MPT International 6/2020 (December)

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No. 6 | December 2020

In focus: With and Without CO2

A comprehensive overview of the current ways of avoiding or using CO2 | 14

Protecting Steel from ’Hydrogen Attack’ Coating against hydrogen embrittlement | 28

Integrated Temperature Model (ITM) – Part I Temperature profiling in hot strip making | 20

On the Waterfront Making Plate for Bridges and Ships | 41


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Dear Readers,

As the year approaches its end, many countries all over the world are going through their second period of lockdown: no public gatherings, entertainment venues will be closed, and most office work should be done from home. The quiet days will be even quieter, but unlike in spring, operations will mostly continue in manufacturing industries—with the exception of the traditional holiday break. This certainly applies to steel mills, most of which send their staff home for a fortnight or longer, using the time for maintenance and repair work. Such scheduled downtimes ideally mean work for plant builders. In the long run, after-sale service activities will be a growing business for many engineering companies. SMS group has already signalled that it expects to make one-third of its revenue with services by 2025. In November, the privately-owned company held a public press conference—online, of course—in which it revealed more of its ideas for the 2020s. Shipbuilding is one of the steel-using sectors affected most dramatically by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Cruise liners have become a no-go area, so many construction projects have been halted. Over the autumn months, construction of utility vessels has recovered. Shipbuilding will remain a market, and we will hear from Dansteel about the requirements for plate steel in the industry. We will also learn about the collaboration on demanding bridge projects between Dillinger (another plate mill) and a fabricator. Stay healthy & have a merry Christmas.

Christian Köhl Editor in Chief, MPT International

MPT International / December 2020





Players of the European steel industry on the virtual stage



6 International Industry

14 Ways to Reduce CO2 Emissions in

Tata Steel Europe, Ilva, Liberty Steel, and more

7 Orders & Commissionings CSN, Valbruna, Big River Steel, HBIS, Outokumpu, and others

BUSINESS & COMPANIES 10 SMS group eyes restructuring and further acquisitions in tough 2021 The group is stepping up its services and digitalisation activities 12 On the Virtual Floor: Kallanish’s European Steel Markets 2020 Most event organisers have moved the physical meeting to a virtual platform Plus: an overview of blast furnaces in Europe, operational and idled

Iron and Steel Making in Europe A comprehensive overview of Carbon Direct Avoidance, CO2 Capture&Storage, and Carbon Capture&Usage technologies at European mills

20 Integrated Temperature Model (ITM) – Part I A model of SMS group considers the interaction of the individual process steps in hot strip making with respect to the temperature profile

41 Dansteel: Manufacturing Plates Used in Shipbuilding and Offshore The Danish steelmaker tells about new variants of chemical compositions and production technology for the manufacturing of steel heavy plates with a thickness of up to 55 mm

SPECIAL: A CHRISTMAS CAVALCADE 28 Special Coating Protects Steel from Hydrogen ‘Attack’ 28 DB Cargo secures major order from ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt 28 Netherlands open recycling plant for contaminated steel scrap


December 2020 / MPT International



A comprehensive comparison of the CO2 mitigation options


C-19 means rough times for shipyards

The status quo of blast furnaces in Europe: an overview

MARKETS / PLATE 4 5 Shipbuilding in Times of Covid-19: A Light in the Far East? The interruptions of cruise ship tourism and in international transport chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic brought many shipyards to a halt

FABRICATION / PLATE 46 A Clear Edge Innovative weld-edge preparation for a major steel-arched bridge in the Netherlands

OPINION / A THOUGHT FOR THE ROAD 49 Potential Impact of COVID-19 on

Steel Industry Trends Some observations by Baris Bekir Çiftçi of Worldsteelorg on the accelerated speed of change


COVER STORY: A major bridge project in the Port of Rotterdam carried out by Hollandia and Dillinger Hütte | 46

3 Editorial 50 In the next issue / Advertisers’ index / Imprint Source: Hollandia Infra

MPT International / December 2020




ArcelorMittal and Italian state agree on plan for Ilva ArcelorMittal has signed a binding agreement with Invitalia, the Italian state-owned company investing in former steelmaker Ilva in Taranto. The two will form a public-private partnership. The updated industrial plan agreed between ArcelorMittal’s unit AM InvestCo and Invitalia involves investment in lower-carbon steelmaking technologies, including the construction of a 2.5 million tonne Electric Arc Furnace. The industrial plan, which targets reaching 8 million tonnes of production in 2025, involves a series of public support measures includ-

ing ongoing government funded employment support. This year Taranto’s output will reach slightly over 3m tonnes, impacted by the pandemic as well as the uncertainty over the future of the company. The conditions precedent to closing include: the amendment of the existing environmental plan to account for changes in the new industrial plan; the lifting of all criminal seizures on the Taranto plant; and the absence of restrictive measures – in the context of criminal proceedings where Ilva is a defendant – being imposed against AM InvestCo.

Tata unveils €300 million ‘Roadmap+’ for IJmuiden Tata Steel on 8 December launched ‘Roadmap+’, a €300 million environmental-improvement plan to reduce emissions at its IJmuiden plant in The Netherlands. Roadmap+ means to combat industrial odors and dust pollution at IJmuiden. Its announcement coincides with the publication of a progress report on Tata Steel’s Roadmap 2030 sustainability programme involving 25 projects to enhance the company’s environmental performance. As part of the Roadmap+ programme , Tata Steel Netherlands will work closely with local authority and government leaders in the Province of Noord Holland to ensure the measures exceed environmental laws. The measures include the planned €150 million construction of a DeNOx facility at IJmuiden’s Pellet plant, which will reduce emissions significantly by cutting output of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and heavy metal particulates by more than 90%. The project will also include an investment of

Seaside view of Tata Steel Europe’s Ijmuiden works

€50 million in improvements to the Coke and Gas Plant 2 (CGP2), helping to cut odors and emission of particulates.

U.S. Steel buys outstanding shares in Big River Steel our ‘Best of Both’ strategy,” said David B. Burritt, president and chief executive officer of U. S. Steel. Big River Steel operates a LEED-certified Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas that is believed to be the newest and most advanced flat-rolled mill in North America. Big River Steel produces eleven advanced U. S. Steel grades, including substrate for its XG3grade of Genera-

Liberty Steel and Thyssenkrupp get serious Liberty Steel and Thyssenkrupp in early December confirmed they that will be entering the due diligence process which could eventually lead to a takeover of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe by Liberty. “Thyssenkrupp and Liberty Steel Group have agreed to enter a further process phase,” the UK-based group writes in a statement, noting that it will shortly begin a detailed due diligence and thus gain insight into key


business data of Thyssenkrupp’s steel business. The economy minister of the state of North Rhine Westphalia, Andreas Pinkwart, was quoted in the local press as saying that Liberty’s offer “is a reasonable basis for discussion,” after talking to Liberty chief Sanjeev Gupta. Pinkwart said Liberty’s concept is substantial, and he welcomed the group’s apparent willingness to push the transformation towards green steel.

tion 3 advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). Big River recently started up and commissioned its Phase II expansion, which brings the Osceola, Arkansas-based mill’s capacity to 3.3 million short tons/year.

SSAB confirms interest in Tata Steel Ijmuiden SSAB has confirmed that it is in discussions with Tata Steel Group concerning a potential acquisition of Tata Steel Europe’s IJmuiden steel mill and related downstream assets. The Swedish company says that discussions with Tata are on-going but no decisions have been made. There can be no certainty that any transaction will materialise, nor as to the terms of any such potential transaction. Further announcement will be made in due course, it says.

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: Tata Steel Europe

U.S. Steel has exercised its call option to acquire the remaining equity of Big River Steel for approximately $774 million from cash on hand. The group had previously acquired a 49.9% stake in Big River Steel for $700m. “For months, I’ve said that we can’t get to the future fast enough. Today, I can say the future is now. We are acquiring Big River Steel, the cornerstone of



No. 2 CSP casting strand with pendulum shear at Big River Steel in Osceola, Arkansas

CSN’s ladle furnace during the first treatment

Americas BRAZIL

Primetals Technologies has revamped electrics and automation systems at the Presidente Vargas Steelworks of Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN) in Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. In this context, the electrics and automation systems of a RH degassing plant, a ladle furnace and the common alloy system were replaced with new versions. Primetals‘ scope included the engineering for electrics and automation, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)-systems, fire-fighting systems and the installation of all equipment supplied. CANADA

Sources: Primetals Technologies; Tenova; SMS group

Tenova was awarded a contract by Valbruna ASW for the supply of a new electric arc furnace (EAF) at the steelmaker’s facility located in Welland, Ontario. The scope of the supply includes the latest generation of the EAF unit

which will replace the existing one. Tenova will also provide the associated auxiliary equipment, the material handling system, including bins batteries, hoppers and conveyor belts, for the charging of the ladle and of the EAF and the complete automation system. The complete management of this plant will be fully automatised and integrated in the new the EAF process control system. USA

US steel producer Big River Steel has commissioned the second construction stage of its steel plant in Osceola, Arkansas, supplied by SMS group. Also for the mill expansion, which doubles the mill’s annual production capacity to approximately 3 million short tons of steel, SMS group supplied the mechanical equipment, the electrical and automation systems, and the digitali sation technology. Now, with the second construction stage completed, Big River Steel operates two electric arc furnaces and two twin-ladle furnaces. The steelworks has also been equipped with a further gas cleaning

Electric arc furnace at Valbruna ASW in Welland, Ontario.

MPT International / December 2020

system as part of the project. The CSP plant (compact strip production) has seen the addition of a second casting strand, a second tunnel furnace and another downcoiler. Big River Steel’s CSP plant produces up to 1,930 mm wide coil, making it one of the widest CSP plants in the world.


Automazioni Industriali Capitanio (AIC) has completed the upgrade of dividing shear and cut line automation at Baki Inshaat Senaye OJSC in Baku, Azerbaijan. This project included the new electric and automation control system for the cooling bed entry line. The team of AIC was also involved in site installation and commissioning phases, start-up support and the remote assistance. BANGLADESH

The Danieli Service Small Revamping Team has commissioned a bar mill upgrade at BSRM Steel Mills in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The target of the revamping was to improve the productivity for the smallest bar sizes by implementing 5-strand slitting and producing 5x8- and 5x10-mm-dia finished products. The intervention was completed two days ahead of schedule, Danieli says, and involved installing the slitting guides, modifying the existing ratios on the stand gearboxes and upgrading shears and QTB along the mill. Furthermore, for the same plant, Danieli is supplying a new offline cutting area. There, angle bars will be automatically cut in submultiple commercial lengths at a productivity of 36 tonnes per hour, whilst allowing the main rolling mill to continue producing longer sections of the entire range of profiles at a high-performance rate.





The new Andritz S6-high cold-rolling mill delivered to Shougang Jingtang United Iron & Steel Co., Ltd, China, has rolled its first strip. Shougang Jingtang commissioned Andritz to supply a cold-rolling mill with an annual capacity of 280,000 tonnes for the production of high-strength and ultra-highstrength steel strip for the automotive industry in the summer of 2018. According to Andritz, its S6-high solution provides a means of rolling thinner strip thicknesses, even at yield points of 1,000 MPa or more. Schade Lagertechnik GmbH will be supplying eight semi-portal reclaimers, each with a capacity of 1,800 tph of iron ore, for Zhongtian Steel Works in Nantong, China. Schade is a member of the Aumund group and represented in China through group unit Aumund Machinery Technology (Beijing) Ltd. In Nantong, Zhongtian Steel is currently building a greenfield


Concept of the new Energiron DRI plant designed for HBIS group

steel plant which is due to commence operations at the end of 2021. Zhongtian Steel belongs to the Zhongtian Group with activities in metallurgy, ports, power plants, logistics and hotel construction. PHILIPPINES

Capitol Steel contracted Automazioni Industriali Capitanio (AIC) to update and digitalise the existing stand drives in the Philippines from the company’s workshop in Torbole Casaglia (BS), Italy. Amongst others, the scope of supply includes the engineering and electrical drawings for digitalisation of the drives, a digitalisation kit the existing stand drives as well as ABB components including a communication card to connect the PLC and the encoder card. At the present time, AIC says, two out of ten stand drives have been commissioned online through video communication platforms and conference calls. SOUTH KOREA

Paul Wurth has announced the signing of a contract with the South Korean steelmaking group Posco for the new coke oven plant #6 at Pohang steelworks. It includes the supply of refractories and key equipment as well as supervision services to erection and commissioning for two new coke oven batteries and a complete new coke oven gas treatment plant. Equipped with an under-jet heating system, the topcharged batteries will feature 48 ovens each with an oven chamber dimension of 7.6 m height and 20 m length. The batteries are designed to reach a total annual production of 1.5 million tonnes

of coke, while the Coke Oven Gas treatment and by-products plant is designed to treat a coke oven gas flow of 100,000 Nm3/h. A particular focus is given to the environmental aspect, Paul Wurth says. For this purpose the company integrates its in-house developed Sopreco system single oven pressure control) for emission control and the “Cokexpert” level- 2-automation system for coke oven plants. The start of the new plant is expected in 2023. TURKEY

Turkish steel producer Tosyali Demir Celik Sanayi has placed an order with Primetals Technologies to supply a 150-ton EAF Quantum electric arc furnace, a 150-ton twin vacuum-degassing plant with oxygen blowing and a two-strand slab caster for a flat steel greenfield project in Iskenderun, Turkey. The scope encompasses the complete mechanical and electrical process equipment and the automation technology. This includes the automated scrap yard management, the automated charging process, automation of the oxygen injection and sand refilling, as well as the Level 2 automation. The EAF Quantum is designed to handle metallic scrap and virgin materials such as HBI, pig iron in different composition and quality. The electrical energy requirement of the electric arc furnace is extremely low, Primetals says – mainly thanks to the scrap preheating system, but also due to many other features of EAF Quantum technology, such as FAST Tapping system, continuous foaming slag and continuous submerged electric arc (flat bath operation).

