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News ReleaseAir Products' New Technology Brings Quality and Productivity Improvements to Cold Rolling Industry

March 23, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

Today, Air Products unveils its new technology, Air Products cool rolling technology, to the European Metals Processing industry. Developed in partnership with C. D. Wälzholz, in Hagen, Germany, this new process help strip metal cold rollers to increase surface quality and productivity as well as to reduce scrap, during the final pass of rolling metal strip. It also brings significant improvements on safety standards and the working environment.

Air Products cool rolling technology uses spray bars to distribute liquid nitrogen (or other industrial gases) at low temperature, preferably between –170°C and –196°C, over the metal strip as it enters the rolls. In conventional cold rolling processes, emulsions or oils also work as a lubricant, reducing heat generation by reducing friction. Liquid nitrogen, in contrast, has little lubricating effect; instead it removes frictional heat thanks to its very high heat capacity. Liquid nitrogen then evaporates, leaving no residue. It therefore creates a less oxidising atmosphere around the rolling nip.

Cold rolling technology can be retrofitted to existing mills or integrated into new installations.

Results from C.D. Wälzholz have shown thatconversion to Air Products cool rolling technologyhas reduced the costs of final-pass rolling by around 25%, thanks to an increased line speed of up to 200%, and reduced rejects, due to rust, to zero.

“This new technology is a significant step for the cold rolling operation. We have been using it successfully on our production lines for the last two years. During this period, we have realised cost savings and increased productivity as well as enhanced surface finish,” said Mr. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Toni Junius,managing director, C. D. Wälzholz.

Erwin Esser, customer technology manager metals, Air Products Germany,explains:“Air Products cool rolling technology is an environmentally sound technology, presenting an alternative to both wet and dry rolling during the final roll. Compared with wet rolling processes, benefits include improved working conditions, reduced rejects and lower capital outlay and running costs. Cold rolling with nitrogen, as experienced at C.D. Wälzholz,can eliminate the need for post cleaning of the strip, thus allowing significant increases in productivity and reductions in downstream processing costs. Compared with the dry rolling process, the adoption of Air Products cool rolling technologybrings significant increases in rolling speeds without roll sticking or surface quality problems.”

Air Products, the world’s only combined gases and chemicals company, has been a significant player of the metals industry for over 50 years. With experience in ferrous casting foundries, production and processing of iron and steel as well as non-ferrous metals industry, Air Products focuses upon a wide range of innovative, technical solutions to maximise efficiency and reduce costs.

Notes to the Editors:
About C. D. Wälzholz
C. D. Wälzholz, established 1829, have substantial manufacturing facilities in Germany, as well as subsidiaries in Brazil and Austria. They are producers of cold rolled steel strip including electro-plated and profile.

About Air Products
Air Products serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives and has significant positions in core technologies such as gases for welding and cutting.

The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit  

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