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1. (WO1993016821) PROCEDE ET APPAREIL SERVANT A APPLIQUER ET A ENLEVER UN LIQUIDE REFRIGERANT AFIN DE REGULER LA TEMPERATURE D'UNE BANDE METALLIQUE A DEPLACEMENT CONTINU
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR APPLYING AND
REMOVING LIQUID COOLANT TO CONTROL TEMPERATURE OF CONTINUOUSLY MOVING METAL STRIP

Technical Field
This invention relates to processes and apparatus for applying liquid coolant to, and removing the coolant from, metal strip advancing in a continuous line. In a
particular sense, the invention is directed to cooling of metal strip in single stand and multistand cold rolling mills. Still more particularly, the invention is
concerned with processes and apparatus for water cooling , of water-stainable metal strip, such as aluminum strip, during cold rolling of the strip in single stand and multistand mills. Detailed reference will be made herein, for purposes of illustration, to the multistand cold rolling mill application.
Background Art
In the cold rolling of sheet metal such as aluminum strip (the term "aluminum" being used herein to refer to aluminum-based alloys as well as pure aluminum metal) , the strip is reduced in thickness by cold working in one or a tandem succession of roll stands each typically including upper and lower work rolls (between which the strip passes) and upper and lower backup rolls respectively above and below (and in contact with) the upper and lower work rolls. The strip to be reduced is paid out from a coil at the upstream end of the cold rolling line, and after passage through the roll stand or stands, is rewound into a coil at the downstream end of the line, the
cold-rolling operation being essentially continuous.
Unavoidably, the cold working of the strip as it passes through the nip of each roll stand is accompanied by some elevation of strip temperature. In a single-stand mill, this temperature rise is usually not troublesome provided the strip enters the mill near room temperature. In a multistand tandem mill, however, the increases in strip temperature at the several roll stands are
cumulative, with the result that the exit temperature of the strip from the mill may exceed acceptable limits, even with entry at room temperature. For example, computer model analysis of a three-stand mill indicates that the strip exit temperature can approach a value as high as 300"C, depending primarily on the particular alloy being rolled, the extent of the reductions to which it is subjected in the mill, and the rolling conditions. On the other hand, considerations related to process reliability, such as the avoidance of strip breaks, and metallurgical and mechanical considerations related to product
performance, require that the exit or coiling temperature of cold-rolled aluminum strip be kept usually between 100 and 180°C, depending on the product, a typical limiting value being around 150°C. Moreover, in the case of some products, it would be highly advantageous to control the coiling temperature of cold-rolled strip within some predetermined range for maximum efficiency and benefit in subsequent process steps. At the time this invention was made, it was not possible to realize this control because usually the roll stands were flooded with coolant, so that the exit temperature depended on the history of the coil, and the rolling conditions. Thus, there was a clear need for controlled cooling of the metal strip between
successive roll stands of a multistand tandem cold rolling mill.
Controlled cooling can also be advantageous at the entry of a single stand cold rolling mill. Coils coming from the hot rolling line or from heat treatment, without time for sufficient natural cooling, can be rolled without the exit temperature exceeding acceptable limits.
Similarly, it makes possible a back-to-back pass schedule (i.e., a coil rolled, and then immediately re-rolled). Considerable advantage is thereby gained from reduced handling and storing of coils, shortened fabrication time and reduced in process inventory.

At the same time, as the strip is cooled, it is important that the cooling operation not adversely affect other aspects of product quality. One such aspect is control of thickness and flatness, which may be upset if the relatively thin-gauge strip being cold rolled is deflected by the force of high pressure jets of coolant fluid. Again, while water is a preferred coolant from the standpoint of cost and effectiveness, the presence of water may impair the performance of rolling lubricant at the roll stands and, if the strip is aluminum or other water-stainable metal, residual water in the rewound coil may cause unacceptable surface staining.
Disclosure of the Invention
The present invention in a first aspect relates broadly to a process for cooling a metal strip which is advanced continuously longitudinally along a generally horizontal path with opposed major surfaces of the strip respectively facing upwardly and downwardly. The process for cooling the strip comprises the steps of delivering coolant liquid into contact with only the downwardly facing surface of the advancing strip by discharging the coolant liquid upwardly, onto the downwardly facing strip surface, through a plurality of upwardly opening slots disposed below the strip in spaced relation thereto, the slots being spaced apart along the path and each
extending, transversely of the path, across substantially the entire width of the strip, while preventing the discharged coolant liquid from coming into contact with the upwardly facing surface of the strip, and, downstream of the plurality of slots in the direction of strip advance, removing coolant liquid from the downwardly facing strip surface.
In this process, all the slots are preferably
oriented to direct the coolant liquid toward the strip at an angle of at least about 90° to the direction of advance of the strip in the path. Very preferably, most or all of the slots are oriented to direct the coolant liquid toward the strip at an angle greater than 90° to the direction of advance of the strip in the path. However, one or more of the slots which are furthest upstream (with reference to the strip path) may be oriented to direct the coolant liquid toward the strip at an angle of about 90° to the direction of strip advance, to limit the upstream extent of coolant delivery, as may be desired, for instance, to prevent the coolant from reaching a roll stand disposed upstream of the array of slots.
As a particular feature of the invention, the coolant liquid (which is conveniently or preferably water) is supplied to the slots at a pressure such that it impinges on the strip from each slot as a continuous curtain of water across substantially the full width of the strip without substantially upwardly deflecting the strip. In accordance with additional preferred or particular
features of the invention, the slots are each between about 0.2 and about 5.0 mm wide, preferably between 0.5 and 2.0 mm wide; the spacing between adjacent slots, in the direction of strip advance, is between about 50 and about 500 mm, preferably between 100 and 150 mm; the slots are all supplied with water from a constant head
standpipe, at a pressure head of less than 10 m
(preferably less than 3 m, most preferably less than 1 m) ; and the slots can be shut off individually for precise control of cooling conditions, i.e., so that less than all the slots are discharging water.