December 2020 / MPT International

Sources: Danieli; Primetals Technologies

The world’s first DRI (direct reduced iron) production plant powered by hydrogen enriched gas will be implemented in China by the HBIS Group with the Energiron technology. Tenova has signed a contract with the group for the implementation of the so-called “Paradigm Project”, a high tech hydrogen and energy development and utilisation plant. The project includes a 600,000 ktpy Energiron DRI plant using technology jointly developed by Tenova HYL and Danieli. “This is an important breakthrough for the Chinese steel industry as it will be the first gas-based DRI plant in China”, stated Stefano Maggiolino, President and CEO of Tenova HYL. The HBIS DRI plant will use make-up gas with approximately a 70 % hydrogen concentration. Due to the high amount of H2 the HBIS plant will be the “greenest DRI plant in the world”, Tenova says, by producing “only 250 kg of CO2 per tonne of DRI. The carbon dioxide will be selectively recovered and part of it will be reutilised in downstream processes, with a final net emission of about 125kg of CO2 per tonne. The plant is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2021.


Primetals Technologies completed the online commissioning of the new software for optimizing the Level 2 process automation for the CCM1 continuous caster at Outokumpu’s plant in Tornio, Finland. The remote commissioning used empirical values gained from commissioning the similar CCM2 continuous caster at the same location in December 2019. As well as upgrading the process optimisation software for the CCM2, Primetals Technologies also installed a TPQC (Through-Process Quality Control) caster system, which records all the quality data of the entire production process in a long-term archive. ITALY

The Arvedi ESP (endless strip production) line at Acciaieria Arvedi in Cremona, Italy was restarted after a major upgrade. The modernization performed by Primetals Technologies include changes to the continuous casting machine, resulting in an increase of mass flow and – consequently – production capacity. Against this backdrop, the upgrade is the first step to raise the overall production capacity of the ESP line

Arvedi ESP line at Acciaieria Arvedi in Cremona, Italy

to 3 million metric tons per year. All modernization work was carried out during planned shutdowns in December 2019 and August 2020, with the ESP line starting up 3 days ahead of schedule. In the first month of operation, production exceeded previous levels, Primetals says. The electric arc furnace (EAF) of the ESP melt shop also received an upgrade and a ladle size increase. Accordingly, the ladle turret was replaced with a larger unit including new software features. SPAIN

Sidenor Aceros Especiales has commissioned a Reducing and Sizing Block (RSB) 435++/5 in 5.0 design by Friedrich Kocks. The new machine is one of the highlights of the modernisation project at Basauri Works executed by Saralle Group in Spain. The five stand RSB 435++ is based on the newest 5.0 generation and contains a number of modern features. It covers Sidenor‘s size range of rounds from 20 mm up to 120 mm. The remote control (RC) ensures fast size changes and provides flexibility. The Size Control System (SCS) works in a closed loop with the new light section profile gauge, the 4D Eagle, to ensure closest and constant tolerances. Beyond that, the RSB is equipped with a quick stand changing system but also a quick roll changing concept which is installed in the new roll shop area where the setup of the new 3-roll stands and guides takes place off-line during production.



SMS group eyes restructuring and further acquisitions in tough 2021 SMS group believes that 2021 will be another tough year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is optimistic that key performance figures will rebound by 2022. In the meantime, it will be stepping up its services and digitalisation activities.


amily-owned German plant-builder SMS group normally reveals its annual figures in the summer but postponed its annual press conference until the end of November this year. The conference was held as an online event, with presentations by each member of the management board. In 2019, the company still recorded an increase in its key figures, with revenue up 4.6% on-year to €2.9 billion, order intake up 2.2% to €3.2 billion, and pre-tax profit up 127% to €64 million. The order book at the end of the year stood at €3.85 billion, 6.3% higher than in late 2018. Mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, SMS expects order intake to be around one third lower than originally planned for all of 2020. In his address in the annual report 2019, owner and former CEO Heinrich Weiss notes that “SMS is going through a difficult period, the most challenging I have experienced in nearly fifty years since I took charge of the company. Initially, the decline in new orders triggered by global over-capacities in steel production forced us to restructure and downsize our organisation. Now, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have once again dramatically reduced our order intake and, in turn, our workload.” Apart from a drop in investment spending among mills, the pandemic

CEO Burkhard Dahmen

has caused other practical challenges. During the conference, COO Michael Rzepczyk noted that “…the actual construction site remains our main working place, and here we had to cope with massive hygienic regulations, and also with employees infected with the virus.” Thanks to augmented reality and video conferences that seemed to last all year through, the firm managed to finish the projects despite the hurdles. In fact, this year has seen the number of employees in the SMS Digital division more than triple, according to digitalisation officer

Graphic of the The future SMS Campus, under construction in Mönchengladbach,

High-speed in eight strands on an SMS Concast casting machine North Rhine casting Westphalia


Katja Windt. She predicted that services and maintenance, powered by digitalisation, will make up 50% of the company’s revenue by 2030.

Acting local Chief executive Burkhard Dahmen emphasised that the company will act more regionally, with representatives that speak the local language at different locations. These “generalists” will be the initial contact for the customer, while the technical sales agent with the appropriate specialisation will come in at the next step. This shift comes partly as a consequence of plant operators being less willing to make investments this year. “Previously, customers would come to us with some idea of the problem they wanted us to solve. In the future, we will be approaching them more actively, and working together to develop things like software solutions to improve plant availability,” Dahmen said. The lull in investment is mainly affecting the company’s Plant Construction business,

December 2020 / MPT International

of the planned new organisation are a cross-divisional, international focus on customer projects. In contrast to the present structure, six regions will assume project responsibility for sales and execution. In place of the current business units, Centres of Excellence (CoEs) will be created that will deliver their services and technologies to the projects. The new organisation will be implemented worldwide from spring 2021.

At the 3D Competence Center in Mönchengladbach - Metal Powder and Additive Manufacturing

Expansion outside Europe

where a long-term decline in order intake is expected. Against that, the Service and Digitalisation business “…is more continuous and less volatile,” and will, therefore, increase its share in the company’s revenues. Dahmen highlighted a combination of big data technologies and new business models such as Equipment-as-aService. This new field allows customers to turn their capital expenses into operating expenses, as the plant builder is paid for continuous operation as opposed to just the supply of equipment.

“New Horizon” As well as establishing new technologies in the metals industry, such as 3D metal printing and the recovery of precious

metals from electronic scrap, SMS group is increasingly transferring its expertise to other industries. Examples of this “New Horizon” strategy include generating environmentally friendly synthetic gases from sewage sludge, which have numerous uses including fuel and energy production. The most recent example is the commissioning of a high-bay storage system for shipping containers in Dubai. This facility owned by SMS joint venture Boxbay offers three times the capacity of a typical container storage facility on the same area. It also boasts a far higher handling speed, improved worker safety and a carbon-neutral footprint, the company says. The group also announced a change to its corporate structure. Key components

Three fundamental challenges CEO Burkhard Dahmen identifies three fundamental challenges facing the materials industry today and in the future: *Decarbonisation of the entire industrial value chain, from raw material conversion to recycling. For example, iron ore reduced directly by hydrogen is turned into truly green steel with SMS technology. Our projects not only cut CO2, but they also turn it into new raw material for many branches of industry. *More effective use of plants and equipment across the entire production process. Our rapidly growing service unit offers comprehensive, integrated solutions worldwide, from mechanical optimisation using state-of-the-art automation, to digital, autonomous solutions using “learning” processes. *Technological innovations for the materials of the future. Our recent technology push supports our customers in reducing investment costs, enabling “low-cost” solutions for products and advancing the development of lightweight construction and materials. By combining long-term service contracts and financing models such as Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS), we create flexible partnerships aimed at increasing investment value in the long term.

MPT International / December 2020

SMS will continue to supplement its organic growth with the acquisition of suitable start-ups and established specialists, primarily outside Europe. This year, it acquired shares in Viridis and Vetta, two companies based in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to create a competency centre for industrial digitalisation. With the acquisition of OMAV and Hydromec, in Italy, SMS expanded its product range in the extrusion plant and forging press sectors.

Major projects in 2019 Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) selected SMS to supply a complete steel production line for its Sinton location in Texas, USA, with an annual capacity of over 2.7 million tonnes of steel per year. Shandong Iron and Steel Rizhao gave the final acceptance certificate (FAC) for the pickling line/tandem cold mill, the hot-dip galvanising line and the continuous annealing line SMS supplied to the Chinese steelmaker. The product focus is on demanding cold-strip grades for the automotive industry. The lines are part of a new flat steel complex erected by SMS group in the Shandong Province on China’s east coast. Turkey’s largest steel producer, Erdemir Group, placed orders with subsidiary Paul Wurth for the supply of two new blast furnaces, replacing existing furnaces at Erdemir’s integrated steelworks in Ereğli and Iskenderun.




On the Virtual Floor: Kallanish’s European Steel Markets 2020 For regular visitors of trade shows and conferences, 2020 has essentially been a year of cancelled events. It is particularly painful for those looking to exchange views and make contacts. By now, many event organisers have adjusted their model to the circumstances, moving the physical meeting to a virtual platform.


ne such event is European Steel Markets by daily information service Kallanish Steel. Originally intended to be staged in Milan, Italy, in spring this year, it was postponed to November and eventually took place virtually on 9 and 10 December. Most speakers originally invited to speak in Milan had since grown accustomed to the idea of delivering their presentation to a camera at home, with one hand on the mouse to navigate their slides and graphics. The companies that participated actively were large European mills and distributors, including ArcelorMittal, Marcegaglia, Stemcor, SSAB, along with speakers from Kallanish’s own rank of experts on the markets in China and the USA. The timeline was similar to the physical events in previous years in places like Antwerp or Düsseldorf, with six sessions of three to four speakers, and the possibility for all listeners to ask questions in subsequent discussion rounds.

Mills need flexibility Eurofer, the association of European steelmakers, stressed that extraordinary periods like the current COVID-19 crisis urge steel mills to develop even more flexibility. “The matching of steel production to volatile demand is a key issue, especially given the high volatility we see in the market now,” said Karl Techelet, Eurofer’s director of trade and external relations. He noted that such preparedness takes extra effort to manage capacity, especially with less-flexible blast furnaces. One session was dedicated entirely to the continent’s on-going transition to green steel. Carl Orrling, vice president of technical development at SSAB said the critical question “we should ask ourselves is, can we afford a fossil-free product in the future?” He stated that affordability will be developed synergistically


Beware the Brexit: Gareth Stace of British association UK Steel

through rising carbon costs and improved hydrogen and electricity technology. However, the future supply of both hydrogen and electricity remains an open question, said German analyst Andreas Schneider of StahlmarktConsult. “I think it’s not a matter of individual European countries—it’s a task for the whole European Union,” he observed. “You will need so much energy and hydrogen, and a lot of countries all over the world will compete for this, and it’s not a question of prices, but availability.”

A message to the world The sense of a common fate for European steelmakers will ultimately be shared

by steel producers and consumers worldwide, said Christian Dohr of Feralpi Stahl in Germany. “I think we all find ourselves in a world where we are not isolated anymore,” he commented. “We are all interconnected. These trends will become relevant to everyone very quickly. It matters—to consumers as well. They may not be interested in what steel is in their car or fridge today, but they might be in the future. I think it will become very relevant.” Along the same lines, Eurofer’s Karl Tachelet emphasised that the proposed EU carbon border adjustment is not only about reducing CO2 emissions, but it is also a message to other countries’ steel

December 2020 / MPT International

Eurofer was not quite convinced that this will work. “The EU’s treatment of the UK as a third country is, in fact, the same, as for any country outside the European Union,” he said. “The UK has received a country-specific quota, but on the condition that the total volume does not change. The EU cannot discriminate other states and give Great Britain preferential treatment, which countries such as China, Russia and others do not have.”

