., may'tend to creep axially one way or the other, depending upon any slight difference with respect to its opposite edges, for example, such :as slight diiierenoes in heat expansion, because the efiect of any such slight difference becomes cumulative as the beltcontinuesto revolve. Consequently, it is important to provide positive steering for each belt. In this way, each belt is controlled in position-and maintained'properly centered on the three main rolls of the carriage.
In order to provide this steering action, the lateral posi- 7 tion of each belt'on its carriage is continuously sensed by cans of probe mechanisms 95 (FIGURE ,3) which engage the .inboard'edges or" the respective belts. In. re-
' sponse to this continuoussensing ofthe belt position, the
axes of the output rolls 32 and 34, which are the steering rolls, are skewed slightly one way or the other in a plane In order to provide points of support and guidance for the casting belts as closely as possible behindth c input rolls 28 and 3b, the first set 46 of the back-up'roller's is constructed ditIcrently from the remaining back-up rollers 44. As is illustrated most clearly in FIGURES '6 and 7, the peripheral ridges d7 of this first set of back-up rollers 46 are reduced in height so thatthe roller shaft itself can perpendicular to the plane of the casting region. This skewing causes the belt to approach the respective tension. rollers as and 313 at a slight deviation from the longitudinal axis of the machine. As a result, the belt is caused to shift gradually laterally one way or the other in the desired drection. This type of steering action is described in detail and claimed in our said prior :copending application Serial No. 722,605. V
be positioned more closely adjacent to the belt, and also the peripheral ridges 47 extend into the grooves 31 of the input rolls. Thus, advantageously, thefirst back-up roller 46 is crowded into the wedge-like space behind and be-. neath the input roll. The rapidly moving unconfined coolant layer 48 created by-the, coolant feed tubes 84 is sulficiently thin to pass beneath the first back-up roller 46 before being re-accelerated and built up into the continu ing layer 48 by the coolant units 62.
As-mentioned above and as is illustrated most clearly.
in FIGURES 9 and ll, the nozzles 850! 85a at the ends of'the oval coolantfeed tubes 84 direct jetsil of the coolant against the curving reverse surface of the belt at a slight'angle to a tangent at the region 87 wherein the jets first come into contact with the belt] In FIGURES 9 and 11 there is shown a tangent 88 to the belt at the region 87 and the angle on between the direction of the jet and thistangent is less than 10. In order'to minimize this angle oz, the bore 89 of the nozzle 85 is shifted away from the centerline of the end of the oval feed tube 86 so that this bore is closely adjacent to the surface of Moreover, a converging flow path or channel feed tube 84 on the opposite side of the centerline from the bore '89 and is directed toward the belt at a much The steering mechanisms for theupper and lower belts are similar and corresponding referencenumbe'rs are used to indicate corresponding parts. A hydraulic cylinder 96 swings an arm 97 so as to rotate an'eccentric mechanism 98 as explained in detail and clamed in said application Serial No. 722,005. This eccentric mechanism causes the bearing mount 99 at the outboard end of the steering roll 32 or 34 to shift its'position slightly while the other bearing mount at the inboard end of this same roll remains stationary. As a result, the roll 32 or 34, as the case maybe, isskewed and produces the desired steering action.
'As is seen most clearly in FIGURE 3, the upper and lower carriages U and L are arranged to guide thccasting belts 14 and 16 along an elongated triangular path. The steering roll 3?. or 34- is larger in diameter than the other two rolls in the carriage. and is positioned at asubstantial 7 By virtue' of this configuration there are provided two larger angle than is the bore 89. This converging path This is advatnageous in laterally distributing and spreading the coolant across the belt so as to provide a substan'' tially uniform layer near the region of initial contact 87.
long parallel stretches of the casting belt extending to and from each steering roll, and these longstretches of the casting beltin each carriage are approximately equal in length and diverge at only a small angle. It has been. found. that this arrangement reduces the force necessary to skew the steering rolland minimizes the racking forces imposed upon the carriage as the steering rolls are skewed. Asa result, the steering operation is made much easier and more effective,and the alignmentofflw carriages is enabled to be held within very close limits, thus improving the uniformity ofthickness'of the casting.