It will be understood that the coolant liquid is thus delivered to the continuously advancing strip, in the process of the invention, in a plurality of transverse liquid curtains directed upwardly against the undersurface of the strip at oblique angles counter to the direction of strip advance, the curtains being disposed in tandem succession along the strip path. This cooling arrangement is found fully effective to achieve desired reduction of strip temperature for such purposes as interstand cooling in a multistand tandem cold rolling mill, without upwardly deflecting the strip to any extent that would interfere with control of strip profile and flatness. The direction of the liquid curtains, obliquely counter to the direction of longitudinal strip advance, provides a higher relative velocity between coolant and strip (hence, better heat transfer) than if the curtains were normal to the strip or angled obliquely toward the strip motion direction. This also imposes a lower deflecting load on the strip than if the curtains were normal thereto, and also minimizes interference of the liquid curtains with discharge of coolant through adjacent slots. Moreover, the application of water (as the coolant liquid) in this manner minimizes troublesome presence of residual water on the strip surfaces.
Prevention of water carry-over to the strip upper surface is largely a consequence of the configuration of the water curtains themselves, since these low-pressure continuous curtains exhibit little lateral divergence beyond the side edges of the moving strip. If the slots extend outwardly of the strip side edges, their
extremities may be occluded or the water curtains
deflected as by shutters to limit the curtain dimensions in accordance with the strip width. Confinement of the region of coolant application (i.e., the locality of the array of slots) below the strip path, using suitable shielding structures, effectively completes the prevention of carry-over of water to the strip upper surface.
Thus, in order to avoid residual water that could cause staining problems or interfere with downstream operations such as flatness or thickness measurements or lubrication for the next downstream roll stand, it is only necessary to remove coolant water from the lower surface of the strip. Such removal is greatly aided by gravity, because the wetted strip surface faces downwardly so that much of the applied water falls from it. The orientation of each water curtain, obliquely counter to the direction of strip advance, also tends to push from the strip surface some of the excess water delivered by the adjacent upstream curtain. A stationary barrier below the strip, at the downstream end of the array of slots, arrests any flying water spray thrown off from the moving strip with a substantial longitudinal velocity.
The step of removing residual water remaining on the strip lower surface, at or beyond the downstream end of the array of slots, is advantageously performed by
directing a fluid knife against the strip surface. As herein used, the term "fluid knife" refers to a curtain or array of jets of gas and/or liquid, under relatively substantial pressure, impinging against the water-bearing strip surface at an angle obliquely counter to 'the
tangential direction of strip movement at the location of impingement, so as to force the residual water from the surface.
The invention in a second aspect, relates to the coolant liquid removal step of the above cooling process. Thus, it relates to a process for removing residual coolant liquid (e.g. water) from a downwardly facing surface of a continuously longitudinally advancing metal strip by directing a liquid knife against the downwardly facing strip surface, at an angle greater than 90° to the direction of strip advance. The liquid knife is directed downstream of the plurality of slots, while training the strip around a hold-down roll in contact with the upwardly facing strip surface at a location such that the liquid knife impinges against the downwardly facing strip surface at a point at which the upwardly facing strip surface engages the hold-down roll.
In one embodiment of the coolant removal process, the liquid knife is a knife of the coolant liquid, and the process includes the step of directing a second liquid knife, of a liquid immiscible with the coolant liquid, against the downwardly facing strip surface at a point, downstream of the point of impingement of the
first-mentioned liquid knife, at which the upwardly-facing strip surface still engages the hold-down roll. In a second embodiment, only one liquid knife is employed, of a liquid immiscible with the coolant liquid. For example, in either embodiment, where the coolant liquid is water, the immiscible liquid may be kerosene or oil, e.g. rolling lubricant. It is found that in either embodiment, the residual coolant liquid on the strip surface is
sufficiently reduced both to prevent interference with downstream operations and to avoid staining of the strip surfaces.
Still more complete removal of coolant may be
achieved by training the strip, downstream of the
hold-down roll and the liquid knife or knives, over a guide roll that engages the downwardly-facing strip surface. The guide roll removes liquid from the latter surface by a squeegee effect.
while the cooling and coolant-removal processes of the invention are broadly applicable to any in-line metal strip cooling operation, for example incident to
annealing, the invention is particularly applicable to multistand tandem cold rolling of metal strip, to provide interstand cooling of the strip. In this aspect, the strip continuously advancing through the cold rolling line is cooled, at a cooling locality between successive tandem roll stands, by directing the above-described curtains of water against only the downwardly-facing surface of the strip from a plurality of transversely extending slots disposed in tandem at that locality beneath the strip. The residual coolant liquid is removed from the
downwardly-facing strip surface between the plurality of slots and the next downstream roll stand, preferably by the removal process of the invention employing one or more liquid knives impinging against the strip surface at a point or points at which the strip upper surface is engaged by a hold-down roll. The cooling and removal of coolant are effective to maintain the strip temperature at an acceptably low value for rewind coiling and to reduce residual coolant as desired for avoidance of staining in the rewind coil, even when the coolant is water and the strip is aluminum. Where the cold rolling line includes more than two stands, the cooling and removing steps may be performed at each of a plurality of cooling localities respectively disposed between successive roll stands, where the cold rolling line includes only one roll stand, the cooling and removing steps may be performed at a cooling locality disposed between the coil pay-off stand and the roll stand in a locality where the strip is advanced along a generally horizontal path.
An additional advantage of the invention is that satisfactory coolant delivery is achieved without
requiring inconveniently close tolerances in the
manufacture of the equipment used.