Advantages of online events

Carl Orrling of Scandinavia’s SSAB explains the group’s path to hydrogen-based steelmaking

industries of the importance of such action. If this plan works, there will be a global impact on emissions reduction and intensification of investments.

Beware the Brexit The conference also addressed a crucial issue specific to the continent, namely the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and its effect on steel trade. The EU is the biggest market for British steel exports, accounting for some 2.5 million tonnes/year, or 30% of the UK’s total steel production.

Following Brexit, exporters and importers on both sides of the Channel will have to return to standard customs border checks from January, which is likely to cause huge delays and additional paperwork on both sides. “We anticipate that it will result in a 4-5% increase to the cost of supplying steel to our clients in Europe,” said Gareth Stace, director-general of steel federation UK Steel. He expressed hope that the UK and EU would exempt each other from safeguards, saying that “it would be a win-win situation for both sides.” Karl Tachelet of

While online events will never fully replace the feeling of a physical gathering, they do provide some advantages unavailable to face-to-face events, such as watching or re-watching programme sessions on-demand, and the opportunity to connect with many more attendees from around the world that may not have been able to travel to Milan. It also allows for interactive networking, personalised agendas and the ability to engage with speakers via live Q&As and polls. “Like everyone else, we look forward to the day that the steel industry can gather in person once again. Until then, we are excited to show you what our new virtual event platform can do,” says Kallanish’s event organiser, Bijan Farhangi.

Blast Furnaces in Europe Sweden • SSAB Oxelosund

Germany • ArcelorMittal Bremen • HKM Duisburg • Salzgitter

Belgium • ArcelorMittal Gent

France • ArcelorMittal Dunkirk • ArcelorMittal Dunkirk (unclear if restarted in December)


Finland • SSAB Raahe

Poland • ArcelorMittal Krakow

restarted restarted idled


restarted idled

Bosnia • ArcelorMittal Zenica

Italy • ArcelorMittal Taranto restarted

(clould be restarted in 2021)

idled permanently

Czech Republic • Liberty Ostrava


Slovakia • USSK Kosice • USSK Kosice

restarted idled

Austria • Voestalpine Linz • Voestalpine Donawitz

• ArcelorMittal Fos-Sur-Mer restarted

Spain • ArcelorMittal Gijón


restarted relining



An overview of the status quo of activity of blast furnaces which were temporarily idled this year, as compiled by Kallanish editor Emanuele Norsa

MPT International / December 2020




Ways to Reduce CO2 Emissions in Iron and Steel Making in Europe The key ways to reduce CO2 emissions in iron and steelmaking can be summarised under the general terms “Smart Carbon Usage” (SCU) and “Carbon Direct Avoidance”. SCU covers on the basis of carbon carriers as reductant incremental measures at the conventional blast furnace converter route and the CO2 mitigation measures by applying so-called “end-of-pipe” technologies like CCS (CO2 Capture and Storage) and CCU (Carbon Capture and Usage). CDA covers the scrap based electric arc furnace route and the iron ore based steelmaking route via direct reduction plant and electric arc furnace by the use of natural gas and/or hydrogen as reducing agent, which means the complete avoidance of coal and coke for the reduction of iron ores. The application of CCU at the conventional blast furnace converter route, which means the conversion of process gases into chemical raw materials, as well as the implementation of the direct reduction technology with hydrogen and subsequent smelting of the DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) to steel in an electric arc furnace require an immense amount of hydrogen and CO2-free electric energy.



he council of the European Commission has already in 2011 published a roadmap for attaining a competitive low-carbon economy by 2050. According to this the European industry would have to cut back its CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 80 to 95 % by the year 2050. This is an enormous challenge for the total industry. The EU steel industry has, for many years, been at the forefront of R&D into breakthrough technologies via a large number of projects. An environmental friendly, innovative and competitive steel industry plays a decisive role in achieving long term climate targets. In this context, EUROFER – the European Steel Association – placed an order to the Steel Institute VDEh to update the steel roadmap of the year 2013 [1], in which the Steel Institute VDEh was also involved. Steel Institute VDEh just took over the pure technical part for this study, which started in March 2018 and ended in March 2019. The main results were presented at the 4th European Steel Technology and Ap-


plication Days in June 2019 in Düsseldorf [2].

CO2 emissions of the steelmaking production routes in Europe Figure 1 presents the applied production routes for steelmaking in Europe with its current specific CO2 emissions [3]. In the blast furnace converter route the

CO2 emissions of 1880 kg/t crude steel (CS) are generated directly in the production processes coke plant, sinter plant, blast furnace, converter and the subsequent process steps casting and rolling (not shown in the figure). The main CO2 amount in this route comes from the blast furnace. The reduction of iron ores in the blast furnace with

Sources: EUROFER

AUTHOR: Dr.-Ing. Hans Bodo Lüngen, Executive Member of the Managing Board, Steel Institute VDEh, Germany

Figure 1: Process routes for steelmaking in Europe [3]

December 2020 / MPT International

CO2 load factor of 330 g/kWh. Using iron ore reduction technology as a pre-step for steelmaking, hydrogen is the only alternative reducing agent to carbon monoxide. Since the beginning of the 1970ies hydrogen rich natural gas is used as reducing agent for the reduction of iron ores in industrial applied direct reduction technology. Sponge iron/DRI is produced for example in a shaft furnace process. In this process most of the oxygen is removed from the iron ores to produce DRI but the DRI is solid and still contains all the gangue materials of the iron ores. The processing of the DRI to crude steel with smelting and slag metallurgy occurs in an electric arc furnace. The CO2 emissions of this route are in the range of 990 kg/t CS. Figure 2: System boundaries to evaluate the CO2 footprint of the EU 28 steel industry [2]

carbon or carbon monoxide (CO) respectively inevitably leads to carbon dioxide (CO2). The chemical used carbon in the blast furnace process will be emitted as CO2 to the atmosphere after energetic conversion/use of the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide containing blast furnace gas and by processing of the carbon containing hot metal. In the integrated blast furnace converter route the blast furnace produces a liquid hot metal with a temperature of 1.500°C from which the main amount of the iron ore gangue materials are separated via a liquid slag. An operation of a blast furnace without coke is not possible due to physical reasons. The main physical tasks of the coke are to guarantee the gas permeability of the furnace in the shaft area, where the iron ores are softening and melting (cohesive zone), the drainage of hot metal and slag in the hearth and to build a supporting grid

for the overlying burden layers above the cohesive zone. The process gases of the coke plant, the blast furnace and the converter steel shop are amongst others used for the production of electric energy. By this the CO content in the gases are oxidized by burning into CO2 and emitted with power plant waste gas to the atmosphere. This route is completely supplying its need for electricity by own production. In the scrap based electric steelmaking route just a part of the CO2 emissions is generated by the processes itself. The main part of the CO2 emissions comes from the CO2 load of the external purchased electric energy for the processes, as the electric arc furnace route does not produce process gases which are energetic applicable for electricity production. The CO2 emission of this route is in the range of 410 kg/t CS at a

Figure 3: Results of the evaluation of CO2 emissions of the European steel industry in 1990, 2010 and 2015 [2]

MPT International / December 2020

CO2 emissions of the EU 28 steel industry in 2015 compared to 1990

The specific and total CO2 emissions for the EU28 steel industry were calculated for 1990 to get the correct number for the base year as well as for 2010 from the study in 2013 [1] and for 2015 for this follow-up study to highlight the CO2 mitigation for the last two and a half decades. The system boundaries for the calculation of the CO2 emissions of the steel industry in Europe were agreed upon in a way, that the CO2 emissions of the process steps are in the balance as direct emissions (Scope I), Figure 2. The CO2 emissions generated by the energetic use of the process gases of the integrated route, which supplies electric power, are already in the balance of the individual process steps. Regarding the scrap and also the DRI based electric arc furnace route, which does not produce any energetic usable process gases for power production, the CO2 load of the external supplied electric power is going as indirect emissions into the balance (Scope II). For comparison the CO2 load of purchased materials, like iron ore pellets or DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) were partly for some scenarios considered in the balance (Scope III). Process gases generated along the value chain are used to produce electricity and heat, rendering sufficient power to satisfy the electricity demand in an integrated plant (the self-sufficiency assumption). So, no credits could be considered for this in the CO2 balance. The aspect of granulated blast furnace slag which leads by its use in cement production to CO2 mitigation was not investi15



gated further in this study as a CO2 credit to avoid double counting. The evaluation of 1990 and 2015 shows a drop of the total CO2 emissions of the steel industry by 28 % from 298 to 216 million t as shown in the green bars on the right site of the Figure 3. In the same period the crude steel production in the EU decreased from 197 million t to 166 million t in 2015 by 16 %, shown with the red bars under crude steel production. The specific CO2 emission per t crude steel decreased by 14 % from 1.5 to 1.3 t, shown with the yellow bars below Avg. CO2 intensity. The share of electric steelmaking at total steelmaking increased from 28 % to 39 % in 2015, bars under production share. The CO2 load of the externally purchased electricity for electric steelmaking dropped in the same time from 585 g CO2/kWh to 300 g CO2/kWh. Finally, the production decrease in Europe contributed to almost by 50 % of the total CO2 mitigation of 28 % absolute.

Options to reach the CO2 Mitigation targets by 2050 The key options for CO2 mitigations of the EU steel industry can be summarised in the two pathways: Smart carbon usage (SCU) and carbon direct avoidance (CDA), Figure 4. SCU includes under process integration with reduced use of carbon the incremental measures of the conventional blast furnace converter route to reduce CO2 emissions. This may also include so-called end-of-pipe technologies like CCS (CO2 Capture and Storage) and CCU (Carbon Capture and Usage).

Figure 4: Projects and initiatives for mitigation of CO2 emissions in the EU steel industry

The group of carbon direct avoidance (CDA) includes the process routes scrap based EAF with CO2-free electricity and the DRI-EAF route based on natural gas and hydrogen and CO2-free electricity. The change from integrated carbon based blast furnace/converter route to hydrogen DRI/EAF route would result in no further need for coke and sinter, but instead the need for hydrogen and pellets. One main assumption for the study is that there will be no carbon leakage for the steel industry in Europe. This means that the whole agglomerated iron ore burden materials for the processes should be produced within Europe and accounted as direct emissions.

Smart Carbon Usage (SCU) The incremental measures at the existing iron and steel works have CO2 mitigation effects, but do not lead to mas-

Figure 5: HIsarna smelting reduction process at Tata Steel in Ijmuiden [4]


sive CO2 mitigation without the application of CCS and CCU. Projects combined with CCU are Carbon2Chem and Steelanol, the project combined with CCS is the HIsarna smelting reduction process, Figure 5 [4]. In this process, fine ores and non-coking coal and oxygen are used to produce liquid hot metal. The HIsarna-BOF route does not need any cokemaking and ore agglomeration steps. The high CO2 concentration of the off-gas will be beneficial for combining HIsarna with CCS. Steelanol is converting the CO and H2 in the blast furnace gas by using microbes into ethanol. In this way carbon is bound into chemicals (CCU) which would otherwise be incinerated to CO2. What is left after Steelanol is a CO2-rich stream which can directly be used in the IGAR technology (which stands for Injection de Gaz RĂŠformĂŠ) to reform natural gas in a plasma torch to obtain a hot reducing gas composed of CO and H2, Figure 6 [5]. This reducing gas is injected through tuyeres into the blast furnace. Carbon lean electricity will be used for plasma gas processing. As the process is running on oxygen only (no hot air), high injections rates of solid carbon containing waste materials (as solid biomass and plastic) in combination with the hot reducing gas are minimising the coke rate of the blast furnace. As all the carbon is at maximum recycled or converted into chemicals, this combination of technologies is illustrating how also carbon and CO2 can be reused in a circular way. The Carbon2Chem initiative of Thyssenkrupp aims to use process gases of

December 2020 / MPT International

the integrated iron and steelworks, like coke oven gas, blast furnace top gas and converter gas, as a starting material for chemical products avoiding the CO2emissions when these gases would be burnt in a power plant for the generation of electricity. Thus, the project is an essential contribution to climate protection as well as energy transition. On the other hand, the amount of the gases used for the production of chemical products are no longer available for the production of electricity needed by the integrated works. The missing electric energy then needs to be supplied from external sources which must CO2 free. The Carbon2Chem concept needs hydrogen from green energy sources for the chemical processes involved in ammonia and methanol production.

Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) The focus of Carbon Direct Avoidance will be set on the process route with direct reduction of iron ores and the use of the DRI in an electric arc furnace, Figure 8. For the direct reduction of iron ores with hydrogen shaft furnace processes will be used. In 2018 around 110 DRI shaft furnace plants (Midrex, HyL/Energiron) were operated worldwide with a production volume of 79.4 Mio. t DRI which is 79 % of the worldwide DRI production [7]. Maximum annual capacity of a single module is 2.5 million t DRI. They are still mostly located and operated where low cost natural gas is available. Only one plant is operated in Europe at ArcelorMittal Hamburg [7]. In these furnaces the iron ores, mostly in the form of pellets, are reduced in the “dry” stage by CO and H2 from cracking of natural gas. No liquid phases occur, no slag metallurgy is done and

Figure 6: IGAR Steelanol process combination [5]

no coke is needed. The produced DRI contains all the gangue materials from the iron ores, so that the slag metallurgy must be done in the subsequent electric arc furnace during crude steel production. The reducing gas fed to the industrial direct reduction shaft furnaces already contains 60 to 80 % hydrogen. The idea of CDA is to inject up to 100 % hydrogen. Figure 9 sums up the projects for CO2 mitigation in Europe. For the CCU projects IGAR/Steelanol and Carbon2Chem in the smart carbon usage pathway, the CO2 emissions released to the atmosphere may come down to levels below 600 kg CO2/t crude steel [2]. But one has to keep in mind that carbon is still in the CCU products. The HIsarna process with CCS in combination with basic oxygen steelmaking converter may come to CO2 emissions of also less than 600 kg CO2/t crude steel [2]. All other projects are in the pathway carbon direct avoidance. The hydrogen

Figure 7: Thyssenkrupp project Carbon2Chem – chemical use of process gases [6]

MPT International / December 2020

based DRI production combined with electric arc furnace is developed at ArcelorMittal, Dillinger, Salzgitter and Thyssenkrupp in Germany, at SSAB/ LKAB/Vattenfall in Sweden and at voestalpine in Austria. voestalpine is also working on a project on iron ore reduction with hydrogen in a plasma smelting reduction reactor in laboratory scale. The CDA processes may reach CO2 emissions of below 340 kg CO2/t crude steel. All projects mentioned here need huge amounts of CO2-free hydrogen and CO2-free electric energy.

Comparison of the CO2 mitigation options (CCU/CCS not included) Figure 10 summarises the results for CO2 mitigation for the different alternative routes in comparison with the blast furnace converter and the scrap based EAF routes, whereby the options with the end-of-pipe-technologies CCU and CCS where not considered. The results include upstream CO2 emissions for pellets charged to the blast furnace and to the DRI shaft. For all routes the CO2 emissions of the downstream plants continuous casting and rolling are considered. The BF-BOF route has a CO2 emission of 1921 kg/t crude steel. The scrap based EAF baseline route with a CO2 load of electricity in 2015 of 300 g/kWh has a CO2 emission of 410 kg/t crude steel. The assumption of the use of CO2free electricity reduces the baseline steel scrap EAF route to just only 201 kg CO2/t crude steel. One could not conclude from this, that a solution of the CO2-mitigation challenge could be simply the change over from the blast furnace converter route to the scrap based EAF




route. It has to be kept in mind, that not all steel grades can be produced via the scrap based EAF route. To produce high grade flat steel products virgin iron ores or very clean scraps are needed as iron bearing input materials. The natural gas based DRI-EAF route emits with the current CO2 load of the electricity 1,098 kg CO2/t crude steel. The availability of CO2-free electricity is also the prerequisite for the DRI/EAF route based on hydrogen for iron ore reduction resulting in CO2 emissions down to 339 kg/t crude steel. The impact of the CO2 electricity grid factor over the years from 1990 to 2050 on the scrap based EAF route is shown in Figure 11. Massive CO2 emissions reduction of this route is dependent on the CO2 load of the electrical energy. The “International Energy Agency” has forecast for the year 2050 a CO2 grid factor of 80 g/kWh. This leads for the scrap based EAF route to a CO2 mitigation down to 289 kg/t crude steel which is minus 57 % in 2050 compared to 1990 level. If the supplied energy is based on CO2 neutral fuels and CO2-free electricity, then the CO2 emissions could be decreased to 60 kg/t crude steel which is a CO2 mitigation of 91 % compared to 1990 levels. The remaining CO2 emissions are coming inevitably from electrode consumption and from the charged additions and alloying elements. The same effect of the CO2 intensity of electricity is to be seen for the natural gas and hydrogen based DRIEAF route, Figure 12. At a grid factor of 80 g CO 2/kWh the CO 2 emissions may come down in 2050 by 73 % to 546 kg CO2/t crude steel compared to the BF-BOF baseline in 1990 which was 1968 kg CO2/t crude steel (see Figure 3). The hydrogen based DRI-EAF route is on the same CO2 intensity level of 202 kg/t crude steel as the scrap based

Figure 10: CO2 emissions of different options [2]


Figure 8: Production of “green steel” with hydrogen as reductant

Figure 9: Projects of the EU steel industry on CO2 mitigation

EAF rout in the case of zero CO2 load of electricity. A possible backpack for the charged pellets to the DRI plant was not considered. When also using CO2 neutral fuels for upstream and downstream processes, the resulting CO2 intensity is also only 60 kg/t crude steel for the hydrogen based DRI/EAF route. The CO2 mitigation achieved compared to the 1990 level of the blast furnace converter route is 97 %. To achieve this goal also pellets need to be produced CO2-free.

CO2 emissions of the EU 28 steel industry in 2050 for reaching the set targets What does it mean under the targets given by the EU of CO2 mitigation levels of 80 or 95 % in 2050 compared to 1990 levels for maximum allowable CO2 emissions, if the total crude steel production of the EU 28 steel industry remains on the 2015 level of 166 million t? As to be seen in Figure 13, the total emissions need to be reduced for the EU steel industry from 298 million t in

Figure 11: Direct and indirect emissions of the scrap based EAF route [2]

December 2020 / MPT International

Figure 12: Direct and indirect emissions of the DRI natural gas and DRI

Figure 13: Maximum allowable CO2-emissions in 2050 to reach the 80

hydrogen based EAF route [2]

% and 90 % mitigation target

1990 to 60 million t in 2050 for the 80 % scenario and to 15 million t in the 95 % scenario. This means specific CO2 emissions of 361 kg and 90 kg/t crude steel respectively. The 95 % mitigation target is achievable by the availability of huge amounts of CO2-free electricity and CO2-free produced hydrogen, CO2-neutral carbon based fuels (biomass) and/or the application of CCU and CCS for carbon based iron ore reduction routes.The demand for green electricity for the EU steel industry only could raise in 2050 to a level of approximately 450 to 500 TWh/a.

os to reach the 95 % CO2 mitigation target by 2050 compared to 1990 level an extreme huge amount of green electric energy, green hydrogen and biomass is necessary and for the carbon based routes CCS and/or CCU technologies as well. The new ways for low-carbon steelmaking require tremendous financial resources for “Capex” and “Opex” for new plants and a lot of time.

Conclusions The new ways for reaching massive CO2 mitigation in steel production can be subdivided in the sectors “Smart Carbon Usage” (SCU) with processes based on carbon for steelmaking and “Carbon Direct Avoidance” (CDA), which use electricity and hydrogen for steelmaking. For all processes and scenariSince more than 50 years!

References [1] [2]

[3] [4]

[5] [6] [7] [8]

[9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

P. DAHLMANN, J-T. GHENDA, H.B LÜNGEN, F. SCHULER, N. VOIGT and M. WÖRTLER: Steel’s contribution to a low-carbon Europe (2013). P. DAHLMANN, H.B. LÜNGEN and M. SPRECHER: Steel Roadmap for a Low Carbon Europe 2050 - Technical Assessment of Steelmaking Routes; Presented at METEC and 4th ESTAD on 25 June 2019, Düsseldorf, GERMANY. H.B. LÜNGEN and P. SCHMÖLE: Wege zur Minderung der CO2-Emissionen bei der Eisenund Stahlherstellung; Fachtagung Kokereitechnik, Dortmund (2019). J. VAN DER STEL, K. MEIJER, CH. ZEILSTRA, T. VAN BOGGELEN and R. DRY: HIsarna smelting reduction - a solution for sustainable hot metal production; in: Reducing the carbon footprint of the steel industry, Zaandam and Petten, NL (2017). C. DE MARÉ: ArcelorMittal Europe Media Day, Paris (2018). M. OLES: Carbon2Chem: Reduce CO2-emissions in a cross industrial network; 4th METEC & ESTAD, 24-28 June 2019, Düsseldorf, GERMANY. 2018 world direct reduction statistics, MIDREX ( Nachhaltige Stahlproduktion an der Saar: Dillinger und Saarstahl setzen erstmalig auf Wasserstoff im Hochofen zur CO2-Minderung; ROGESA Pressemitteilung vom 24. Mai 2019 Transformation der Stahlindustrie benötigt industriepolitische Unterstützung; STAHL + TECHNIK 2 (2020), Nr. 3, S. 72/77 M. HÖLLING, M. WENG, S. GELLERT: Bewertung der Herstellung von Eisenschwamm unter Verwendung von Wasserstoff; stahl und eisen 137 (2017), Nr. 6, S. 47/53 Wasserstoff-Stahlproduktion in Hamburg; STAHL + TECHNIK 1 (2019), Nr. 10, S. 21 V. HILLE: SALCOS – Sustainable, stepwise and flexible decarbonisation based on proven technology; Proceedings of METEC & 4th ESTAD, 24-28 June 2019, Düsseldorf, GERMANY Hybrit JV planning to begin building demo plant for fossil-free steel in 2023; 02 June 2020 ( thyssenkrupp: Unterwegs in eine Zukunft ohne CO2 ( K. KNITTERSCHEID: Schluss mit Koksen, Handelsblatt, 21.01.2019 Th. BUERGLER: Technology development hydrogen steelmaking; Proceedings of METEC & 4th ESTAD, 24-28 June 2019, Düsseldorf, GERMANY.

CRANEFRIGOR™ – AC-unit for severe duty conditions works.

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The production of hot strip at conventional Hot Strip Mills does not attain the best overall result as the optimization of one process step may have adverse consequences for another process step.

Integrated Temperature Model (ITM) – Part I

AUTHORS: A. Sprock, C. Hassel, K.

Grybel, H. Hof, W. Fuchs, SMS group, Germany CONTACT: August.Sprock@sms-

T 20

he production of hot strip at conventional Hot Strip Mills is divided in individual process steps,

starting from reheating, rolling at roughing mill and finishing mill, strip cooling at run out table and coiling. All the process steps run in principle one after the other and independently. In this way, each individual processing step is optimized in isolation while adhering to the individual set values. This conventional procedure does not attain the best overall result as the optimization of one

process step may have adverse consequences for another process step, i.e. the interaction between them is neglected. The Integrated Temperature Model (ITM) of SMS group completely remedies these disadvantages. By using the temperature setpoints from the traditional strategy an integrated, higher-level temperature profile from the furnace to the coiler is determined. This profile is updated cy-

December 2020 / MPT International

Sources: SMS group

A model designed by SMS group considers the interaction of the individual process steps in hot strip making with respect to the temperature profile. – Part I of a field report.

Figure 1: Schematic view of the individual process steps for the production of hot-rolled strip

Figure 2: Schematic view of the individual process steps and the corresponding temperature curves

clically; the individual process steps interact via this profile. Possible deviations from the temperature profile due to disturbances are corrected by controller actions of the Integrated Temperature Model (ITM) under consideration of the plant limits and the microstructure. The coupled Microstructure Property Model (MPM) calculates the components and the mechanical properties of the hot strip as a result of its thermal and mechanical treatment in the overall process. This concept extends the possibilities to improve the desired mechanical properties with the Microstructure Properties Optimizer. The advantages of additional plant components, such as a transfer bar cooling system and compact cooling, may be analyzed and optimized quantitatively by this integrated temperature model in order to realize a gain in production and product quality. The production of hot-rolled strip takes place in individual process steps

MPT International / December 2020

which are executed one after the other. In a hot strip mill, the slabs are first pre-heated to the required processing temperature; during the process of roughing-down a specified transfer bar thickness is achieved. Subsequent rolling in the downstream finishing stands then results in the desired final geometry. The hot-rolled strip is then cooled down to a defined target temperature in the cooling section. For further processing and transport, the strip is then coiled on the coiler unit, see Figure 1. In the individual processing steps, adherence to the setpoint

values is of utmost importance. Only in this way can the desired product quality be ensured. Among other factors, the size (thickness, width) and temperature must be precisely set. For this purpose, prediction models are used which – based on physical and empirical equations – determine the energy and work as well as the coolant flow rate for the individual process steps required to obtain a certain product with the desired size and temperature [1] – [5]. SMS uses the following models to describe the individual processing steps:

Figure 3: Illustration of problematic temperature control on the finishing mill and coiler pyrometers




• L2 Furnace Calculation/Control • Pass Schedule Calculation/Control Roughing Mill (PSC RM) • Pass Schedule Calculation/Control Finishing Mill (PSC FM) • Cooling Section Calculation/Control (CSC). As a rule, the processing steps are set up in such a manner that there are as few differences as possible between the desired target values and the measured actual values. Since the processing steps are executed one after the other and their process control is not independent of one another, separate optimization of the individual process steps may be disadvantageous when the goal is to achieve an optimal overall result with the best product quality. If, for example, the desired final rolling temperature is not reached, the strip speed increases during rolling and the deviation between the measured actual temperature and the target temperature is reduced. The finishing mill temperature control system will continue to increase the speed until the temperature difference has been eliminated, see Figure 2. The speed increase results in a measured coiler temperature that exceeds the target temperature. In this case, the temperature control system will add more water in the cooling model or reduce the speed in order to reduce the deviation. This leads to a dilemma since optimization of one processing step leads to an unfavorable overall result. This is shown in detail in Figure 3. As soon as a deviation occurs on the finishing mill pyrometer, the controller changes the strip speed to compensate for this deviation. If water is not added or switched off in time in the cooling section, the coiler temperature will deviate from the desired target value. The controller in the cooling model

Figure 4: Illustration of a higher-level temperature curve from the furnace up to the coiler

would rather avoid abrupt speed changes due to possible temperature deviations on the coiler pyrometer. Particularly critical areas are the strip head end and strip tail end, where there are often significant changes in the strip speed.