In order to obtain these steering advantages, the axis of the steering roll 32 or 34 is positioned a distance away from the axes of each of theother two rolls 2% and 35 or 3%) and 38 which is greater than twice the spacing between the axes of the other two rolls. In this example of the positioned away from the axis of the roll 28 or 36 is greater than 2.8 times the distance between the latter rolls, and the lower steering roll is positioned away by a distance greater than 3.3 times the spacing between the axes of the rolls 30 and 38. Moreover, it is found to be important to maintain the angle of divergence between the stretches of the belt adjacent to the steering roll less than 20. When this divergence angle is exceeded, the racking forces on the carriage and the forces required to effectuate steering increase sharply. In this example of the invention the long stretches of the casting belt in the upper carriage diverge at an angle of only 14, and the long stretches of the belt in the lower carriage diverge at an angle of only 13.
In order to produce symmetrical steering elfects, the plane of the skewing movement of the steering roll should deviate no more than from perpendicular relationship with a plane bisecting the angle between the long stretches of the casting belt. In this example, the plane of the skewing movement of the upper roll 32 is at an angle of 7 to a plane bisecting the angle between the long stretches of the belt and for the lower roll 32 this angle is 6.5". It is also important to have substantially equal lengths in the stretches of belt extending to and'from the steering roll so that symmetrical effects are produced in these stretches of the belt during skewing of the axis of the steering roll away from parallelism with the plane of the casting region.
Adjustment of inclination of casting region In this machine the plane of the casting regionC can be adjusted from horizontal to a downward inclination of 25 below the horizontal, thus accommodating a wide range of pouring procedures. The whole machine is mounted upon two aligned support pivots 100 and 102 which connect the machine to a pair of aligned pedestals 104 and 106 secured to the base frame 54. The common axis of these support pivots 100 and 102 passes through the lower carriage within the region surrounded by the path of the belt 16.
In order to carry, the weight of the machine, these support pivots 100 and 102 are connected to a first main cantilever beam 108 as seen most clearly in FIGURES 3 and 4. This cantilever beam 108 has a generally U-shaped cross-section as seen in FIGURE 3 as defined by a forward plate 109, a rear plate 110 and a bottom web 111. The inboard ends (right ends in FIGURES 2 and 4) of the beam plates 109 and 110 extend upwardly in a sweeping curve and are rigidly connected to the front end of a chas sis torque stiffener tube 112. The inboard end of the front beam plate 109 continues up so as to support a longitudinally adjustable swing pivot mechanism 114, which carries the upper carriage and will be described in detail further below. The inboard end of the rear beam plate 110 sweeps down from the top of the torque stiffener 112 and rigidly supports the coolant supply manifold 55.
There is an inclination adjustment pedestal 116 secured to the base frame 54 in line with the pedestal 104. For purposes of changing the inclination of the casting region C, a carriage rest 118 is detachably connected to the pedestal 116 at the desired angular position. In this example, the angular adjustment is provided by bolts 119 connected with arcuate rows of stops 120 shown as bolt holes and positioned along arcs concentric about the common axis of the main support pivots 100 and 102. The carriage rest 118 is secured to a second main cantilever beam 122 which is parallel with the first cantilever beam 108 and has a similar construction including a front beam plate 123, a rear beam plate 124 and a bottom web 125. As is shown in FIGURE 2, it is the inboard end of the rear beam plate 124 which sweeps up so as to support the swing pivot mechanism 114.
In these drawings the plane of the casting region C is shown as horizontal. When the machine is inclined downwardly to its steepest inclination, the carriage rest 118 10 occupies the position indicated in FIGURE 3 by the broken line 118'. In FIGURE 4, the bro-ken line 34' indicates the lowest position of the bottom of the output roll 34 relative-to the base frame 54 when the machine is inclined downwardly at the steepest pitch.
Swing mounting of upper carriage for widely opening casting region The lower carriage L includes outboard and inboard longitudinal side frame members 126 and 127, respectively, which are rigidly interconnected by the cantilever beams 108 and 122 and by a flat bed plate 128 and by a vertical web 129. Also, there is a large torque stiffener tube 130 rigidly joining the side members 126 and 127, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 5.
The upper carriage U is generally similar in construction to the lower carriage and includes outboard and inboard side frame members 132 and 133, respectively, which are rigidly interconnected by a first and a second transverse support brace 134 and 136. Each of these support braces comprises pairs of parallel bars 137 and 138 and 139 and 140, and hinge pivot brackets 142 and 144 are secured between the center portions of these bars and project downwardly so as to hold a pair of longitudinally aligned hinge pivots 146 and 148, respectively. There are a vertical web plate 141 and a stiffener torque tube 143 rigidly interconnecting the side frame members of the upper carriage.
