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Steel as material
ArticleName Steel metallurgy - challenged by materials
ArticleAuthor D. Senk

Rhein Westfalen Technical University RWTH (Aachen, Germany):

Senk D., Dr. Eng., Univ. Prof., Chair of Iron and Steel Metallurgy, Dept. of Ferrous Metallurgy, e-mail:


Steel material has the high potential to change technical properties in a wide range by varying the chemical composition and structure. Already a variation of several ppm of elements’ concentration can result in remarkable effects as well as different cooling velocities. The integration of sciences, production technologies and preparation of available resources are fundamentals to link interfaces between steel design and steel production; this is an important part of cooperation in the field of “Material Science and Engineering”. In this paper some ideas and definitions of high quality and new steel grades have been stressed. Both, sustainable development of grades and design of new steels with new and exceptionally combined properties challenge the development of metallurgical processes. Existing plants are not always convenient to process new grades because the design of the aggregates in an existing steel plant is optimized for the manufacturing of conventional steel grades. Raw material changes its composition along the time line so that the demand on adaption rises here, too. In alloying material the so-called tramp elements are not analysed in many cases but their effect on solidification or crack formation can be severe concerning segregation and precipitation. Scrap, particularly alloyed, instead of iron made of ore will be the upcoming source for steel production in central Europe; an interaction of steel design, process metallurgy and scrap preparation will be necessary to overcome problems of steel purity in several aspects. The international group of metallurgists on iron and steel processes is researching on optimum ways and means to meet present and future challenges of steel design before bottlenecks within the realization of new products might emerge.

keywords Ferrous metallurgy, new steel grades, material science, recycling, raw materials, scrap preparation, chemical composition

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