Determination of a higher-level temperature profile using the ITM The strategy developed and enhanced by SMS eliminates the boundaries between the processing steps and sends the individual setpoints for speed and temperature to an integrated temperature model (ITM) to create a higher-level temperature profile. This temperature profile takes into account the individual processing steps during preheating, rolling in the roughing stand and in the finishing stands and cooling-down in the cooling section. The temperature curve is mainly influenced by the plant limits, process stability and changes in the material microstructure during processing. This means that the temperature curve can be modified under these boundary conditions to follow the operating modes specified by the plant owners:

Figure 5: Illustration of optimized temperature control on the finishing mill and coiler pyrometers


• High production figures: Temperature and speed are at their upper limit • High process stability: Temperature and speed are in the safe, medium range • Optimal product properties: Temperature and speed are optimized for each material rolled • High energy savings: Temperature and speed are at their lower limit. The higher-level temperature curve is superordinate to the individual process parts and thus eliminates the restrictions between the individual process steps from the conventional approach. Figure 4 shows an example for a higher-level temperature curve. The setpoints are integrated in a higher-level temperature curve. Using the primary data of the current strip, the complete temperature curve and the overall speed profile are calculated and optimized for the entire strip length. In this way, strip speed and temperature values are explicitly defined before the strip enters the finishing mill or the cooling section. The temperature curve is determined using the Fourier heat equation. When solving the Fourier heat equation, the exact description of the energy balance and possible transformations is a central task. The temperature model uses a semi-empiric approach that takes into account the determination of the transformation temperature values with regression equations, a diffusion-controlled kinetics approach and the energy balance of the individual phases via thermodynamic potentials and the para-equilibrium condition (PE). In this way, the temperature distribution is determined via the energy balance from the furnace up to the coiler. The calculation is updated cyclically with the complete material model.

December 2020 / MPT International

Figure 6: Temperature curves on the finishing mill and coiler pyrometers

Predictive process control

In the case of deviations from the target temperature curve, the ITM tries to adjust the strip speed in such a way that a minimal deviation is reached at the downstream measuring points. This means that if the hot strip enters F1 with a temperature deviation, the preset strip speed for the rest of the strip will be changed by the ITM in such a manner that the target finishing mill tempera-

ture can be adhered to. At the same time, the updated strip speed prediction is also available in the cooling model. In this way, the water flow rates are adjusted accordingly over the entire strip length, so that the target coiler temperature is also adhered to. If there is a temperature deviation at the finishing mill pyrometer, the strip speed prediction is adjusted in order to obtain the target value, see Figure 5.

This modified speed prediction is also immediately available in the cooling model, so that based on this scheduled speed profile water can be added or reduced so as to adhere to the target coiler temperature. As a consequence, there are no unexpected speed changes resulting in any undesired jumps in the measured coiler temperature. The processes now operate with a reciprocal effect and are harmonized with each other. Possible deviations are corrected in a model-based manner. This is important since a change in speed or water flow rate does not result in a proportional change in temperature. If the deviation and the target temperature are within the transformation range, the correction is performed in a different way than for a deviation outside of the transformation range. The phase transformation is considered in the energy balance; in this way the controller can precisely adjust the required amount of make-up water. Figure 6 shows an actual example. In the upper section of the figure, the finishing mill and coiler temperature values are shown as a function of the strip length. For a better overview, the temperatures are displayed as differences from the measured temperature minus the reference temperature. In the lower part of the figure, the curve of the strip speed and in the middle part of the figure, the activated water flow rate is indicated. Since the measured finishing mill temperature is just below the reference temperature after 100 m of strip length, the strip speed increases. The modified strip speed prediction is also immediately available in the cooling model, and the water flow rate will be



adjusted correspondingly to the speed change. As a consequence, abrupt changes in the measured coiler temperature are prevented; the measured coiler temperature is at its target value. If the production process is disturbed and the measured temperature significantly deviates from the target temperature curve as the result of a delay, the desired target temperature cannot be adjusted anymore without adapting the downstream processes, taking into account the plant limits, the process stability or microstructural changes of the material, see Figure 7. In this case, the target value is not reached in one of the process steps. The ITM defines a new temperature profile and at the end sets the desired temperature, see Figure 7. The higher-level temperature profile can now

Figure 7: Illustration of a corrected temperature curve following a process disturbance

be used to make statements about the microstructure, since the temperature distribution and the forming in the processing steps form the basis for the quantitative prediction of the compo-

nents and the resulting mechanical properties. The second part of this article will be published in MPT International No. 1 / 2021

References [1] Jin, D.; Hernandez-Avila, V.; Samarasekera, I.; Brimacombe, J.: An integrated process model for the hot rolling of plain carbon steel; Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Modelling of Metal Rolling Processes, London, UK, 1996, P. 36-58 [2] Zhou, S.: An integrated model for hot rolling of steel strips; Journal of Material Processing Technology, 2003, Vol. 134, No. 3, P. 338-351 [3] Colas, R.: Modelling heat transfer during hot rolling of steel strip; Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 1995, Vol. 3, P. 437-453 [4] Devadas, C.; Samarasekera, I.: Heat transfer during the hot rolling of steel strip; Ironmaking and Steelmaking, 1986, Vol. 13, P. 311-321 [5] Yanagi, K.: Prediction of strip temperature for hot strip mills; Transactions of the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan, 1976, Vol. 16, No. 1, P. 11-19


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Solvents ensure that the marker ink remains fluid to enable flawless writing. When writing on a given material, the solvent evaporates. Once dry, a marking can be removed with the same solvent as the one found in the marker ink, or


a similar one. That’s why the solvent in an alcohol-resistant marker such as the edding 750 paint marker isn’t based on alcohol.

Preventative measure: everyone should label their own tools The IGM (German metal workers’ union) recommends that workers should, where possible, only use their own equipment such as tools and markers, and should disinfect them regularly. In this scenario, too, it’s advisable to use an alcohol-resistant edding paint marker for labelling purposes.

December 2020 / MPT International


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The team of MPT International would like to thank you for the good cooperation and for the trust you have placed in our publication


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Special Coating Protects Steel from Hydrogen ‘Attack’ Regeneratively produced hydrogen is an ideal energy carrier, which will be used in future applications as fuel cells and in cars; it will supplement natural gas as an energy source. But atomic hydrogen often induces brittle behaviour in metals at high temperatures. Fraunhofer IWM, MikroTribologie Centrum mTC, has now developed a robust coating that effectively protects steel from the penetration of hydrogen. The barrier effect of this so-called MAX-phase layer is 3500 times greater than that of untreated steel. Telephone +49 761 5142-488


he wind blows when it wants to. This is a real problem for the production of wind energy, because wind turbines do not always generate electricity when it is needed. In addition, there can be more electricity available in the power grid on windy days than is actually needed. That’s

why it makes sense to use the excess supply of wind and also solar power in a different way - for example to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen is an environmentally friendly energy carrier that can be stored very well. When burned, the only waste product is water. It can be mixed with natural gas and used in gas-fired power plants to generate energy. It can be used as fuel in cars or to generate electricity and heat in fuel cells. All of this makes hy-

drogen a beacon of hope for the energy revolution. But there are still a few hurdles to be overcome before hydrogen can be used on a large scale. One challenge is that atomic hydrogen makes metals brittle, which can lead to component failure. Atomic hydrogen accumulates in the parts of a component that are subject to particular stresses, such as at welding seams or in areas under tension. Hydrogen embrittlement then becomes a problem, espe-

Source: Fraunhofer IWM

CONTACT: Lukas Gröner,

Fig. 1: REM image of the fracture edge of a Ti2AlN coating with platelet-like shaped grains.


December 2020 / MPT International





cially in components that are exposed to high operating temperatures.

The hydrogen barrier combines the strengths of ceramics and metals


Fig. 2: REM images of a Ti-AlN multilayer stack of the surface (a) and the fracture edge (b), as well as the surface (c) and fracture edge (d) of a resulting MAX-phase Ti2AlN layer.

aluminium oxide on the top side of the coating – a-Al2O3. As was shown in the further course of the investigations, this thin aluminium oxide coating considerably increases the barrier effect of the protective layer against hydrogen.

New testing measures barrier effect against hydrogen To test how well the MAX-phase layer prevents hydrogen from penetrating the metal, Lukas Gröner first developed a new test rig for thin metal sheets. In this test he compared uncoated steels with MAX-phase coated steels. This was the first time that it was possible at the Fraunhofer IWM to precisely quantify the penetration of hydrogen and to determine the so-called permeation reduction factor (PRF) as a measure for the barrier effect. The results are impressive: steels with a MAX-phase layer that were not heated withheld hydrogen 50 times better (PRF 50) than untreated steels. But the results were particularly impressive for the coated steels that had been heated and formed an a-Al2O3 layer. These blocked the hydrogen from entering the metal roughly 3500 times better than with the untreated steel. ‘These are values that absolutely meet the requirements of the industry,’ emphasises Gröner.

Almost no evidence of brittleness Lukas Gröner is currently testing how well the MAX-phase layers work when applied in collaboration with cooperation partners such as the Forschungszentrum Jülich - for example on high-temperature fuel cells (SOFC) that operate at temperatures of approximately 600 degrees Celsius. Says Gröner: ‘The MAX-phase coatings are ideal for these types of applications because they protect the metallic components from heat and at the same time can dissipate the electric current that is generated inside the fuel cell’. The coating is also suitable for gas turbines. In the future, more and more regeneratively produced hydrogen will be added to natural gas, which means that the gas will burn at a higher temperature. However, more hydrogen and higher temperatures increase the risk of hydrogen embrittlement, which is why a component coating with a-Al2O3 can be very advantageous. Gröner cannot say whether in the future, the new coating process will be offered by the industry as a service or if it will find its way into the market in another form. The individual PVD coating process steps also still need to be optimised. However, Lukas Gröner has at any rate proven that MAX-phase coatings can provide excellent protection against hydrogen.

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: Fraunhofer IWM

In his doctoral thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, MicroTribology Centrum µTC, and at the Institute for Microsystems Technology at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, physicist Lukas Gröner developed and tested special coatings for steel components that virtually prevent the penetration of atomic hydrogen. These are so-called MAX-phase materials, which have been the subject of international research for over ten years. ‘MAX-phases have amazing properties because they combine characteristics of both ceramics and metals’ says Gröner, scientist in the Tribological and Functional Coatings Group at the Fraunhofer IWM. MAX-phases, like ceramics, are insensitive to attack by oxygen and very heat-resistant. At the same time, they are electrically conductive like metals. Unlike pure ceramics, they are not brittle, so they do not break. Lukas Gröner has now succeeded in producing thin MAX-phase coatings that protect steel very well against corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. In a vacuum chamber, he first deposited very precisely alternating layers of aluminium nitride, an aluminium-nitrogen compound, and titanium on a steel surface using physical vapor deposition (PVD). This sandwich structure, which is only about three micrometers thick, was then heated to form a very thin MAXphase layer of titanium, aluminium and nitrogen (Ti2AlN). The challenge for Gröner was to control the deposition of titanium and aluminium nitride in such a way that parallel Ti2AlN platelets were formed during subsequent heating. He succeeded: ‘The platelets are close-packed like bricks in a wall’ is how Lukas Gröner describes the success. In his doctoral thesis, Lukas Gröner also investigated how the MAX-phase coating behaves when it is intensively heated - as could be the case in future gas turbines or fuel cells. To simulate normal operating conditions, he heated the material to 700 degrees and left it in the furnace for up to 1,000 hours. This created a thin layer of a special

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Diode lasers improve gap bridgeability Laser joining with multi-spot module replaces GMAW welding Bridging wide gaps is a classic challenge in metal welding. It may arise in car body construction as well as in machine building, pipeline construction or shipbuilding. The primary solution has long been gas shielded metal arc welding (GMAW) – a classic joining technology that uses an electric arc to melt the workpieces. This welding solution is inexpensive to purchase and has certainly proven itself for bridging wide gaps. However, there are weaknesses in terms of seam optics and process efficiency: in addition to comparatively slow welding speeds, users often struggle with considerable distortion due to the high heat input. Often, time-consuming and costly straightening is required. Added to this are cost-intensive rework operations to repair unclean seams.