A pair of parallel cantilevered swing arms 150 and 152 are provided for elevating the upper carriage U. The inboard ends of these swing arms 150 and 152 are mounted on the adjustable swing pivot mechanism 114, and the outboard ends of these arms are connected to the respective hinge pivots 146 and 148. In order to raise and lower the upper carriage, a large fluid-operated lift cylinder 154 (FIGURE 4) is mounted between the inboard ends of the main cross beams 108 and 122. The upper end of the lift cylinder 154 is secured to a pair of longitudinal brackets 156 and 158 fixed in position between the main beams 108 and 122. A piston rod 160 extends up to a pivot pin 162 connected to a saddle 164 which slidingly engages beneath a tubular bracket 166. This tubular bracket is rigidly spanned between the cantilevered swing arms 150 and 152, and a saddle cap 168 passes over the tubular bracket 166 and is connected at its opposite sides to the saddle 164. To hold the piston rod 160 in vertical alignment, it has a lower extension 160a which extends down through a slide bearing 170 in the bottom end of the hydraulic cylinder 154.
For purposes of further stiffening the two swing arms 150 and152 so as to hold them parallel, a wide arching web plate 172 extends above the tubular bracket 166 and is rigidly secured between the two swing arms. Also, a vertical stiffening web plate 174 extends between these arms near the adjustable swing pivot mechanism 114.
When the piston rod 160 is driven up, the saddle 164 lifts the two swing arms 150 and 152 so that they swing upwardly about the axis of the swing mechanism 114. To accommodate this movement of the arms 150 and 152, the mechanism 114 includes a sturdy pivot shaft 176 (FIGURE 5) and the extreme inboard (right) ends of these arms are adapted to pivot around this shaft 176. This upward movement'of the swing arms opens up the casting region C so as to provide the operator with convenient access thereto from the outboard side (left side in FIGURE 3).
It will be appreciated that this upward swinging movement provides a large headroom clearance space for access into the region between the two carriages. Moreover, the outboard side of the upper carriage U raises even higher than the inboard side so as to provide the most effective working space between the carriages, for example, for making adjustments or replacements in the machine.
Attention is now directed to the fact that the hinge i. pivots 146 and .148 effectively provide an articulated connection forthe upper carriage U so that the upper car riage can be positioned parallel with the lower carriage L regardless of the thickness of the strip beingcast. When the machine is closed to its desired operating position as determined by the particular height of the moving edge dams 68 and 70 to be used, then the'pivots14l6 and 148 allow the casting belt surface of the upper carriage to rest in parallel-relationship with the casting belt sur face of the lower carriage. This parallel alignment of the carriage is thereby obtained-for all thickness of cast material. 7
It will be understood that the moving edge dams 68; and 70 are replaced with higher or lower dams for casting thicker or thinner material. The full Weight of the" upper carriage is not allowed to rest upon these moving dams,
for there are several spacer blocks 178 (FIGS. 1 and 4-) positioned along on opposite sides of the casting region between the edges of the respective pairs of carriage frame members 126and 132, and 127 and 133. These spacer blocks 173-are matched in height with the height of the moving-edge dams 68 and'Tll and are replaced whenever a different size of moving edge dam is used. The articulated mounting of the upper carriage enables it to aligne itself with thelower carriage as it rests upon these spacer blocks 178.
Adjustment of longitudinalposition of upper carriage provides for various casting procedures Among the advantages of this machine are those resultingfrom the fact that the upper carriage U can be adjusted longitudinally in position with respect to the lower carriage L, thus providing flexibility in the casting operations. and enabling the operator to select various casting procedures as may ;be desired. To make this adjustment, the operator turns a handwheel 180 of the. ad-
justment mechanism 114. This handwheel is secured to the front end of a feedscrew 182 which is journaled in a-bearing disc 134 held by the front end of a tubular bracket 186 which is fixed to the portion of the front beam plate 109 surrounding the shaft 176. The threaded length 1880f this feedscrew 132 engages a threaded collar nut 1% attached to the frontend of the shaft 176 which is hollowed out to receive the feedscrew. As the handwheel 186 is rotated, the screw 18% moves the shaft 176 longitudinally through a'slide bearing 192 mounted in the front beam plate 109 and longitudinally through a slide bearing l94 mounted in the rear beam plate 124. In FIGURE 5 this shaft 176 is shown at its extreme forward position, and it' can be moved backwardly until the collar nut 1N- abuts against the slide bearing 192.
