• spalling;
  • rolling contact fatigue;
  • backup roll;
  • hot rolling

In this paper, the spalling causes of backup rolls in a roughing mill of a hot strip rolling mill were investigated. The roughing mill withstood extreme service conditions with long service cycles for backup and work rolls, a large variety of the same width rolling campaigns, severe and non-uniform wear contours of backup and work rolls. Analysis of cyclic stress applied on backup rolls indicated that contact stress played a dominant role in rolling contact fatigue which led to spalling on the backup roll surface. A 3D finite element model of roll system was established and contact stresses between rolls in whole service periods of backup and work rolls were calculated. The simulation results showed that roll wear had significant impact on contact stress distribution. In particular, the severe and non-uniform U-typed wear contours of work rolls led to produce huge contact stress peak in two sides of the rolls, where existed large cracks by eddy current inspection of post-service backup rolls. Backup rolls stood thousands of times stress cycle in a service period, they were liable to fatigue damage in these areas. A new backup roll contour was developed to improve contact stress distribution and no spalling accidents were happened any longer after applied to the roughing mill.