New processing options for joining symmetrical and asymmetrical seams Overall, joining processes can be realized more effectively by diode laserbased cold wire welding with multi-spot optics from Laserline. For this purpose, a multi-spot module splits the collimated laser beam and generates in this way a smaller inner spot, superimposed by a larger, rectangular outer spot. In the welding process, the inner spot melts the joints of the workpieces and the supplied cold wire, which serves as an additional filler material for the seam. The wide outer spot improves gap bridgeability and, due to its low penetration depth, produces a calm weld pool without spatter formation. Compared to pure laser beam welding, the multi-spot optics and cold wire insert allow gaps of one millimeter instead of the usual 0.1 to

0.3 millimeters to be bridged. The result of the welding process is smooth seams without edge notches, which no longer require any post-processing. The seam cross-section can also be optimized by specifically adjusting the spot size and power distribution. The spot-in-spot configuration opens up interesting processing possibilities, especially when joining asymmetrical seams: the outer spot can be continuously shifted, thus enabling dynamic adaptation to changing seam geometries while the process is running. This supports onesided melting in the case of thickness jumps, which is desirable for example for tailored blanks.

High process speeds, very low distortion With the spot-in-spot design, the desired seams can also be realized significantly faster: Laser powers in the multi-kilowatt range allow the process speed to be tripled compared to GMAW welding, thus ensuring higher output in industrial series production. In addition, the increased feed rate reduces heat input into the workpiece, effectively preventing material distortion. Overall, laser systems with spot-in-spot focus from Laserline are thus a real alternative to GMAW welding that not only achieves better results in terms of seam quality, speed and cost-effectiveness, but also offers new processing options when joining asymmetrical seams. The multi-spot modules can be easily integrated into processing optics of a Laserline LDF series laser system. When selecting individual application configurations, the diode laser manufacturer from Mülheim-Kärlich is happy to provide everything from detailed advice to test runs in the company‘s own application laboratory.

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DB Cargo secures major order from ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt The railway is considered an indispensable mode of transport for steel producers. This is now illustrated by a new cooperation between ArcelorMittal and DB Cargo, which is to create one of the most modern raw materials logistics in Europe in summer 2021.


rcelorMittal and DB Cargo have signed a ten-year-contract for the transport and handling of raw materials at the steelmaker’s Eisenhüttenstadt site in Eastern Germany. To this end, DB Cargo plans to invest in more than 350 new wagons and 1,400 special containers. As a further innovation the transport and logistics company intends to build two semi-automated unloading facilities including dust removal and operate them itself. This will be done in cooperation with forwarder Innofreight which – according to its own information – specialises in logistics solutions in the field of rail technology. Completion and commissioning is scheduled for summer 2021.

As a result, ArcelorMittal plans to have one of the most modern raw materials logistics in Europa at its Eisenhüttenstadt site. “By using special container types optimised for the different properties of ore, coke and limestone, we can increase the net load per train by around 20 per cent and thus need significantly fewer trains,” says Sybille Klipstein, Lead Buyer Rail at ArcelorMittal. This protects the environment and reduces the shunting effort in the plant. In addition, the automated unloading offers employees a low-dust and noise-protected workplace. For ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt, trains are the most important mode of transport. 95 per cent of the raw material transports to the site are currently carried out by rail. Every day there are six trains with about 200 wagons, of which up to four trains cross the German-Polish border. However, the steel-


DB Cargo will modernise the logistics processes at ArcelorMittal Eisenhüttenstadt, i.a. the unloading of ore.

First look at ArcelorMittal’s future ore containers

maker is only one suitable example to illustrate DB Cargo’s influence in this industry. Transporting steel is also one of the core competencies of its national company in Italy (DB Cargo Italia) that operates a high performance network in the country consisting of four hubs and more than 60 transshipment facilities. Thus, DB Cargo has had operations in Italy for many years and is increasingly experiencing success there. Thyssenkrupp’s subsidiary Acciai Special Termin (AST) for example imports its main ingredient Inox steel scrap from

Germany to its Terni site in special wagons. Once the scrap has been transformed into stainless steel, is is exported to different destinations in Germany in various forms including steel coils. “With its Italian network, efficient transit times and high level of wagon availability, DB Cargo Italia is an indispensable partner for AST when it comes to providing raw materials,” says Emanuele Sinibaldi, an employee at AST. Four times a week, DB Cargo Italia delivers 3,400 net tonnes of steel scrap to Terni from Munich and Karlsruhe.

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: DB Cargo

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Netherlands open recycling plant for contaminated steel scrap A large scale processing plant to recycle contaminated steel scrap was recently taken into operation in Delfzijl, the Netherlands. The auguration took place in the presence of Dutch King Willem Alexander.


How the process works In a first step, the material handling, the contaminated steel scrap is loaded


PMC’s processing plant to recycle contaminated steel scrap in Delfzijl, the Netherlands

into standard disposal containers. The containers are then placed on the transport trolley and brought in via a lock. The container is transported to the storage bunker in the factory via two locks that are pressurised. An overhead crane feeds the scrap into a shear where it is cut and pressed. The material is then loaded into a loading vehicle. Secondly, in the melting area, the loading vehicle transports the steel scrap to two electric furnaces. The material is then slowly fed into a melting bath of more than 1,500 degrees Celsius. During the melting process, contaminants are separated from the steel in a 100 % safe manner. The asbestos fibre structure is completely destroyed and converted into the harmless components H2O, SiO2 and MgO which float like slag on the melt and are later removed. Other hazardous substances are collected or neutralised by an advanced flue gas cleaning system. Once the steel has completely melted, it is

transported to the casting machine via special channels. There, a batch of 20 tonnes of liquid steel is transformed into purified metal blocks. In order to determine the chemical composition of the melt, chemical analyses are made of the liquid melting bath. The last step consists of cleaning the flue gas. During smelting, this is continuously extracted via the flue gas duct and transported to the flue gas purification system. This step includes the post combustion, in which flammable components are burned at 1,200 degrees Celsius. Any residual asbestos particles are then completely destroyed. Within a so-called “DeNoX” installation also NOx components are captured. What follows is a very rapid cooling of the flue gases in order to be able to carry out the rest of the flue gas cleaning. Ultimately, the system adds different additives in two steps to remove and capture (heavy) metals and other contaminants. The flat-bag filter then ensures that the dust particles are captured.

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: PMC

uilder and operator of the plant is Purified Metal Company (PMC), founded by Jan Henk Wijma, Nathalie van de Poel and Bert Buel, all with previous experience in the steel industry. Together with Jansen Recycling Group as a shareholder, they developed a method of cleaning steel scrap contaminated from other hazardous components like asbestos, mercury, PCB‘s or chrome VI. PMC is a „circular process that makes it possible possible to convert hazardous steel waste in a clean premium raw material in an economically sound way,“ the company says. UK-based waste-to-product company Renewi plc, will exclusively collect and transport contaminated steel directly to PMC’s facility in Delfzijl. According to PMC, the end product of its circular process is a clean, premium raw material for steel mills. Purified metal blocks are produced in a batch of 20 tonnes with a chemical composition, and can be delivered to the customer per container. The blocks are free of dirt, and have a high density. PMC aims to roll out the patented process in other countries in Europe and beyond. The PMC process combines different proven technologies are combined such as sub-atmospheric pressure units, a steel scrap shear, induction furnaces and casting machines. Moreover, the process has been investigated technologically and proven by the University of Aachen, a renowned institution in the field of steel technology. The factory has been engineered and build by Küttner, Visser Smit Bouw and Royal Haskoning DHV.

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Making Plates for Shipbuilding and Offshore Structures Taking into consideration the existing general trends in the development of heavy plate market in the segments of shipbuilding and offshore constructions, new variants of chemical compositions and production technology for the manufacturing of steel heavy plates with a thickness of up to 55 mm from low-carbon microalloyed D36, D40 steel grades in normalized rolled delivery condition (+NR) were developed at 4200-mm rolling complex of NLMK DanSteel. Such types of steel heavy plates are commonly used for the manufacturing of cruise liners. AUTHOR: E. Goli-Oglu (PhD), Z. Greisen (PhD), NLMK DanSteel A/S, Frederiksvaerk, Denmark CONTACT:,


hipbuilding plays an important role in the development of international, regional tourism and passenger transportation. It remains one of the most metal-intensive segments of the transport industry and the foundation for the development of international trade. Trends in the design and construction of cruise liners (Fig. 1) may serve as a vivid example of the dynamic development of the industry. In the 1970s, the average maximum gross volume of typical cruise liners did not exceed 20,000 GT and the length did not exceed 180 m. With increased interest in this type of vessels, as well as the wish of ship owners to turn a cruise liner into a full-fledged leisure and entertainment centre, the net volume of cruise liners increased at least twice a decade over the past 50 years and as of 2018 the largest launched cruise liner is the 18-deck (70 m in height) Symphony of the Seas, produced by the French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique. Its net volume is exceeding 228,000 GT and its length more than 360 m. According to 2018-2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report (the major printed magazine of the industry), another 30 new cruise liners with a length over 300 m and a net volume of 130,000 to 230,000 GT will be manufactured in 2019 to 2024. An analysis of shipbuilding steel heavy plate markets shows that, first and foremost, the demand for heavy plates with higher thickness (above 40 mm) is increasing. The strength level requirements are increased by at least one class with respect

MPT International / December 2020

Figure 1. Evolution of cruise liners modern generation design in terms of net volume and dimensions over the past 50 years

to traditional materials. While the temperature requirements for toughness remain the same (0 and -20 °C), impact energy requirements are becoming more stringent with regard to sampling location together with higher demand in resistance to strain aging processes. Surface quality requirements of plates have also become increasingly important and the presence of surface imperfections/imprints, which are formed due to furnace scale, is not allowed in many cases. The above considerations have increased the economic feasibility for development of new chemical compositions and production technology for shipbuilding heavy plates with higher thickness and strength levels compared to those that have already been implemented at NLMK DanSteel.

Requirements of maritime standards The main requirements of DNV-GL, RINA, LR, RMRS, ABS and BV international mari-

time classification societies for the manufacture of steel heavy plates for shipbuilding are similar, since they are based on the requirements of the General Rules of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), including acceptance requirements for certification tests in order to confirm the possibility of manufacture of heavy plates of studied steel grades. The existing minor differences are associated with the historical stages of development of regional shipbuilding procedures, as well as with the national or geographical features of each classification society.

Chemical composition The chemical composition and production technology for the manufacturing of shipbuilding heavy plates in normalizing rolling delivery condition (+NR) previously implemented at NLMK DanSteel was based on microalloying of steel with Niobium and enabled the manufacture of heavy plates with a thickness of up to 35 mm




Steel variant Quality

Maximum C Mn Si Al Nb V thickness, mm Within, no more or presence*, %

Mastered A32/A36 35 1.5 0.2 (Al+Nb) D32/D36 Steel A (AI+Nb+V)


0.17 0.04 A36/A40 55 1.6 0.4 0.04 D36/D40 Steel B





+ - +

* Actual content of mentioned chemical elements may vary depending on the thickness, strength grade and additional requirements for the weldability of heavy plates

Table 1. Chemical composition of studied steel variants

and with a grade of up to D36 (Table 1). Based on the analysis of production results, it was determined that an increase in the strength level of heavy plates to D40 along with a simultaneous increase in the final thickness of heavy plates to 50-60 mm was possible through the adjustment of chemical composition in two ways. Steel A is based on additional microalloying of Al+Nb-steel with Vanadium in an amount of more than 0.030%; Steel B is based on additional alloying of Al+Nb-steel with Nickel (Table 1).

Production technology Converter steel, which is continuously casted into 200-355 mm thick slabs at NLMK, is used for the manufacture of heavy plates with the studied quality grades in normalizing rolling condition (+NR). Slab rolling is carried out with the use of NLMK DanSteel 4200-mm four-high reversible rolling stand. Slabs are reheated in a 6-zone continuous walking beam furnace. Depending on slab thickness, reheating phase takes from 4 to 8 hours. In order to ensure the required level of strength and low-temperature toughness, heavy plates are subjected to intensive modes of 2-stage normalizing rolling.