In order to transfer this longitudinal movement of the shaft 176 to the upper carriage U, the swing arms 150 and 152 are effectively keyed into circumferentialgrooves in the shaft 176 so that these arms can freely swing about the shaft'176, but the shaft cannot slip through the arms. A ring element 196 engages in a groove 198 and is connected to the swing arm 150,.and a similar circular keying arrangement (not shown) is provided for the arm 152..
In FIGURE 6 a relatively thick strip 73 is being cast,
. bearing down upon :the nozzle.
that is, one-half of an inch thick or thicker, and so the insulatingnozzle portion 25 is inserted directly between theparallel portions of the two belts as described pretwo adjacent moving edge dams prevents the molten metalfrom leaking out of the input end of the casing region. In
otheriwords, the projecting end of the nozzle 25 engages 'snuglybetween the moving edge dams 68' and 70, and
thus they cooperate'to seal up the input ,end of the casting region against leakage, The surface tension of the molten metal prevents. it from leaking through narrow spaces such as .05 of an inch or less, and so leakage. of
the molten metal is prevented even though the-"spaces betweenthe moving'dams andthe stationary nozzle are not watertight.
When casting thinner strips 73a; as shown in FIGURE 14A, that is, less than one-half of an inch, thenthe insulating nozzle 25a remains thickerthan the strip being fractory material, such as the asbestos material18, and
are cut away at 203 and 204 on their inner surfaces so as to provide clearance for the metal shell 22 of the injector nozzle assembly/J The upper and lower surfaces of these plugs Ztltl'and 202 are curved to conform with the adjacent arcuate' sections of the casting belts 14 and 16 as they converge; and curve into the casting region around thenip rolls 28 and 3t). At'theirforward tips the inner surfaces of these plugs are flared outwardly as shown at 2% and 2% for the molten metal to fiow outiagainst the moving edge dams 63 and as it passes'forward' beyond the ends of theplugs 290 and 202. The approaching flights and 76 of the "belts'14- and16 advantageously provide access forthe nozzle 25a to reachthe input end of the casting region C and provide clearane for positioning the tundish I 5 close to the front end ofthe machine.
By Virtue of the longitudinal adjustment of the upper carriage and the advantageous configuration of the carriages which. brings the approaching flights 75 and 76 together from opposite directions as shownin FIGURE 14C, the operator is enabled to pour with a half-open bath or pool of molten metal 298. In FIGURE the upper carriage'is shifted longitudinally toward the-output end of the machine, and the plane. of the casting region C is inclined downwardly. Theflight 75 approaches the plane of the-casting region in perpendicular relationship thereto so that the operatorhas a clear field of view into the half-open bath 298, whilethe lower flight 76 provides clearance for the tundish 5. The insulating nozzle 25a rests down against'the crown of the lower beltwhere it passes over the lower nip roll30 and is held in position by atransverse stiffening member 216, such as an I-beam, Thus, the 'nozzle 25:: forms a barricade to close the back end of the half-open bath 208. The moving edge dams engage opposite. edges of the nozzle'25a so as'to prevent-leakage similar to the engagement between the moving edge dams and thenozzle 25' in FIGURE 6; j
Also, it will be understood that stationary edge dams are provided for restraining the molten metal at opposite sides of the open bath projecting above the moving edge dams 68 and7tl; for example, these stationary edge dams are as disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 2,904,860.
In FIGURE-14D the machine is shown as being arranged for pouring with a fully open bath or pool of molten metal 212. The metal is prevented fromtlowing out of the rear of the pool 212 because its level is below the crown of 'the lower belt 14 where it passes over the'lower nip 1011.30. The opposite sides of the molten pool 212 at a level above the'moving edge dams 68 and 'Ytlare restrained by stationary edge dams, as discussed in connection with FIGURE 14C, and it will be understood that similar stationary edge dams are used in connection with the molten pool 214 in FIGURE 14E. The strip 73c being cast in the arrangement of FIGURE 14D is relatively thin, and FIGURE 14E shows this same kind of arrangement being used to cast a thicker strip 73d. For this thicker strip 73d, the upper carriage U has been shifted further toward the output end. Also, the uppercarriage has been elevated to open the casting region and larger spacer blocks and moving edge dams are being used. Therefore, the open bath 214 has more exposed surface than the bath 212.