The invention also relates to an apparatus for performing the above cooling and liquid-removal
operations. Such apparatus is used in combination with means for advancing metal strip continuously in a
longitudinal direction along a defined substantially horizontal path. The apparatus comprises means for delivering coolant liquid into contact with only the downwardly facing surface of the advancing strip by discharging the coolant liquid upwardly, onto the
downwardly facing surface of the strip, through a
plurality of upwardly opening slots disposed below the strip in spaced relation thereto. The slots are spaced apart along the path and each extends, transversely of the path, across substantially the entire width of the strip. Means are provided for supplying the coolant liquid to the slots; for preventing the discharged coolant liquid from coming into contact with the upwardly facing surface of the strip; and for removing coolant liquid from the downwardly facing strip surface downstream of the
plurality of slots.
The apparatus may be developed for use with a single stand mill or in a multistand cold-rolling line including at least two roll stands disposed in tandem along the strip path, wherein the slots and removing means are disposed between the two roll stands.
The invention also includes an apparatus for
removing coolant liquid from the downwardly facing surface of a continuously advancing metal strip, comprising means for directing at least one liquid knife against the downwardly facing strip surface, at an angle greater than 90° to the direction of strip advance, downstream of the cooling locality. A hold-down roll is provided around which the strip is trained in contact with the upwardly facing surface of the strip at a location such that the fluid knife impinges against the downwardly facing strip surface at a point at which the upwardly facing strip surface engages the hold-down roll.
In yet another embodiment of the invention, there is provided a closed loop or predictive control system of the amount of strip cooling required, depending on the alloy and rolling conditions prevailing. The control scheme can be on a coil by coil basis or it can be continuous and in-line by feeding a signal from an in-line temperature sensor to the cooling apparatus. The control scheme permits compensation for variations in the conditions and/or properties of the incoming coils and the rolling process that influence the properties of the coils at the exit end of the rolling process (such as composition, entry temperature, degree of work hardening etc.), by controlling the amount of cooling to achieve the target exit temperature that would give consistent desired product properties. In other words, control of strip cooling is a means to achieve target exit temperature(s) which in turn is a means to obtain consistent and desired product mechanical properties.
Further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description hereinafter set forth, together with the accompanying drawings.

Brief Description of the Drawings
FIG. 1 is a highly simplified and schematic
elevational view of a multistand tandem line for
cold-rolling metal strip, incorporating an embodiment of the apparatus of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a simplified schematic end elevational view of a coolant-supplying system for use in the apparatus of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a simplified schematic fragmentary plan view of the coolant-supplying system of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged schematic view of a portion of one of the cooling localities in FIG. 1 illustrating features of coolant liquid flow therein;
FIG. 5 is a simplified diagrammatic plan view of the cooling locality of FIG. 4, further illustrating coolant liquid flow patterns;
FIG. 6 is a schematic plan view of one of the cooling localities in FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a schematic end elevational view of the cooling locality of FIG. 6, taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a schematic side elevational view, taken as along line 8-8 of FIG. 6, of the cooling locality of FIG. 6 and associated elements including a system in accordance with the invention for removing coolant liquid;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged schematic side elevational view of the coolant removal system of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9 of a modified embodiment of the coolant removal system;
FIG. 11 is a graph relating heat transfer coefficient to strip speed, in cooling with low pressure water curtains; and
FIG. 12 is a graph relating water knife pressure and flow to strip speed.

Best Modes for Carrying Out Invention
FIG. 1 shows a generally conventional multistand tandem cold-rolling line 10. The specific line
illustrated includes three roll stands 11a, lib and lie, each comprising upper and lower work rolls 12 and upper and lower backup rolls 14 respectively above and below (and in contact with) the wo k rolls. These three roll stands are disposed in spaced, tandem relation to each other along a generally horizontal path of advance of an aluminum strip 16 from a feed coil 18 to a rewind coil 20. The strip 16 is continuously longitudinally advanced along this path (with one of its two major surfaces facing upwardly and the other facing downwardly) , in the
direction indicated by arrows 22, passing in succession through the nips between the work rolls of the three roll stands 11a, lib and lie and undergoing reduction in thickness at each roll stand, so that the strip in the rewind coil 20 is substantially thinner in gauge than that in the feed coil 18.
Each roll stand is provided with means, indicated schematically at 24, for applying coolant to the rolls. Preferably each such means 24 incorporates coolant
containment apparatus (not shown) of the type disclosed in U.S. patent No. 5,046,347. The coolant containment apparatus at each roll stand enables the rolls to be adequately cooled with water while preventing deleterious carry-over of coolant water on the water-stainable
surfaces of the aluminum strip 16 downstream of each roll stand in the direction of strip advance. It will be understood that the mill also incorporates other known or conventional features (not shown) for such purposes as strip thickness and flatness control.
During operation of the cold-rolling line 10, heat is generated incident to the cold working of the strip 16 at each of the roll stands. While the means 24 prevent excessive heating of the rolls themselves, the strip temperature is elevated as the strip passes through each roll stand, and unless the strip is subjected to cooling between successive roll stands, these temperature
increases have a cumulative effect, so that the
temperature of the strip exiting the mill may, for
example, approach 300 °C, whereas the strip temperature at the rewind coil temperature should typically be not more than about 150 °C. Thus, it is desirable to counteract the cumulative temperature increases with interstand cooling of the strip.
The present invention, in the embodiments now to be described, effects interstand cooling of the strip at localities 26 and 28 in the three-stand mill 10 to provide an acceptably low exit or rewind temperature for the cold-rolled strip.