Base metal microstructure No significant qualitative or quantitative differences in the microstructure of Steel A and Steel B were revealed. Given the differences in chemical composition, a more detailed study, especially at nanolevel, enables the identification of certain differences in precipitations of Nb and V. The microstructure of the studied steel variants represents a mixture of ferrite and pearlite. Grain size assessment is performed in accordance with the requirements of ASTM E1382 and E112. The average matrix grain size (da) at the subsurface (1/8 of the thickness) in studied steel variants is within the range of 6.2-7.6 μm. At 1/4 of the thickness, da is increased to 9.7-10.2 μm, and at 1/2 of the thickness – to 14.5 μm.


Base metal mechanical test results The complex of mechanical properties of D36 and D40 heavy plates manufactured from Steel A and Steel B is ensured by the selection of optimal rolling parameters taking into account the features of selected chemical composition and the productivity factor of the 4200mm rolling mill. As an example, Table 2 shows tensile properties of Steel B depending on the requested strength level. Tensile tests were performed in accordance with ISO 6892 and EN 10164. Steel A has an equivalent strength level. Optimal temperature and deformation parameters of the two-stage normalizing rolling process were selected for each strength level. Target yield strength ranges serve as the basis for the determination of technological parameters of rolling, namely: for D36 – 370-390 MPa; for D40 – 405-425 MPa. The results of serial tests for the determination of impact energy curves for Steel A in the longitudinal (L) direction relative to the rolling direction (Fig. 2a) are characterized by a non-uniform distribution and are dependent on sampling location. At the subsurface, impact energy is maintained at the level of 220-190 J within the range of +20 °C to -20 °C. As the test temperature is decreased to -40 °C, a relatively abrupt transition from ductile fracture to brittle fracture mechanism is observed, which is accompanied by a significant decrease in the impact energy to 60-70 J, followed by a further decrease to 10-20 J at lower test temperatures. The reduction in the level of impact energy at 1/4 and 1/2 of the thickness of studied plates occurs more smoothly, however, it starts already from 0 °C. When tested at the target temperature of -20 °C, the impact energy at 1/4 and 1/2 of the thickness is staying on the level 100-120 J and 70-80 J, respectively. At lower test temperatures, the differences in impact energy throughout the thickness of tested heavy plates are minimal. The level of impact energy (Fig. 2b) in the longitudinal direction of Steel B at

the surface is not decreased below 70 J even at -80 °C, and the transition ductile-brittle temperature is within the range of -40 °C and -60 °C. At ¼ of the thickness, when tested at the guaranteed temperature of -20 °C, the impact energy is characterized by the average values of 140-150 J, which is more than 3 times higher than the requirements of the standard. At a test temperature of -60 °C, the level of impact energy has a minimum margin above the requirements of the DNV-GL standards for materials of level E (-40°C) and level F (-60°C) pertaining to steel intended for Northern and Arctic regions. The only reason why the level of low-temperature toughness of studied steel variants cannot qualified to level E (-40 °C) is the test results at ½ of the thickness, where impact energy values are above 46 J only at -20 °C. Low impact energy values at ½ of the thickness are primarily associated with the presence of central segregational heterogeneity and increased ferrite grain size. It is possible to compare the quality of two studied steel variants by analyzing the level of impact energy with the use of the cumulative result. When summing up 32 reference points, Steel A shows a result of 85 J. Steel B shows a result of 121 J. With a certain degree of deviation, it is possible to conclude that in the framework of the study, the level of low-temperature toughness in terms of total absorbed energy of Steel B is higher than in Steel A by 42%.

Welded joints – Welding parameters Technological parameters of welding and the welding technique differ at various shipyards and for different structural elements, but the main ones include: submerged arc welding (SAW); flux-cored arc welding (FCAW) and gas metal arc welding (GMAW). In order to ensure good weldability of developed steel variants, which is determined by obtaining high results of mechanical testing of welded joints under the most varied welding conditions, various

December 2020 / MPT International

welding techniques with heat inputs in the range from 15 ± 1 kJ/cm to 50 ± 2 kJ/cm were used during certification testing. The applied welding consumables are certified by the DNV-GL classification society.

Tensile and impact toughness Studied welded joints with a thickness of 55 mm were tested for strength, static bending on both sides of the weld, low-temperature impact energy at the face, middle and root sides of the weld, the hardness of the weld and the HAZ, as well as a number of additional mechanical tests, the results of which allow evaluating the reliability, cold formability and crack resistance of welded joints obtained through the use of various welding techniques. Tensile tests in the transverse direction with respect to the weld showed positive results for both variants of the chemical composition. Elongation decreased to the average values of 20-21%, which is explained by an increase in volume fraction in a flat tensile specimen of the weld metal, which is characterized by lower plastic properties in comparison with the base metal. Low temperature toughness of welded joints at a temperature of -20 °C is deter-

Strength level Parameter UoM D36 D40

Tensile strength, Rm MPa

521-564 545-593 533 562

Yield strength, ReH MPa

368-421 405-450 385 428

Elongation, A200 %

24-30 25-32 26 27

RoA in the thickness 58-72 % direction (Z-test), cz 67 Table 2. Mechanical properties of D36 and D40 heavy plates with a thickness of 55 mm made of Steel B (Al+Nb+Ni)

mined based on the results of impact test of the weld metal, fusion line (FL), and at a distance of FL + 2 mm, FL + 5 mm and FL + 20 mm. Fig. 3 shows the values of impact energy through-thethickness of welded joints (heat input 50 kJ/cm) of VL D40 with a thickness of 55 mm manufactured from studied steel B. The level of impact energy complies with the requirements of the standard.

Microhardness Standard HV10 hardness measurements in accordance with the requirements of

DNV-GL-CP-0243 standard revealed a hardness level of welded joints of studied steel variants not higher than 270 HV, while the maximum allowed value is 350 HV10. A Duramin Struers microhardness tester was used for the performance of additional measurements of microhardness of welded joints. The level of microhardness of the base metal of Steel A near the heat-affected zone (HAZ) is characterized by values in the range of 169-185 HV. After welding with a heat input of 50 kJ/cm (Fig. 4), the HV0.5 level is within the average values of 215 HV with maximum values


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not higher than 250 HV. Separate zones with a microhardness of 230-250 HV can be distinguished, which are most likely caused by additional local hardening of weld metal and characterize the overlapping areas of welding passes. The microhardness level of the welded joint of Steel B does not significantly differ from Steel A. With a certain degree of inaccuracy, a narrower range of hardness of the HAZ can be noted. This could be explained by the absence of vanadium and, consequently, a smaller dispersion hardening effect in the intercritical part of HAZ.

Quasistatic fracture toughness The quasistatic fracture toughness of welded joints is determined by crack tip opening displacement (CTOD) tests, whose methodology is standardized in ISO 15653 and ISO 12135. Tests are performed on the most brittle section of welded joints of studied steel variants, namely the grain-coarsened heat-affected zone (GCHAZ), along which an incision ending with a fatigue crack is made. Tests are performed on welded joints with a heat input of 50 kJ/cm. The standardized test temperature is -10 °C. According to the requirements of the offshore standard DNVGL-OS-B101, a welded joint is considered reliable in case when the average value of crack tip opening displacement dCTOD is not lower than 0.20 mm. Fig. 5 shows the curve characterizing the conditions for the development of a crack up to the moment of critical opening and the type of fracture of the specimen after the end of testing of the studied material. With regard to the above, crack opening displacement before the break of studied welded joints is different. Steel A specimens are characterized by maximum applied load values Fm CTOD = 126-130 kN, applied specific load value Aplastic = 64-99 and crack opening value dCTOD = 0.22-0.30 mm. Steel B specimens demonstrated a comparable level of Fm CTOD = 124-131 kN (Fig. 5),



Figure 2. Impact energy in the longitudinal directions of VL D40 heavy plates with a thickness of 55 mm

Figure 5. Crack opening curves of Steel B Figure 4. Microhardness of Steel A after

welded joints

welding with a heat input of 50 kJ/cm

however, they are characterized by higher values of Aplastic = 110-151 and dCTOD = 0.33-0.41 mm.

Cold cracking resistance Cold cracking resistance is associated with the hardenability of steel and hardness increase under the influence of the thermal cycle of welding, as well as saturation of the weld metal and heat affected zone with hydrogen. The lower the Pcm and CEQ values, the lower the risk of cracking. In order to determine the resistance of weld joint of developed steel variants to cold cracking and to determine the need for preheating operations prior to welding, the procedure specified in JIS Z 3158 was used. ESAB AUTROD 12.51 wire was used for the performance of the test. Test results showed the absence of cold micro cracks of welded joints (Fig. 6) when performing the first pass in the workshop temperature conditions 11 ± 1 °C.

offshore steel heavy plates with a thicknesses of up to 55 mm were developed at NLMK DanSteel. Produced heavy plates meet the required level of strength and low-temperature toughness at -20 °C throughout the thickness. Heavy plates are characterized by a high level of mechanical properties of welded joints when welded with a heat input in the range of 15-50 kJ/cm and are recommended for warm (~580-600 °C) and hot (~ 900-940 °C) forming. The results of testing of base metal and welded joints of industrial batches were used for NLMK DanSteel certification under the general rules of IACS and the rules of DNV-GL, ABS, RINA and BV marine classification societies.

Conclusion Figure 3. Impact energy of VL D40 welded joints obtained by SAW process with a heat input of 50 kJ/cm for Steel B


Two variants of chemical composition on the basis of Al + Nb + V / Al + Nb + Ni alloy systems and production technology for the manufacturing of VL D36, D40 shipbuilding/

Figure 6. Cross section of welded joint acc. to JIS Z 3158 of steel B

December 2020 / MPT International



Shipbuilding in Times of Covid-19: A Light in the Far East? The interruptions of cruise ship tourism and in international transport chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic brought shipyards to a hal t, with many projects now suspended. Some good news, though, have lately been heard from Russia, where the prospect of a new steel mill for the supply of a shipyard has come up. BY CHRISTIAN KÖHL


ussian company Rosneft has plans to build a new steelworks on the Russian east coast to meet the needs of the Zvezda shipbuilding yard, Rosneft’s head Igor Sechin revealed during a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin on 26 November . Sukhodol Bay was chosen as the most appropriate location for the construction of the new plant with a projected production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes/year of hot rolled flat products and pipe. According to Sechin, about 330,000-350,000 tonnes would be consumed by the shipyard itself, and new consumers in the region will also be able to use these capacities. Zvezda’s output includes drilling rigs that are designed for year-round work in the Arctic, as well as commercial vessels for transporting goods, and Aframax and Suezmax tankers operating on gas fuel. But the project is not necessarily welcomed by the Russian Steel Association, which criticises the investment for being unprofitable. Such projects are questionable amid the conditions of steel oversupply not only in Russia but throughout the entire Pacific region, the association finds.

Source: Meyer Turku Shipyard

Cruise ships are crucibles for viruses The one segment in the shipbuilding sector that has been hit worst by the brake on public life from the coronavirus is likely cruise vessels. Cruise tourism in recent years was enormously profitable, but on the downside, the palaces of mass tourism with up to 10,000 people aboard are crucibles for viruses. „There are 400 cruisers worldwide and none of them is at sea now,“ says a spokeswoman at the association of Germany’s maritime industry, VSM. „All of them are sitting at the ports, but parts of the operations need to keep going and create costs.“ In that respect, some parallels can be drawn from cruise liners to blast furnaces at steel mills, which cannot be shut down just like that. This is fatal for the shipyards specialising in building such vessels. In recent years, these have been the most successful type of newbuildings. Meyer Werften group, for example, with three yards in Germany and Finland, by the end of 2019 had twenty cruise ships under construction, commissioned by companies like Royal Caribbean, Aida and Disney, most of them would have weights of 140,000 – 180,000 tonnes. The biggest ships under construction are two identical versions of the „Global Dream“ for Silver Cruises with 201,000 tonnes each, at MV Werften, which is owned by Malaysia’s Genting group. Works here have been halted until the end of the year.

MPT International / December 2020

Rough times for shipbuilders

Most other shipyards in Germany can still keep up works within the limits of antivirus protection measures. This includes the production of submarines by Thyssenkrupp group, and that of luxury yachts at Lürssen and Abeking & Rasmussen. These are prime choices for the status symbols of billionaires, a customer group little harmed by the economic slowdown.

Shipbuilders insist on quarto plate The plate typically used for ships is relatively thin, 10 to 15 mm for double-hull ships that are meant to travel fast, and up to 40mm for ships travelling frozen waters in Arctic zones. However, plate for ships is not the favourite product for mills, the manager of a distribution company, a specialist in plate, points out. „Some mills try to avoid orders for plate grades that are much under 15mm. You need up to ten times the rolling time to get them appropriately thin, but you don’t get ten times the price,“ he explains. Shipbuilders insist on quarto plate and won’t accept plate from coil, which would make the process easier, the manager says. Another effort for the mills are widths of more than 2,000mm preferred by the yards so that they can pre-fabricate very large parts. Still, shipyards are a reliable customer sector for the domestic steelmakers. Imported material is not too popular because frequent reloading at ports makes the material prone to damages, the manager says. At plate mill Dansteel NLMK, the overall situaion of shipyrads is seen „depressed and volatile“. „The only few segments in shipyards that are still running are middle-to-small size ferries, naval (frigates) ships and that’s more-less it at the moment, says the commercial director of Northern Europe, Eugene Sarkits. „Country-wise we do see some activity in the UK (frigates), Finland (ferry), Poland & Baltics (as subcontractors only) and Germany but in much smaller scope than it was before ,“ he adds.