It is important to note that the upper carriage is shifted progressively farther toward the output end as the strip thickness is increased when using a fully open bath procedure, as shown in FIGURES 14D and 14E. This longitudinal adjustment progressively opens up the pool212 and 214, assuring that the liquid surface first engages the upper belt at a point P before the upper belt has moved into the casting region. This prevents the entrapmentof gas between the exposed liquid surface and the upper belt after it has entered the casting region.
This adjustment of the longitudinal position of the upper carriage U enables the operator to maintain the position of the upper surface of the molten pool 212 or 214 always at the same height, namely, just below the crown of the roll 31?; Thus, the vertical drop of the molten metal from the end of the nozzle 25a into the pool is always the same minimum distance so as to avoid undue turbulence in the pool.
Belt tensioning mechanism It is an advantage of the belt tensioning mechanism in this machine that it applies the desired high tension to the belts 14 and 16 while maintaining the tension stress uniform across the width of each belt. Moreover, when this tensioning mechanism is released, it provides a large amount of slack in the belts 14 and 16 so as to facilitate their insertion and removal. In this example, the belts have a thickness of 0.050 of an inch and are relatively stiff. This large amount of slack is helpful in flexing the belt around the respective support rolls as it is installed. The tensioning mechanism provides mechanical advantage in the tensioning movement so that the maximum forces required to produce the desired value of tens-ion are markedly reduced from prior arrangements.
As shown in FIGURES l, 4 and 5, the tensioning mechanisms for both belts are generally the same and so corresponding reference numbers are used for corresponding parts. A fluid-operated cylinder 216 has one end pivotally connected to an anchor post 218 regidly fastened to the outboard frame member 126 or 132, and a piston rod 220 extends from the cylinder to a pivot 221 on the end of a crank arm 222. This crank arm 222 twists a tensioning shaft 224 so as to swing a tensioning arm 226 between its belt-slackening and belttensioning positions.
Directing attention to FIGURE 15, it is noted that the full-line drawing shows the belt-tensioning mechanism in its normal operating position for providing full tension in the belt. The dashed position indicated by the'suffix a shows the mechanism in its position for slackening and releasing the belt, and the dash and dotted lines indicated by the sufiix [2 illustrate the available overtravel of the mechanism which provides an operating margin so as to provide full tension in stretched or enlarged belts.
The belt-tensioning roller 36 is a hollow cylinder mounted at its opposite ends on suitable bearings 228, such as roller bearings on a fixed internal shaft 230 which extends between the tensioning arm 226 and a corresponding tensioning arm 227 at the inboard side of the carriage. For uniform tension stress to be applied across the width of the belt, any movement imparted to the tensioning arm 226 by the piston rod 220 must be exactly matched by a corresponding movement of the i4 other tensioning arm 227. This construction providing a fixed internal shaft or axle 230 is advantageous, be-
cause the axle 230 serves to tie the two arms 226 and 1 227 together. Also, the bearings 228 are freed from any racking or binding because the stationary axle 230 holds the axes of these bearings 228 in alignment at all times.
To provide a rigid interconnection between the tensioning arms 226 and 227, there is a large stiff torque tube 232 secured between portions of the tensioning arms which are generally on the opposite side of the axis of the shaft 224 from the axle 230. This torque tube 232 is offset from the axis of the pivot 224 toward the center of the carriage, and as a result, the mechanism iscompact and the over-all size of the carriage is reduced.
It is to be noted that the planes of the two planar portions of the belt adjacent to the tensioning roll 36 define an acute angle B at the tensioning roll. Moreover, as the tensioning arms 226 and 227 are swung into their belt-tensioning positions, their eifective lever arms approach closely to parallelism with the bisector 234 of the angle B. The effective lever arm of the tensioning arm 226 or 227 is defined as a line 236 passing through the axes of the shafts 224 and 230.
As a result of this advantageous relationship, a toggle effect is provided which markedly reduces the magnitude of the force required to produce the desired tension below that for previous arrangements, and thus enables much wider carriages and casting belts to be used for casting wider slabs. A further desirable eifect is obtained in that the magnitude of the tension does not change very much for small angular movements of the lever arm 236 with respect to the bisector 234-. Therefore, if either of the tensioning arms should become deflected slightly from its desired position, this will not cause any appreciable difference in the actual tension applied to opposite edge portions of the belt.
In summary, this tensioning mechanism is easier and more effective to operate and is less critical in its positioning and produces a more uniform tension across the width of the belt. In the event that the belt is enlarged or stretched, there is an available range of overt'ravel for Obtaining the desired tension as indicated by the dash and dot position b.