As illustrated in Figs. 1-8, at each of the
interstand cooling localities 26 and 28 respectively defined between roll stands 11a and lib and between roll stands lib and lie, there are provided a plurality of axially horizontal manifolds 30 (eight such manifolds being shown at each interstand cooling locality in
FIG. 1, each having a single, continuous, longitudinal, generally upwardly directed slot 32 extending for most of its length. The manifolds at each cooling locality are disposed in parallel relation to each other below the path of the strip 16 so that the slots 32 extend beneath and transversely of the advancing strip, in spaced-apart tandem relation to each other along the strip path, opening toward the downwardly-facing surface of the strip. Each of the slots 32 is formed with convergent edges, and has a uniform width of between about 0.2 and about 5.0 mm and most preferably about 2.0 mm and a length at least about equal to the maximum width of strip 16 that may be rolled in the mill 10. The manifolds are so positioned, below the strip path, that the opposite ends of each slot are respectively in register with the locations of the opposed side edges of a strip of such maximum width advancing through the mill. The spacing between adjacent slots, in each interstand cooling locality, is typically or preferably between about 50 and about 500 mm, more preferably about 100 to about 150 mm; also, the slots are conveniently spaced about 50 mm below the downwardly
-facing surface of an advancing strip 16.
All of the manifolds 30 at both interstand cooling localities 26 and 28 are connected as by piping 34 to a single, common constant head standpipe 36 (FIG. 2) from which coolant liquid is delivered to the manifolds at low pressure for discharge through the slots. Each manifold has its own individual valve 38 (FIG. 3) for shutting off and turning on the supply of water to it from the
standpipe. Water discharged through the slots, and thereafter falling from the strip 16, is collected beneath the manifolds as indicated diagrammatically at 40 in FIG. 2 and returned to the standpipe 36, together with makeup water as indicated at 42, under control of a suitable and e.g. conventional device (not shown) to maintain the requisite constant head of water in the standpipe. In practice, the recirculation of interstand cooling water may be integrated with the collection of water from, and recycling to, the roll stand cooling system and the coolant removal apparatus described below, and (as also explained below) the integrated operation may further involve separation and recovery of oil that is admixed with the water collected from some of these sources.
The pressure of the head in the standpipe forces the water delivered to each manifold 30 outwardly through the slot 32 of the manifold as a continuous upwardly directed curtain 44 of water that impinges against the downwardly facing surface of the strip 16 across at least
substantially the full width of the strip. At each of the interstand cooling localities 26 and 28, at least the manifold 30a which is furthest upstream in the direction of strip advance (i.e., closest to the immediately
upstream roll stand, 11a in the case of locality 26) is so oriented that the water curtain 44a (FIG. 4) discharged by its slot 32a is directed at an angle of substantially 90° to the downwardly facing surface of the strip 16 advancing in the strip path above the manifolds. As FIG. 4 also shows, the other manifolds (downstream of manifold 30a) at each interstand cooling locality are so oriented that the water curtains 44 discharged through their respective slots 32 are oriented at an oblique angle counter to -the direction of strip travel at the location of impingement of the curtains with the strip. This oblique angle is not highly critical; typically or preferably, it may be about 110° to about 115° to the direction of strip advance, so that each curtain points upstream at about 20° to about 25° to the vertical.
Any given cold-rolling mill is usually employed at different times to roll metal strips of various different widths. To adapt the present cooling apparatus to changes in strip width, arrays of overlapping movable shutters 46 (extending lengthwise of the strip path, and movable laterally relatively to the path) are disposed along each side of each of the interstand cooling localities 26 and 28, between the manifolds 30 and the path of the strip 16, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, for adjustably deflecting opposite end portions of the curtains 32 in conformity with the width of the strip 16 being rolled in the mill 10. The shutters, supported by suitable structure (not shown) for lateral displacement, are positioned to cover the end portions of the slots that extend beyond the side edges of the strip being rolled, so as to deflect the discharge of water through those end portions.
Alternatively, the effective length of the slots can be adjusted by occluding devices internal or external to the manifolds, so that the water curtains emerge only over a length equal to the strip width. As a result, the
position and dimension (transverse to the strip) of the water curtain 44 that impinges on the strip from each slot is so controlled that the curtain is in register with the advancing strip and impinges against substantially the full width of the downwardly-facing strip surface but does not project beyond the strip side edges.
Each interstand cooling locality 26 and 28 is also laterally enclosed by fixed side plates 48 (FIG. 7) extending along the opposite ends of the manifolds 30 below the level of the path of strip advance for confining water, discharged through the slots 32, against lateral escape from the interstand cooling localities beneath the strip 16. In the present apparatus, coolant liquid is applied only to the downwardly facing surface of the strip; no water or other liquid is applied by the
apparatus to the strip upper surface. The side plates 48, together with the movable shutters 46, prevent water discharged through slots 32 from coming into contact with the upper surface of the strip. For full control of the dryness of the upper surface of the strip, devices (not shown) such as air blow-offs and cooling boxes, heretofore known and used in cold-rolling mills, may be employed.
At each interstand cooling locality, downstream of the array of manifolds 30 therein (i.e., between the manifolds and the next downstream roll stand in the path of the strip), a transverse stationary barrier 50 (FIGS. 8-10) is disposed below the strip path to arrest coolant water that has been thrown or fallen from the lower surface of the strip with a significant component of velocity (imparted by the moving strip) in the direction of strip advance. The barrier is arranged to prevent the arrested water from splashing back on the strip. However, the top edge of this barrier must be spaced below the strip path, typically at a distance of about 50 mm, to prevent possibly damaging contact of the strip with the barrier and to avoid problems in the event of a break in the strip. Consequently, a gap remains through which water can pass between the barrier and the strip; and the barrier cannot function to remove residual cooiant water carried on the downwardly-facing strip surface.

The apparatus of the invention, in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1, 8 and 9, includes (at each
interstand cooling locality) two liquid knife nozzle arrays 52 and 54 disposed in tandem adjacent the barrier 50, i.e., between the array of manifolds in the interstand cooling locality and the next downstream roll stand in the path of strip advance, providing two liquid knives
(respectively designated 52a and 54a) for acting in succession on the downwardly-facing surface of the
advancing strip to remove therefrom residual coolant water (applied to the strip surface by the water curtains) as well as to prevent downstream passage of flying water through the gap between the strip and the barrier 50.
