Record-breaking pour for Sheffield steel firm

Sheffield Forgemasters' record 607 tonne casting pour.
Sheffield Forgemasters' record 607 tonne casting pour.

A Sheffield steel works has set a new World record by completing the biggest ever pour of continuous molten steel into a mould.

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) transferred a staggering 607 tonnes of molten steel into a vast subterranean mould.

The record breaking feat in the company’s Brightside Lane foundry beats the biggest ever previous pour by seven tonnes.

It will create an ultra-large casting component which will weigh around 320 tonnes once finished, taking six weeks to cool sufficiently to be excavated.

The pouring is the fifth in a series of eleven castings destined to become some of the largest cast components ever made by the South Yorkshire manufacturing giant for a landmark 19m USD contract for German company SMS Meer, which produces metals processing and manufacturing machinery.

John Sanderson, foundry manager, said: “This casting is set to be a record for some time now. The process, which has many complex elements, was made even more challenging because the casting is one in a series of eleven, which meant that our deep casting pits were already in use so we had to raise the sides of a shallower pit to 12 feet above ground level to accommodate.

“Pouring 607 tonnes of liquid steel required five ladles to be poured simultaneously, with a sixth ladle used as a top-up.

“The steel is poured at more than 1,500 degrees centigrade.”

SFIL will deliver six more similar castings over the next 18 months as part of the contract which will see more than 6,000 tonnes of molten steel produced in total. SFIL is one of the only companies worldwide able to manufacture large castings of more than 150 tonnes in weight.