In this example of the invention, the acute angle ,8 is 77 and in the fully tensioned position, the lever arm 236 approaches parallelism with the bisector 234 to with- 111 less than 22". This angular difference of less than 22 provides an operating margin for the overtravel movement discussed above.
Moving edge dam guide mechanism As the moving edge dams revolve, they are guided into the casting region C by a gniide mechanism 240 (FIGURE 1) positioned below and adjacent to the input end of the casting region. It is an advantage of this guide mechanism that it is supported solely from the inboard side of the machine so that the lower belt 16 can be removed and replaced without any necessity for removing either of the moving edge dams or of removing any part of this guide mechanism. As shown in FIG- URE 1, the inboard side frame 127 of the lower carriage has a forward projection 242 and a cantilevered horizontal post 244 is mounted thereon. The moving edge dams 68 and 70 are guided by crescent-shaped members 246 and 248 having a plurality of flanged guide wheels 250 at spaced positions along their convex outer edges. Releasable clamps such as the clamp 252 enable the width of the cast strip to be changed by changing the horizontal spacing between the guide members 246 and 248. At their upper ends the guide members 246 and 248 include adjustable longitudinal parallel guides 254 extending along beside the moving edge dams as they enter the casting region so as to prevent the pressure of the molten metal from diverging the moving edge dams out away from parallelism.
The crescent-shaped guide members 246 and 248 are I positioned so thatthe moving edge dams 68 and iii become fully straightened out as they pass over the uppermost guide wheel 25%, and the moving edge-dams are directly aligned by this last wheel with the plane of the casting region before the moving edge damscome into contact with either of the casting belts. In this way the adjacent ends of the, individual blocks '71 of each of these moving edge dams become parallel and close together be-- fore the moving edge darn moves in between the belts.
Casting belt drive mechanism The two'casting belts Hand 16 are driven by the universal drive shafts 42, and '43 connected to a wormgear speed-reducer drive mechanism 256, The vtelescopingsplined portions 257 ofthe shafts 42 and 43e s,
corrunoda'te changes in length due to position changes of the upper carriage. An input shaft 258 (FIGURE 5) to their length and nesting deeply into saiddeep circum ferential grooves with the larger dimension of said oval shape extending down deeply into said grooves, "said closely spaced high narrowridges providing closely adjacent points of support for the curving areas of the belt,
and said ovalcoolant feed tubes providing, a large coolant carrying capacity while resistingstraighteningunder the pressure of thecoolant flowing therethrough..-
2. Apparatus for continuously casting molten metal .as claimed in claim'l including a nozzle at the end-of each of said curved oval coolant feed tubes, said coolant nozzle defining an outlet passage closelyjadjacent to the curving extends forwardly from this gear mechanisnrZSii tea I sprocket 2st driven by achain 252 from a sprocket 254 connected toa solenoid-controlled clutch 266 driven by a motor 268. The tension in the chain 252 is adjusted by a turnbuckle element 27% for moving the hinged motor bracket'272. In order to measure the travel of the belts,
a revolution-counter mechanismi'l l is driven from the, vshaft 258 by suitable gearing276.
From the foregoing it will be understood that the continuous casting apparatus embodying thepresent invention described above is well suited to provide the advantages set forth, and since many possible embodiments -may be made of the various features of this invention and as the systems and apparatus herein described may.
be varied in various parts, all without departing from the scope of the invention, it is to be understood that all 7 matter hereinbefore set forth or shown in the acconn panying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense and that in certain instances, some of the features of the invention may be used without a corresponding use of other features, all without invention.
sides of the casting region at the input end thereof," said rolls being directly opposed to each other at the input end of the casting region and having deep circumferential grooves therein with high narrow closely spaced ridges between said deep groves, said belts curving around said first and second rolls, respectively, in travelling toward the casting region and defining thev input end of the casting region between said first and second rolls, a container of molten metal positioned closely adjacent to the curving portions of both of said belts and closely adjacentto the input to the casting region, a short molten metal injector nozzle communicating with said metal container and inserted into the input end of the casting region between the'curving areas of said beltstravelling around said respective rolls, a source of liquid coolant under pressure, a
first plurality of curved coolant feed tubes communicating with said source and fitting into the deep circumferential grooves of the'first roll beneath the curving inner surface of thefirst belt for flowing coolant along its curving surface in a region near to said nozzle, a second plurality of curved coolant feed tubes communicatingwith said source and fitting into the deep circumferential grooves of the second rollbeneath the curving inner surface of the second belt for flowing coolant along its curving surface :in a region near to said nozzle, said first and second plurality of coolant feed tubes having. an oval shape transversely.