This apparatus, at each interstand locality, also includes an axially horizontal hold-down roll 56, disposed
immediately above (and extending transversely of) the path of the strip 16 at the location at which the liquid knives 52a and 54a act .against the strip lower surface. The advancing strip is trained around the hold-down roll 56 with its upper surface engaging the hold-down roll through a wrap angle β (FIG. 9) , such that throughout angle β the strip is backed up by roll 56.
The liquid knife nozzle arrays deliver a high
pressure spray of liquid, constituting a liquid knife, against the downwardly facing strip surface, across the full width of the strip, along a line of impingement within wrap angle β , i.e., a line at which the strip upper surface engages the hold-down roll. Both liquid knives 52a and 54a are directed toward the downwardly facing strip surface at angles obliquely counter to the
tangential direction of strip advance at their respective lines of impingement, e.g. at angles of about 150° to the tangential direction of strip advance. The two lines of impingement are both so positioned, on the strip surface curving around the hold-down roll, that liquid is
deflected therefrom downwardly away from the strip.

As will be appreciated, in each interstand locality, the downwardly facing strip surface (after passing the last of the water curtains delivered by the array of manifolds 30) successively encounters the two liquid knives 52a and 54a. The first of these liquid knives (52a) is a knife of water, acting to intercept the
oncoming (forwardly directed) coolant water with
sufficient momentum to arrest its advance beyond the barrier 50, as well as to effect removal of some of the residual coolant water carried on the downwardly facing strip surface from the water curtains 44. The second liquid knife (54a) is a knife of a liquid which is
immiscible with water and which does not stain the strip surfaces; very conveniently, this liquid may be the same oil that is used as a rolling lubricant in the mill. The function of the second knife is to reduce the residual film of water carried on the downwardly facing strip surface sufficiently to prevent interference of the water with downstream operations and to prevent staining of strip surfaces in the rewind coil 20.
The positioning of the water knife should be such that it does not interfere with the coolant water curtains from the manifolds 30 but presents an effective
counter-momentum barrier to flying coolant water propelled by the strip. The positioning of the oil knife should be such that the oil knife is not contaminated by water before impingement.
Since the strip is backed up, at its upper surface, by the hold-down roll 56 at the lines of impingement of both liquid knives, the strip is not deflected from its path by the high pressure liquid knives. Moreover, the axial length of the hold down roll is selected to be greater than the maximum width of strip to be rolled in the mill, and the end portions of the roll project beyond the side edges of the strip to confine the liquid knife spray outwardly of the strip edges. The curve of the strip in the wrap angle around the hold-down roll facilitates control of the forward extent of spray by adjustment of the angles of impingement of the liquid knives. In addition, because the water-bearing lower surface of the strip is on the outer side of the wrap of the strip around the hold-down roll, water on the strip passing around the hold-down roll is subjected to
centrifugal force which can cause significant amounts of water to be thrown off from the strip surface, thereby contributing to coolant removal.
Downstream of the hold-down roll in each interstand locality, and ahead of the next successive roll stand, the strip is trained over a guide roll 58 to direct it
properly toward the nip of the next roll stand. This guide roll, engaging the downwardly facing strip surface, exerts a squeegee action thereon to effect still further removal of coolant.
In the modified embodiment illustrated in FIG. 10, the two liquid knife nozzle arrays of FIG. 9 are replaced by a single liquid knife nozzle array 60, providing a single liquid knife 60a again directed against the
downwardly facing strip surface at a line of impingement within the wrap angle β and at an angle of impingement obliquely counter to the tangential direction of strip advance at the line of impingement, the angle and position of impingement being selected for deflection of spray from the liquid knife downwardly away from the strip. The liquid knife 60a is a knife of a non-staining liquid immiscible with water, preferably being the rolling oil (as in the case of liquid knife 54a) , and is delivered at a flow rate and pressure sufficient to perform the
functions of both knives 52a and 54a in the FIG. 9
embodiment. In particular, the flying-coolant containment function of the water knife 52a of FIG. 9 is provided, in the FIG. 10 embodiment, by the action of the oil of knife 60a that ricochets downwardly off the strip curving around the hold-down roll upstream of the oil knife itself, thereby preventing contamination of the oil jets with water.
The nozzle arrays employed for the liquid knives of each of the FIG. 9 and FIG. 10 embodiments are
conveniently arrays of nozzles providing flat jets, disposed in a line (i.e., side by side, extending beneath and transversely of the strip path) to provide full transverse coverage of the strip surface but with no mutual interference of jets before impingement, and supplied by suitable means (not shown) with liquid (water or oil) at appropriate pressures to perform the liquid knife functions described above. In the embodiments of both FIGS. 9 and 10, spray from the liquid knives includes both water and oil; this spray, deflected downwardly from the strip, may be collected in the general coolant
catchment system represented at 40 (FIG. 2) , the liquid from which is treated to separate the water from the oil for subsequent recycling of both.
The process of the invention, as performed with the above described apparatus for interstand strip cooling and coolant removal in the mill 10, may now be explained.
