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Report - Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - July 2014

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by One Flew East, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. One Flew East

    One Flew East 28DL Full Member
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    Tech:
    Formerly known as Queenborough Rolling Mill, the plant was established in the mid 1970s specifically to re-roll used rail track into 6–20mm diameter rebar. During the 1990s, additional roughing stands were added to allow the mill to re-roll billets in addition to rail. This change resulted in the capability of the mill being expanded to produce a range of merchant bar products. In 1999, the site was acquired by ISTIL Group who carried out a substantial refurbishment of the mill and associated equipment and concentrated on rolling merchant bar products solely from billet for sale within the UK and Europe. In 2008 ISTIL Group was sold to the Russian based company Estar and in 2010 the plant was renamed Invicta Merchant Bar.
    Mechel Group became the plant’s strategic partner supplying Invicta Merchant Bar with billets and marketing its products through Mechel Services Global. In 2011, the plant became part of the Mechel group until February 2013 when production ceased and the plant was sold by Mechel.

    The feedstock to the plant prior to its closure was steel billet 110 x 110 – 140 x 140mm. Prior to rolling, the 6m long billets are heated in a Bendotti dual fuel, two zone pusher furnace with a rating of 38t/hour. Preheated billets are fed to a train of 7 roughing stands (Stands 1-7) which reduces the billet to around 48mm diameter. The material is then fed to a train of 3 intermediate stands (Stands 8-10) before being fed into one of two finishing lines.
    Line 1 comprises stands 11-22 with repeaters to turn the material through 180 degrees after stands 10 and 14. The precise configuration of stands is governed by the product being rolled and the line includes a down-looper and up to 3 unloopers to allow tension free rolling. Product finishing speeds are in the range 2-20m/min and the line utilises fast or slow shear stands complete with grip and brake rolls before the material is fed onto a double entry brake slide, walking beam cooling bed. The cooling bed is 48 m long with layer beam discharge to a 400mm wide conveyor and cold shear where the product is cut to length (usually 6m) before being bundled, strapped and weighed before being loaded onto railway wagons. Products rolled on Line 1 include Rounds 8-42mm dia, Flats 12 x 3 -100 x 10 and Squares 10-25mm A/F.

    Line 2 was installed in the mid 1980’s and comprises stands D-N with repeaters to turn the material through 180 degrees after the exit of stands E and G. Product finishing speeds are in the range 4-13m/min and the line utilises fast or slow shear stands complete with grip and brake rolls before the material is fed into twin discharge buckets before entry onto the 36m walking beam, cooling bed. The product is transferred to a cold shear where the product is cut to length (usually 6m) before being bundled, strapped and weighed before being loaded onto railway wagons. Products rolled on Line 2 include Rounds 12-22mm dia, Flats 20-30 x 5 and 6, and Squares 10-16mm A/F.

    Got that? Good.

    There are some interesting historic photos to be found of the site including the rail lines feeding the site in more productive times. Most of the rail is now gone and the place is silent apart from the clatter of pigeons up in the roof space and the wind pulling at the fabric of the building. The tooling inside is for sale and being sold off, and you can see why. There's some high-value kit inside there.
    The evidence of the dark humour that its former staff left behind really added to the experience.
    I found it to be like a smaller-scale, more intimate relative of the big steelworks down the road. It seems like there was a relatively small and close-knit team working it.

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    The full range of photos are on the link below.

     
    #1 One Flew East, Jul 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

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  2. jST

    jST LLS.
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Excellent.
     
  3. Storm

    Storm 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Nice find, good report, thanks for sharing OFE :thumb
     
  4. Indecisive Moment

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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Such lovely bits of machinery. You've photographed it really well :)
     
  5. Session9

    Session9 A life backwards
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Lovely - cracking phots
     
  6. mw0sec

    mw0sec 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Oh that wonderful lathe - if only I had a spare warehouse...
     
  7. norfolkexplorer

    norfolkexplorer av u seen my marbels
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Stunning work mate, great photos and great write up. :thumb
     
  8. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Interesting report. Thanks :thumb
     
  9. Raptor Jesus

    Raptor Jesus GDMEODC
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    That's tasty that is. Nice one duck :)
     
  10. Carter

    Carter 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Always good to see this place and you have captured it well, great photos mate:thumb
     
  11. upright_ninja

    upright_ninja Picture of Stealth
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Fantastic report sir! If this is the place I think it is... it's high up the list of 'to-do's...!' Cracking set of shots. I love the 'disgruntled employee' graff on the red door! Quality! Thanks for sharing!

    u>.<n
     
  12. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Also very high on my list, you've taken fantastic shots and well done for sneaking a pair of tits in there :thumb
     
  13. Kaplan

    Kaplan Procrastinator
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Spot, and indeed, on.

    Fucking lovely.
     
  14. One Flew East

    One Flew East 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Thanks for your kind interest.

    Carter, upright_ninja, The_Raw; for the avoidance of doubt, this isn't Thamesteel Sheerness, this is a new one.
     
  15. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Steel Rolling Mill, Queenborough, Kent - Jul '14

    Ahh how interesting, cheers for the heads up I was making exactly that assumption :thumb
     
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