inner surface. ofthe respective beltgand directed at a small angle with respect thereto and a converging passageway directed at'a 'largepangletoward the belt and merging into said outlet passage near the discharge end thereof for spreading theemerging jetof coolant laterally over the inner surface of the casting belt.= A
3. Apparatus for continuously casting molten metal comprising first and second movingfiexible belts, means supporting and driving saidybelts forimovem ent in the same direction at the same speed in spaced face-to-face 'reiationship defining a casting region therebetween including first and second aligned rolls positioned on opposite sides of the casting region and in opposed relationship at the input end thereof and having deep -circumferential grooves therein, said belts approaching one, another from substantially opposite directions and, curving around the respective rolls in travelling toward the casting region, a source of molten metal, an injector nozzle for the molten metal communicating with said'metal source and communicating 'with the input: end of, the casting region, the discharge end of said nozzle being ,abutted against the curving areas of'said belts travelling around said respective rolls, a source'of liquid coolantunder pressure, a first 'plur'alityof curved coolant feed tubes communicating with said source of coolant under pressure andfitting into the grooves of the first'roll beneath the curving inner surface of the first belt for flowing coolant along its curving inner surface in a region near to said injector nozzle for intense cooling of the curving region of said first belt adjacent to the discharge end of. said injector nozzle, and a second plurality of curved coolant feed tubes. communicating with said coolant source and fitting into'the grooves of the second roll beneaththe curving inner-surface of the second belt 'for'fiowingcoolant along'its curving innersurface in a region near to said injector nozzle for intense cooling ofgthe' curving region ofvsaid second belt adjacent to the discharge end of said injector nozzle. v I
4. Apparatus for continuous casting of metal strip directly from molten metal in which the molten metal is solidified in, a casting region between parallel areas of a pair of endless flexible revolving casting .belts comprising 7 upper and lower belt carriages each including one ofsaid endless casting belts and rolls for guiding and driving portions of said belts along in closely spaced face-to-face relationship for defining a continuous casting region between the belts, supporting structure for said carriages, a
base frame for supporting bothof said carriages from the corresponding side and each in cantilevered relationship,
a pairfof' aligned pivot connections between said base frame and said supporting structure defining a pivot axis extending horizontallytransversely to the length of-the casting region for permitting simultaneous change of inclination of both of saidcarriages, andadjustable support mechanism spaced from said pivot connections for supporting both of said carriages at any desired inclinat on for simultaneously changing the inclination of both of Y saidlcarriages for adjusting the inclination of the casting ion along the length of the casting region in the direction of movement of the closely spacedportions of the two casting belts. I r I 5. Apparatus for continuous casting of metal strip difamily f om Inoltenmetal comprising upper and'lower belt assemblies each including an endless casting belt and rolls for guiding and driving portions of said belts moving along in closely spaced face-to-face relationship for defining a casting region between the moving belts for receiving the molten metal into one end of the casting region and for discharging the solidified metal from the other end of the casting region, supporting structure for said assemblies, means for cooling said belts including a plurality of coolant applicator units associated with the belts in the upper and lower assemblies for applying liquid coolant to the upper and lower casting belts, a manifold extending along said supporting structure and parallel to said casting region and connected to said applicator units for supplying coolant thereto, a base frame, a pivot connection between said base frame and said supporting structure defining a pivot axis extending horizontally transversely to the length of the casting region for permitting simultaneous change of inclination of both of said assemblies together with the inclination of said manifold, and adjustable support means spaced from said pivot axis for supporting both of said assemblies and said manifold at any desired inclination for simultaneously changing the inclination of both of said assemblies and also simultaneously changing the inclination of said manifold for adjusting the inclination of the casting region from the input end to the output end, while maintaining said manifold parallel with the casting region for providing similar cooling action in different adjusted positions of the inclination of the casting region.