When the mill 10 is operating, aluminum strip 16 is advanced continuously longitudinally in succession through the three roll stands 11a, lib and lie for progressively reducing the thickness of the strip, along a generally horizontal path in which the strip advances with its opposed major surfaces respectively facing upwardly and downwardly. By the process of the invention, the strip is cooled as it passes through each of the interstand
localities 26 and 28 (to counteract the elevation of temperature respectively imparted to the strip at roll stands 11a and lib) sufficiently to achieve a desirably low rewind strip temperature at the exit end of the mill. To this end, at each of the interstand cooling localities, water (as a coolant liquid) is delivered into contact with only the downwardly facing surface of the advancing strip by discharging the coolant liquid
upwardly, onto the downwardly facing strip surface, through a plurality of upwardly opening slots 32
disposed below the strip in spaced relation thereto, the slots being spaced apart along the path and each
extending, transversely of the path, across substantially the entire width of the strip. Thus, at each cooling locality, the downwardly facing strip surface encounters a tandem succession of upwardly directed water curtains 44 each of which is continuous and uniform in pressure across the strip width. At least the furthest upstream curtain 44a (i.e., the curtain closest to the immediately
preceding roll stand) may be oriented at about 90° to the direction of strip travel, to avoid interference with the adjacent upstream roll stand, while the remaining curtains in the cooling locality are oriented at a moderate oblique angle counter to the direction of strip travel.
The water is supplied to the slots 32 in both
interstand cooling localities from the constant head standpipe 36 at a low pressure, preferably just sufficient to maintain a constant flow of the curtains into contact with the strip surface, so as to avoid any substantial upward deflection of the strip by the applied water. To satisfy these conditions, the head of water supplied to the slots 32 should be less than about 10 (corresponding to a pressure of 100 kPa gauge at the slots) , generally not more than about 3 m (corresponding to 30 kPa gauge) , and preferably about 1 (corresponding to 10 kPa gauge) . The water is usually supplied at ambient room temperature, and in any event at a temperature of not more than about 40 βC (preferably not more than about 30 °C) , to provide a sufficient strip/water temperature differential for effective cooling.
Control of the extent of cooling is effected by selectively shutting off the flow through one or more of the slots at either or both of the interstand cooling localities, using the valves 38 associated with the individual slot-bearing manifolds 30. To reduce the cooling in a given interstand locality, the slot furthest upstream (32a) is shut off first, and then additional slots are shut off (as needed) in succession from the upstream end of the array of slots. The shutting off is by manual means, or more preferably by automatic means responsive to an error signal from a coiling temperature sensor, not shown. It can also be responsive to a
precalculated function of the efficiency of the cooling apparatus, related to the entry coil conditions and properties and the rolling conditions, and aimed at maintaining the coiling temperature at a preset target.
In the present cooling process, water is employed as the coolant, notwithstanding its tendency to stain metals such as aluminum (and the consequent stringent requirement for coolant removal) , because of its ease of application and also because of the relatively high heat transfer necessary to achieve the desired cooling. Air cannot provide the requisite heat transfer, and the heat transfer attainable with oil is also so much lower than with water that use of oil as the coolant would impose unacceptable limits on strip speed and reductions.
Application of water to only the downwardly-facing surface of the strip facilitates coolant removal, since gravity acts directly to promote removal of the coolant there applied, and since only one strip surface requires substantial coolant-removal treatment. However, with only one side of the strip directly cooled, higher heat
transfer is necessary (for a given temperature reduction) than if both sides were cooled. Heat transfer is directly related to the relative velocity between coolant and strip. High-pressure spray jets of water directed
obliquely against the strip, counter to the direction of strip advance, could provide a high coolant/strip relative velocity, but if applied to only one strip surface such jets would subject the strip to a significant load tending to deflect the strip out of its path and consequently to interfere with strip thickness and flatness control, at least unless counteracted by costly and complex
arrangements for exerting a positive or negative pressure on the strip. High pressure water jets present additional difficulties as well, from the standpoint of ease of control and otherwise; for example, they tend to produce nonuniform water coverage transversely of the strip, and to project substantial amounts of water laterally beyond the strip edges, with resultant exposure of the strip upper surface to water.
In the process of the invention, the strip passes at high velocity over continuous curtains of water moving at a much lower speed. The invention embraces the discovery that such low pressure curtains of water, discharged upwardly through continuous transverse slots extending across the full strip width, and applied only to the lower surface of the strip, provide fully adequate heat transfer to achieve the desired interstand strip cooling in a multistand aluminum cold-rolling mill. The linear slots employed in the process afford full uniformity of strip surface coverage in the transverse direction, and adequate though not wholly uniform coverage in the longitudinal direction (which is less significant than the transverse direction for flatness control) . The superior extent and uniformity of surface coverage thus provided by the continuous low-pressure curtains (as compared with
high-pressure jet sprays) contributes to effective cooling although the relative velocity of strip and coolant is lower with such curtains than with high-pressure sprays.
It is found that in cooling of strip with the
low-pressure transverse water curtains, the heat transfer coefficient increases as the strip velocity increases, as shown in FIG. 11. This is beneficial for cooling of strip in a multistand cold rolling line, since strip velocities can be significantly different in successive interstand cooling localities. For a given target temperature, increased heat transfer is required as the strip speed increases. The relationship between heat transfer
coefficient and strip velocity in the present process is also advantageous from the standpoint of operating
stability, as it makes the cooling almost self-regulating during strip speed variations.
Because the pressure of the curtains is low, in the process of the invention, the problem of coolant forces loading and deflecting the strip is minimal. The angle of the curtains is also not critical for avoidance of strip deflection; hence the angle can be selected in accordance with other considerations such as ease of avoiding
interference of coolant water with an adjacent upstream roll stand and optimum draining between curtains. More particularly, as described above, it is advantageous that the curtains (except for the furthest upstream curtains in each interstand cooling locality) be inclined obliquely counter to the direction of strip travel, the angle of such inclination not being highly critical. This
orientation of the curtains not only enhances the relative coolant/strip velocity, but in addition, if the curtains are inclined in the direction of strip motion, the flows tend to agglomerate and ultimately to swamp the downstream curtains, while curtains inclined counter to the direction of strip motion tend to cover their own respective
longitudinal spaces, with the upstream-directed component U (FIGS. 4 and 5) of flow from the curtain promoting removal of coolant water from the adjacent upstream curtain while the downstream component D (resulting from strip movement) on the strip surface flows unimpeded through the space to the next downstream curtain.
