Nav: Home

UK steel production to benefit from efficiency innovation

December 12, 2016

  • WMG research to make UK steel production cheaper, and cut energy consumption by 300%
  • Belt casting technology - can minimize or eliminate reheating processes
  • Process can also produce commercially attractive advanced high strength strip (AHSS) steel grades
Steel production in the UK could be cheaper and more energy-efficient in the future, thanks to research at WMG, University of Warwick.

The ASSURE2 project, led by Professor Claire Davis, is looking to significantly cut steel production costs, and reduce energy consumption by over 300%, through exploring the use of belt casting technology.

Belt casting is a significantly lower energy production route compared to traditional continuous casting techniques, as belt casting is a near net shape casting process, producing strip that needs minimal hot deformation to achieve the required product thickness.

It is also very efficient because it can minimize or eliminate any reheating processes, which reduces overall costs.

Furthermore, there are certain advanced high strength strip (AHSS) steel grades which are commercially attractive but cannot be produced using conventional casting techniques - which could be manufactured using belt casting.

These include TWIP (twinning induced plasticity) and TRIP (transformation induced plasticity), which have twice the strength and three times the ductility of conventional steels - as well as high Al steels, which have a combination of good strength and lower density.

The new Advanced Steels Research Centre at WMG has allowed Professor Davis and her colleagues to simulate belt cast microstructures, including dynamic direct observation of the solidifying steel at different cooling rates.

The team have demonstrated that the microstructures are altered by the higher cooling rate of belt casting, compared to conventional slab casting, and that further beneficial modifications (e.g. reduction in grain size in high Al steels) can be achieved by composition control.

In the ASSURE2 project, quantitative relationships between composition, process parameters and microstructure (and hence final product properties) are being established, taking into account the higher cooling rates of belt casting and the reduced hot deformation after casting to final thickness compared to conventional processing.

WMG will also be collaborating with Professor Rod Guthrie, from McGill University, who is a world-leading expert on belt casting. Trials using their pilot plant facilities will be carried out for steel grades developed in the project.

Professor Davies comments "There are a number of potential step change technologies available for steel processing and it is exciting to be working on one of these. We need to ensure we have a good scientific understanding to support any future take up and to maximize the opportunities available."

Steel continues to be the most used material in the world by value and play an essential role in all aspects of society, from construction to transport, energy generation to food production.

The long-term sustainability of UK steel making requires lower energy production - (energy constitutes 20-40% of the cost of steel production) - together with the development of high value steel products.

These factors combined will provide the UK steel industry with a competitive advantage in the international market.
-end-


University of Warwick

Related Energy Articles:

Wave energy researchers dive deep to advance clean energy source
One of the biggest untapped clean energy sources on the planet -- wave energy -- could one day power millions of homes across the US.
A new energy source within the cells
Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, find evidence of a new energy source within cell nucleus.
MIT Energy Initiative welcomes Exelon as member for clean energy research
MIT Energy Initiative announces that national energy provider Exelon joins MITEI as a member to focus research support through MITEI's Low-Carbon Energy Centers.
Clean energy from water
Fuel cells generate electrical energy through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.
Determinant factors for energy consumption and perception of energy conservation clarified
Change in lifestyle is a key component to realizing a low-carbon society.
Lactate for brain energy
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate.
Evidence shows low energy sweeteners help reduce energy intake and body weight
Use of low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced calorie intake and body weight - and possibly also when comparing LES beverages to water -- according to a review led by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Obesity today.
ASU professor honored for work on energy and social aspects of energy policy
Martin 'Mike' Pasqualetti, an Arizona State University professor and an expert on energy and social components of energy development, will be awarded 2015 Alexander and Ilse Melamid Memorial Medal by the American Geographical Society.
Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project awards $9.3 million for energy research
GCEP has awarded scientists at Stanford and four other universities funding to develop a suite of promising energy technologies.
Energy efficiency upgrades ease strain of high energy bills in low-income families
Low-income families bear the brunt of high-energy costs and poor thermal comfort from poorly maintained apartment buildings.

Related Energy Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.