6. A machine for continuously casting molten metal comprising upper and lower carriages each including a plurality of parallel rolls and an endless casting belt revolving'around the rolls with portions of the respective upper and lower casting belts moving along in closely spaced face-to-face parallel-relationship for defining a planar casting'region between the belts for receiving the molten metal into one endof the casting region in the direction of movement of the casting belts and for discharging the solidified metal from the other. end ofthe casting region, an'upper leverstru'cture for supporting said upper carriage in cantilevered relationship, a lower lever structure for supporting said lower. carriage in cantilevered relationship, a first pivot connection. for interconnecting said lever structures having its axis extending longitudinally of the machine parallel with the length of the casting region for swinging said carriages apart to open the casting region, a base frame, a second pivot connection between said lower lever structure and said base frame having its axis extending horizontally transversely of the length of the casting region, an inclination adjustment mechanism for simultaneously swinging said lever structures, said first pivot connection and said carriages about the axis of said second pivot connection for adjusting the inclination of said casting region from the input end to the discharge end. i
7. A machine as claimed in claim 6 and wherein said first pivot connection comprises an adjustment mechanism of said upper and lower belts to change the thickness of the cast slab, and carriage-position adjustment mechanism included in said support means for adjusting the operating position of one of said carriages longitudinally parallel with the adjacent portion of the belt on the other carriage for changing the relative longitudinal position of the adjacent portions of said upper and lower belts at theinput end of the casting region.
9. A machine for continuously casting molten metal comprising upper and lower carriages each having a plurality of parallel rolls thereon, upper and lower endless flexible casting 'belts supported and revolved about the respective rolls of said carriages, the adjacent portions of said upper and lower'belts extending and moving along spaced substantially parallel paths at the same speed defining a continuous casting region therebetween having its length extending in the direction of movement of the adjacent portions of said belts, a supporting structure for supporting said lower carriage, lever means for supporting said upper carriage and for raising said. upper carriage away from said lower carriage, a pivot connection between said lever means and said supporting structure, said pivot connection having an axis extending parallel with the length of the casting region and offset beyond one edge of the casting region, a lift mechanism for raising said lever means to separate the carriages including a fluid-operated cylinder mounted on said supporting structure, a piston rod extending from said cylinder, a sliding connection between said piston 'rod and said lever means for permitting said lever means to slide with respect to said piston rod in a direction parallel with said axis of the pivot connection, said pivot connection comprising adjustment mechanism for moving said lever means in a direction parallel with said axis for moving said upper carriage longitudinally parallel with the adjacent portion of the belt on the other carriage for adjusting the position of. the upper carriage longitudinally along the casting region.
for longitudinally adjusting the upper carriage with respect to the lower carriage.
8. Apparatus for continuously casting molten metal into a Wide thin slab comprising upper and lower carriages each having a plurality of parallel rolls thereon, upper and lower endless flexible casting belts supported and revolved about the respective rolls of said carriages, the adjacent portions of said upper and lower belts extending along spaced substantially parallel paths and moving along said parallel paths at the same speed in closely opposed relationship providing a casting region between said moving belts for receiving the molten metal into the input end of the casting region in the direction of movement of the adjacent portions of said upper and lower belts and for discharging the solidified metal from the other end of the casting region, support means for supporting said carriages, means for moving said carriages apart for changing the spacing between the adjacent portions Q10. In a machine for continuously casting wide thin shapes frommoltenmetal having a pair of endless flexible moving'ca'sting belts with portions of the belts travelling in the same direction in spaced face-to-face relationship defining a casting region therebetween, at least three rolls for supporting each belt, belt-tensioningmeans' comprising one of said'rolls' having the belt flexed therearound and having the stretches of the belt on either side of said roll defining an acute angle, pivoted arm means supporting said roll, and driving mechanism for moving said arm means, the axis of said arm means approaching the bisector of said acute angle when said belt is fully tensioned.
ll. Belt-tensioning mechanism as claimed in claim 10 wherein said arm means comprise two spaced parallel arms for supporting opposite ends of said roll, said arms swinging about a common pivot axis, and a torque tube rigidly interconnecting said arms for holding them in parallel relationship.
12. Belt-tensioning mechanism as claimed in claim 11 and wherein said torque tube is offset from said common pivot axis in a direction away from the roll.
13. Apparatus for continuously casting molten metal comprising first and second moving flexible belts, means supporting and driving said belts for movement in the same direction at the same speed in spaced face-to-face relationship defining a casting region therebetween including first and second rolls having deep circumferential grooves with high, narrow ridges between said grooves, said first and second rolls being in parallel relationship and rotating in opposite directions during operation, said first belt engaging the ridges of said first roll and curving partially around said first roll at the input end of the casting region, said second belt engaging the ridges of said second roll and curving partially around said second roll at the input end of the casting region, a source of liquid coolant under pressure, a first and a second plurality of curving coolant feed tubes connected to said source and