Control and containment of coolant are also
facilitated by the use of low pressure curtains, as compared to high-pressure jets. There is relatively little lateral flow component, enabling beneficial
confinement of coolant below the strip by adjustment of the shutters 46 occluding the end portions of the slots.

The shutters, together with the side plates 48,
effectively prevent the coolant water of the curtains from coming into contact with the upwardly-facing strip
surface. Since the upstream projection of the
low-velocity curtains is well defined and very limited, the length of strip subjected to cooling (and hence the extent of cooling) in a particular interstand locality can be satisfactorily adjusted by progressively shutting off the flow through the slots 32 (with valves 38) starting from the upstream end of the array of slots in that
cooling locality. Relatively fine control is thereby attainable, because each curtain covers only a short length of the cooling locality.
Coolant water flow rate must be sufficient so that the temperature rise in the coolant water remains within manageable limits, yet not so excessive as to cause
handling problems or swamp the system. If the temperature • rise (which is inversely proportional to the flow rate) is too great, it will adversely reduce the strip/coolant temperature difference and thereby increase the heat transfer coefficient required to achieve a desired
temperature reduction. The preferred or illustrative slot dimensions and pressure values given above afford suitable conditions for effective interstand cooling without
imposing inconveniently close manufacturing tolerances.
In the present process, in its described embodiments as applied to interstand strip cooling in a cold rolling mill, the coolant water may contain minor amounts of lubricant (rolling oil) . Although such oil, in large proportions, adversely affects heat transfer, it has been found in tests that amounts up to at least about 10% (the levels likely to be encountered in the contemplated cold rolling operations) are inconsequential; i.e., even when the coolant water contains up to 10% oil, the heat
transfer coefficients of the low-pressure water curtains employed in the invention are much more than adequate for the desired cooling.

Much of the coolant water delivered to the downwardly facing strip surface by the array of slots at each cooling locality is removed simply by falling away from the surface, without acquiring any substantial downstream velocity from the strip. To minimize the pressure head required to maintain constant flow of the water curtains, the manifolds 30 should be spaced apart sufficiently so that the water thus falling from the strip does not flood the manifolds and impede the water curtains. Also, the manifold faces are desirably so shaped that water falling onto the manifolds drains away without interfering with the discharge of water through slots 32.
Flying water, dropping from the wetted strip surface with a substantial component of forward velocity imparted by the moving strip, is largely intercepted by the barrier 50. Downstream passage of such flying water through and beyond the gap between the barrier and the strip is prevented by the water knife 52a of FIG. 9 or the oil knife 60a of FIG. 10. The water knife directs high pressure sprays of water against the strip, along a line of impingement at which the strip is backed up by the hold-down roll, to provide a curtain of water that
intercepts the oncoming flying water with sufficient momentum to stop its flow. The requisite counter momentum for the water knife is provided by selection of pressure and flow conditions. FIG. 12 shows values of pressure and flow conditions, determined under experimental conditions simulating coolant removal operation with a water knife on a cold-rolling line, providing counter momentum effective to arrest downstream advance of flying water, for various different strip speeds, nozzles and stand-offs.
The water knife 52a also removes some of the residual coolant water that is carried on the downwardly facing strip surface beyond the array of water curtains 44.
Further in accordance with the process of the invention, this residual water layer on the strip is removed or reduced sufficiently to prevent interference with downstream operations or staining of the strip in the rewind coil. Such removal can be effected by an air knife (not shown) acting against the strip (at a point where the strip is still backed up by the hold-down roll) downstream of the line of impingement of the water knife 52a. For example, with a nozzle slot 0.7 mm wide at a stand-off of 1.5 mm and at a pressure of 100 kPa(g) , an air knife can reduce the residual water film on the strip to a
satisfactorily low average thickness of 0.25 micron;
however, the stand-off required by an air knife is much smaller than is usually acceptable in cold rolling mills, and presents substantial problems of noise and handling of water-laden air.
As a particular feature of the present process, therefore, the residual water film carried away from the water curtains on the downwardly facing strip surface is very preferably reduced by the action of the oil knife 54a (FIG. 9) or 60a (FIG. 10) , rather than by an air knife. Some oil from the knife remains on the strip surface, but this is unobjectionable since the oil does not stain the metal. Also, the residual liquid film on the surface downstream of the oil knife is considerably thicker than that remaining after the air knife treatment described above; but is found that much of this film is oil, and that the effective thickness (assuming separate,
homogeneous oil and water layers in the film) of the residual water component of the film after the oil knife treatment can be as little as 0.4 micron.
By way of further and more specific illustration of the invention, reference may be made to the following hypothetical examples:
EXAMPLE 1
In a hypothetical but exemplary cold-rolling
operation in a mill as shown in FIG. 1, rolling conditions and desired interstand cooling are as follows:
Aluminum strip from the pay-off coil 18 enters the first roll stand 11a at an initial gauge of 2.4 mm and an initial strip velocity of 225 m/min. , leaves roll stand 11a at a first intermediate gauge of 1.2 mm and a strip velocity of 450 m/min. , leaves the second roll stand lib at a second intermediate gauge of 0.6 mm and a strip
5 velocity of 900 m/min. , and leaves the third roll stand lie at a final cold-rolled gauge of 0.3 mm and an exit strip velocity of 1800 m/min. for rewinding. In each" roll stand, in this example, the strip thickness is reduced by 50% and the strip velocity is correspondingly increased by

10 50%, such that the mass flow (mass of metal per unit time) entering each roll stand is the same as the mass flow exiting the same roll stand.
