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Reconstruction of electron beam installation TICO-15m.

Early in 2006 <<Strategiya BM>> Ltd bought from the <<Fico>> company the TICO-15M electron beam remelting installation. Within two months a team of process engineers, engineers and melting operators was established, and in March first ingot of titanium of Grade 2 from spongy titanium fabricated at ZTMK (Zaporozhie, Ukraine) was produced. Dimensions of melted ingots were as follows: diameter 640 mm, length up to 2000 mm, mass up to 2900 kg (Figure 1).

It should be noted that the TICO-15M installation, developed in 1990, earlier never produced more than 20 t ingots per month, and since 2003 did not work at all. That's why the primary task was restoration of its working capacity. For this purpose several structural elements and systems, service life of which was over, were replaced.

Then it became necessary to carry out reconstruction of TICO-15M, which was performed in close cooperation with <<KB VMO>> Ltd that had great experience in development of the electron beam melting furnaces.

The reconstruction concerned, first of all, feeding mechanism of the consumable billet. The new mechanism envisages application of non-meltable boxes for feeding charge into the melting zone. Mass of possible loading of the charge was increased up to 4.6 t. Asynchronous motors and pulse converters of the <<Mitsubishi>> company (Japan) with self-control and self-diagnostics systems, allowing their further connecting to the computerized control system of the electron beam installation as a whole, were used for increasing reliability of operation of the drives used for feeding of consumable billets and drawing of the ingots.


Jointly with NTUU <<KPI>> new PGE-450 electron guns of nominal power 450 kW (acceleration voltage 30 kV), developed at <<KB VMO>> Ltd, equipped with two focusing and one deviation coils, were installed. The guns are simple in fabrication, convenient in operation, and do not require for additional vacuum pumps for development of working pressure in the working volume. Possibility of installation of the "crucible edge protection mode" sensor is envisaged in them.

A new main control panel of the installation (Figure 2) is installed, which is based on new units of the electron gun control (Figure 3), developed by <<Solo>> Ltd (Kiev, Ukraine) that fulfill usual functions (control movement of the electron beams, focusing of the beams, and operation of the working gas leaks). In addition, the units allow forming and programming from one to six beam configurations with an independent task of one electron gun for creation of the necessary temperature field and control of the system of real-time sweeps by means of a built-in manipulator of the joystick type, storing in the nonvolatile memory up to six programmed in advance forms of sweeps, and reflecting on the colored videoterminal established parameters of melting and forms of the sweeps in graphic, symbolic and digital forms. The units ensure so called crucible edge protection mode, which means that electron beam in the process of melting can not get outside real geometric dimensions of the fitting-out. This function of the electron gun control units excludes emergency situations, connected with burning-through of the intermediate unit, mould and cooling systems. The units have built-in resources for ensuring self-control and self-diagnostics conditions and are integrated with a peripheral computer by means of the RS-485 serial channel.



Majority of works, connected with reconstruction of the TICO-15M unit, were carried out without stopping the production. As a result of the reconstruction productivity of the TICO-15M unit is 600 t of ingots per year.

After beginning of the operation more than 650 t ingots of non-alloyed titanium of Grade 1 and Grade 2 ASTM B348 were produced.

One of the ways of increasing efficiency of production under changed conditions of the titanium market is melting of ingots of preset chemical composition, in particular for non-alloyed titanium, and ingots with a certain oxygen equivalent.


More than 200 t of Grade 2 ASTM B348 non-alloyed titanium with oxygen equivalent [O.sub.eq] within 0.17-0.21 were produced from titanium sponge of grades TG-100, TG-110, TG-120 and TG-130. Depending upon content of impurities (nitrogen, iron, carbon), which effect level of [O.sub.eq], ingots of 640 mm diameter and mass up to 2.8 t with oxygen concentration within two ranges (0.11-0.13 and 0.14-0.16 %) were melted. Additional oxygen was introduced into the metal by addition of titanium oxide IV.

Results of chemical and gas analyses showed high homogeneity of composition of the ingots over their height and section. Deviation of oxygen content from the mean value equaled 0.01, nitrogen--0.002, iron--0.01, carbon 0.002 abs.% for both ranges of concentrations.

Since late 2006 jointly with M.V. Frunze Sumy MNPO the works were carried out, connected with malleating of ingots of 640 mm diameter into flat slabs of 200 and 220 mm thickness (Figure 4).

The malleated slabs were successfully rolled into sheets at the enterprises of Europe. At present specifications are being developed on these products for organization of their serial production.

In near future it is planned to carry out at the enterprise <<Strategiya BM>> Ltd the next stage of the TICO-15M installation reconstruction, due to which length of the produced ingots will increase up to 3000 mm, mass up to 4.3 t, and annual productivity of the TICO-15M unit will increase up to 900 t.

At the enterprise the quality ensuring system is introduced and works according to requirements of the DSTU ISO 9000 standard. At present the work is carried out, directed at getting a respective certificate in <<UkrSEPROZ>>.


(1) <<Strategiya BM>> Ltd, Kiev, Ukraine

(2) NVO <<Chervona Khvylya>> Ltd, Kiev, Ukraine

(3) <<KB VMO>> Ltd, Kiev, Ukraine

(4) Physico-Technological Institute of Metals and Alloys, Kiev, Ukraine
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Author:Kostenko, V.I.; Pap, P.A.; Kalinyuk, A.N.; Kovalchuk, D.V.; Kondraty, N.P.; Chernyavsky, V.B.
Publication:Advances in Electrometallurgy
Date:Jul 1, 2007
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