The strip, entering the first roll stand 11a at an initial temperature of 30 °C, is there increased in
15 temperature by 120 "C, thus leaving roll stand 11a at a temperature of 150 °C. In a first interstand cooling locality 26 (between roll stands 11a and lib) the strip is desirably reduced in temperature by 80 °C, i.e. to 70 "C, at which temperature it enters the second roll stand lib.

20 The strip temperature increases by 100 °C (to 170 °C) in roll stand lib; thereafter, in a second interstand cooling locality 28 (between roll stands lib and lie) the strip temperature is desirably reduced by 100 °C, so that the strip entering the final roll stand lie is again at a
25 temperature of 70 °C. An 80 °C increase in strip
temperature in roll stand lie brings the strip to a final (mill exit) temperature of 150 °C, which is a suitable rewind temperature.
In the described process of the invention, cooling of

30 the strip is governed by the general relationship:
Φ = HTC x (Ts - T0)
where Φ is heat flux, HTC is heat transfer coefficient, Ts is strip temperature, and T0 is coolant liquid temperature. In an interstand cooling locality (26 or 28, in the
35 above-described mill) , the heat H removed per m2 of strip (KJ/m2) is given by
H = (t/1000) X D X S X (T, - T2) where t is strip gauge (mm) , D is the strip material density (kg/in3) , S is specific heat (kJ/kg °C) , T-, is the strip temperature (°C) entering the cooling zone, and T2 is the strip temperature (°C) leaving the cooling zone. As will be understood, (T-, - T2) represents the desired temperature reduction to be achieved in the cooling zone, and (T-, + T2)/2 is the average value of Ts in the cooling zone. The time W (sec.) available for cooling in the cooling zone is given by W = L/V, where L is the length of the cooling zone (m) , a factor determined by the space available for coolant between successive roll stands, and V is the strip velocity (m/sec.) through that interstand locality. Thus the heat flux (k/m2 sec.) for the defined conditions, to achieve the specified temperature
reduction, is
Φ = (D x S/1000) x (t x V/L) x (T-, - T2)
and, since the average temperature differential is
[(T., + T2)/2 - T0] in °C, the average heat transfer
coefficient (kW/m2 °C) required for the desired cooling is HTCA = [2(D X S/1000) X t X V X (T, - T2)]/[L X (T, + T2 -2T0)]
Applying the foregoing considerations to the specific numerical values set forth in the illustrative
hypothetical example of mill operation described above, and assuming that L (available length for cooling) in each interstand locality is one meter, that the coolant
employed is at a temperature T0 30 °C, and that the strip material has a density D = 2700 kg/m3 and a specific heat S = 0.96k/kg °C (these values being exemplary of aluminum strip) , the required average heat transfer coefficient HTCA for achieving the desired temperature reduction by
application of coolant to only one major surface of the strip is 23.4 kw/m2 "C in interstand locality 26 and 26.0 kW/m2 °C in interstand locality 28. The variation in HTC.

between the two interstand localities is determined only by the differences in temperatures involved, because the gauge and strip velocity are linked by a constant mass flow.
FIG. 11 illustrates experimentally determined values of heat transfer coefficient for various strip velocities, as determined in an experiment simulating cooling of aluminum strip in accordance with the invention, using water curtains spaced 150 mm apart on centres, inclined 22.5° to the vertical against the direction of strip motion with water at 15 kPa gauge and at a temperature of 20 °C, and strip 0.3 mm thick. The graph shows that heat transfer coefficients well in excess of those required for the desired cooling in the interstand localities 26 and 28, as calculated for the hypothetical example of mill operation described above, were achieved, and that the heat transfer coefficient increases with increasing strip velocity.
EXAMPLE 2
Following are specifications for a cooling/coolant removal system for use with a three-stand tandem cold rolling mill as shown at 10 in FIG. 1, for rolling the aluminum alloy identified by Aluminum Association
registration number 5182 (as to which the upper limit of exit or rewind temperature is 135 °C) , assuming that in the first interstand locality 26 the maximum strip gauge is 1.2 mm, the maximum strip speed is 610 m/min., and the strip is to be cooled from 160 to 70 °C, and in the second interstand locality 28 the maximum strip gauge is 0.6 mm, the maximum strip speed is 1220 m/min. , and the strip is to be cooled from 170° to 70 °C; and further assuming that the space available for cooling in each interstand
locality (between the upstream roll stand 11a or lib and the hold-down roll 56) is 1.4 m long and up to 2.1 m wide;

and that the minimum clearance of cooling system elements from the strip is 50 mm where the strip is unsupported, or 12 mm where the strip is in contact with a roll such as the hold-down roll.
Coolant: water with residual oil not exceeding 5% by volume; maximum flow per interstand space 4550 L/min;
maximum incoming temperature 40 °C.
Coolant application: 1.0 mm wide symmetrical slots 32 with convergent entry, spaced 100 to 150 mm apart along strip path, oriented to direct water curtains at an angle of 20° to 25° from vertical against strip motion; coolant flow 1.5 to 2.5 L/min. per cm of slot length; minimum drainage area of 1 cm2 per cm of slot length.
Coolant removal: liquid knife comprising an array of 15° "Flatjet" nozzles (commercially available from
Spraying Systems) with size and spacing such that the flow in L/min per cm of strip width times the square root of supply pressure (k Pa gauge) is equal to 97 in interstand locality 26 and equal to 300 in interstand locality 28; nozzles arranged so that there is no mutual interference of jets before impingement; line of impingement at the end of the wrap angle on the hold-down roll; angle of knife impingement on strip 30° - 35° to the tangent to the strip at the line of impingement, with knife directed counter to direction of strip motion; clearance of liquid knife nozzles 2.5 to 5 cm from strip. Fig. 12 shows the flow in L/min. per cm of strip width times the square root of supply pressure as a function of strip speed.
It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the features and embodiments hereinabove specifically set forth, but may be carried out in other ways without departure from its spirit.