A Clear Edge: Innovative Weld-Edge Preparation for a Major Steel-Arched Bridge With a staff of over 350, the Hollandia B.V. group is a leading Dutch steel construction specialist for infrastructure projects. One of its latest projects—the 296-metre-long Thomassentunnel Bridge in the Port of Rotterdam—was carried out in close cooperation with platemaker Dillinger Hütte. CONTACT: Patrick Regnery

Telephone: +49 6831 47 28 05


A challenging construction task Hollandia faced a set of challenging tasks associated with the construction of this steel arch bridge, ranging from detailed planning, material sourcing and production of the bridge’s components


The innovative weld-edge preparation of Dillinger‘s Heavy Fabrication Division combines a very flat tapering and a tulip-shaped edge for very thick and long plates.

through to section-by-section assembly of the bridge on a designated assembly site and, finally, full installation of the bridge in its final location. Nevertheless, as Hollandia project manager Guus Olierook sees it., the real challenge was the preparation of the assembly schedules. “The big question was, ‘How do we get this huge bridge to the assembly site directly next to the tunnel, and from there to its ultimate location?’” Complicating matters further, construction had to be carried out in the middle of a densely built-up industrial area with a large number of companies operating there—including petrochemical plants with a highly sensitive subterranean cable and piping infrastructure. Hollandia opted for the greatest possible degree of prefabrication at its yard to minimise the transport movements needed. The steel constructors divided the bridge construction into five segments that would only be connected after they had been transported to the assembly site. In determining the dimensioning of the five segments, the steel constructors

also had to take the size of their paint shop into account. None of the components could be longer than 60 metres. Hollandia Infra conceptualised three of the five segments as combinations of individual sections of bridge deck and arch. These were produced by assembling the arch section before constructing the bridge deck section. Four mobile cranes were used to lift the arch section onto the deck section for the components to be welded together. The fabrication of the eastern approach span marked the completion of the production process. Parallel to this, Hollandia produced 22 suspenders for the bridge. All in all, the bridge is 269 metres long—including the two 52-metre-long and 58-metre-long approach spans. Its simple design with an extremely slender arch fits harmoniously in its surroundings. Its total height of 28 metres is made up of the 23-metre-high arch and the main girder. Including the arch, the 14-metre-wide bridge has a span length of 157 metres—and a considerable weight. The steel construction

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: Dillinger Weiterverarbeitung

onstruction, engineering, production, assembly and installation at the bridge’s final destination—as well as project management—are all in the hands of one of Hollandia’s subsidiaries, Hollandia Infra B.V. In cooperation with Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication division, the Dutch company developed a new design for weld-edge preparation for the steel construction. Thanks to this innovation, Dillinger was able to deliver 188 heavy plates measuring up to 120 mm thick and 17 metres long, ready for installation and just in time. A consortium of five construction companies was commissioned to build the substructure for the Theemsweg Route for rail traffic. The project aims to redirect rail transport to the new route to expand capacity for the ever-increasing flow of goods between the western port area and the Betuwe Route to Germany. Until now, the transport route has crossed the Calandbrug at Rozenburg—a vertical-lift bridge for trains and cars— which is regularly lifted to allow passage of ships to and from Brittanniëhaven. In future, rail traffic will use the new route along a raised viaduct that will include two steel arch bridges. One of these bridges will be the twin-track Thomassentunnel Bridge, which will lead over the existing road tunnel of the same name.

is designed for a maximum load-bearing capacity of 12,750 tonnes. Around 4,200 tonnes of heavy plate were used in the construction. The concrete surface weighs 3,550 tonnes, with another 4,250 tonnes added by the ballast and rails; the maximum variable burden of the trains is approximately 850 tonnes. Supporting this enormous weight while keeping vibrations to an absolute minimum required an extremely strong and rigid steel structure. Four so-called cross girders were welded between the flanks of the 5.5-metre-high and 1.6-metre-wide main girder for bracing, transmitting the vertical forces through the girder directly into the concrete.

A combination of complex processing methods For many decades, Hollandia has relied on quality steel from Dillinger. For this project, it put in an order for 4,200 tonnes of heavy plate steel in grades S355J2+N, S355K2+N and S355NL. “There aren’t many steel producers in Europe that can deliver this high steel quality in such thicknesses, lengths and

unit weights,” says Guus Olierook, explaining Hollandia’s choice of supplier. For the first time, 2,500 tonnes worth of the order was delivered directly exworks by Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication division as flame-cut and edge-machined components. A crucial factor in this order was Hollandia’s request for an innovative technology to be applied to the preparation of the weld edges: a machine-produced combination of a very flat tapering and a tulip-shaped edge for very thick and very long plates. In the construction of the Thomassentunnel Bridge, Hollandia was convinced that this method of edge preparation by Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication Division would make a substantial contribution to cost-efficient production and enable better adherence to tight tolerances and tight timelines. Normally, the contours of girder plates are flame cut and then given the required edge treatment. Without additional handling and testing expenditure, minor variances in the measurements are unavoidable and, depending on the thickness and length of the components, deviations of three to

five millimetres may occur. However, the specifications of the Port of Rotterdam authorities permit a maximum tolerance of only ± 1 millimetre. In addition to direct access to raw plates from the rolling mill, Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication division offers flame cutting and milled-edge-preparation under a single roof, so there is no need for intermediate transport. Through pre-production of components for the highly automated processes of offshore wind and offshore oil/gas industries, Dillinger has also accumulated a wealth of experience with complex flame cutting and high-precision weld-edge preparation. However, in bridge construction projects, other parameters apply. In view of increasing automation in the field of welding technology, Patrick Regnery, general manager of the Heavy Fabrication division, has anticipated increasing demand for an integrated, highly project-specific approach to component and weld-edge preparation. His division has already made a timely start on the development of a suitable procedure and has invested in new machine technology. Sample

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plates produced using this new technology met with the spontaneous approval of technicians from Hollandia when they were visiting Dillinger during the enquiry stage of the current project: “We immediately recognised that this new weld-edge preparation would be a perfect supplementary service for the Thomassentunnel Bridge,” says Guus Olierook.

Assembly of the various sections took place on the assembly area close to the final site.

Close cooperation between steel construction and heavy fabrication

High precision The edge-milling machinery in Dillingen is designed for fast throughput. A heavy plate can be processed precisely to the required dimensions with varied edge shaping on all four edges at the same time, without the need for intermediate turning. During the production of the twenty sections of the approximately 27-meter long main girder, for the total main girder length of 2 x 269 meter, this enabled Hollandia, for the first time, to immediately install all the components exactly as they were received from the supplier—already machine-processed on all edges and precision-cut to exact lengths and widths. “To begin with, we still checked all the measurements again,” says Guus Olierook. But post-processing of the delivered parts was not necessary and, thanks to the innovative


weld-edge preparation, welding took substantially less time to complete than would have been the case with the conventional edge geometries used in steel construction. Furthermore, there was no need for time-consuming intermediate transports, or any switching between typically different processing contractors in the supply chain—something to be avoided, if possible, in projects where adherence to tight tolerances is crucial. “With a conventional solution, we most certainly would have lost four to six weeks,” Guus Olierook estimates. There was another benefit for Hollandia in ordering from Dillinger—unlike other heavy plate mills, Dillinger can individually tailor the production of components to the customer’s specific requirements. This gave Hollandia more flexibility in production, including the possibility of taking last-minute adjustments into account during ongoing order processing. When Hollandia suffered minor delays in their schedule, Dillinger was able to provide interim storage and postpone the deliveries. If they got ahead of schedule, the already-finished heavy plates were also available—just in time. Under

these conditions, Hollandia managed to produce all components for the Thomassentunnel Bridge and transport them to the assembly site within nine months. For Guus Olierook, the excellent project flow is also due to good communication. “You need this kind of exchange of ideas on the same footing in order to understand the other side’s process.” To that end, Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication division was already involved as a technical development partner during the tendering process, with corresponding success. “In a joint effort, we found this innovative solution,” the Hollandia Project Manager says, praising the constructive cooperation with the processing experts in Dillingen. As an experienced development and implementation partner, Dillinger’s Heavy Fabrication division successfully facilitated the technical implementation of the desired steel processing “in a living project,” as Patrick Regnery calls it. The result of the project is not only the excellence in steel Hollandia was looking for, but also a trustworthy partnership as the foundation for another joint bridge-building project, the Dutch company states.

Founded in 1928 and headquartered in Krimpen aan den Ijssel, the Hollandia B.V. Group specialises in the development and construction of complex steel structures like bridges, locks or flood protection systems. Its reference list also boasts such prestigious projects as the London Eye, Wembley Stadium, the 162-metre-high British Airways i360 viewing tower in Brighton and the renovation of the Wuppertal Suspension Railway. But it is the 500 bridges Hollandia has built in Northwestern Europe over the past decades—a quarter of them for rail traffic—that impressively demonstrate its proven expertise in bridge building. For the last ten years or so, Hollandia Infra, with its staff of 100, has been responsible for these kinds of projects.

December 2020 / MPT International

Source: Hollandia Infra

Intensive communication between Hollandia and Dillinger ensued, in which the detailed requirements of the bridge designers and the technical possibilities at the Heavy Fabrication Division were discussed and negotiated. The outcome: the innovative edge preparation method was applied for the entire main girder. Zoltan Szabo, who manages Dillinger’s sales office in the Netherlands, was closely involved in the discussion process. “Compared to the demands involved in monopile production for offshore applications, the weld-edge preparation Hollandia was asking for was a whole new challenge,” he recalls. “So, for this application, the Heavy Fabrication division at Dillinger developed an individual edge geometry that met Hollandia’s specific requirements.” Project manager Olierook explains the specifications by citing an example: the job of precisely positioning a 120-millimetre-thick plate on the main girder—at a height of over five metres. “We have to be absolutely sure that all delivered parts have exactly the right size and edge preparation.”



Potential Impact of Covid-19 on Steel Industry Trends The Covid-19 outbreak has already given a significant boost to both technological progress and the green transitition, which are the two main transformational forces of this century. And the accelerated speed of change is not likely to stop. AUTHOR: Dr Baris Bekir Çiftçi Head of Strategic Initiatives and Raw Materials Markets, Worldsteelorg


e observe that increasing environmental consciousness and pressures are driving a reformation of the global socioeconomic order. This has been most evident in the energy and automotive industries so far. This process is also known as the green transition. Increased adoption of e-commerce and online services, online work and education tools will support the development of new enhanced technological tools and services, creating a self-reinforcing cycle for technological progress. Concerning the green transition, the Covid shock-induced increase in awareness of the looming environmental risks will almost certainly lead to increased public pressure on governments and businesses for an acceleration in mitigation of risks. It will increasingly be required of them to take the necessary adaptation measures to protect people. We already see some countries announcing “green recovery packages” that place supporting renewable energy development and decarbonisation technology development at the centre of their plans for economic recovery from the pandemic. Let’s now take a look at the resulting industry-specific consequences of an accelerated green transition and a technologically progressive environment for the global steel industry:

1. Increased focus on decarbonisation Our efforts towards decarbonisation are likely to receive a boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. Investments in energy efficiency, electrification and higher scrap use, and efforts towards the development of breakthrough low CO2 emission steel-

MPT International / December 2020

making technology are likely to be accelerated.

2. Accelerating product portfolio evolution Our product portfolio has always evolved in response to changing requirements of steel-using industries. However, the pandemic most likely accelerated some of the changes we expected to see in our customers’ requirements. So, we will need to accelerate our efforts in providing steel solutions for zero-emission mobility, smart & green buildings, solutions for climate change adaptation projects and infrastructure modernisation.

3. Increased focus on the life cycle and circular economy characteristics of steel

The pandemic is likely to underpin the global steel industry’s efforts towards studying the life cycle and circular economy characteristics of its products, towards improving these characteristics and communicating the superior attributes of its products very strongly.

4. Increased focus on collaboration: sustainability partnerships The massive scale of the climate change challenge will require increased collaboration with the following partners: • Energy and chemical companies: for decarbonisation in carbon capture and use projects and hydrogen steelmaking, and the use of steel co-products and recycled gases. • Steel-using industries: in the design phase for the development of the appropriate steel solutions for smart and green applications. • Our supply chain: for meeting ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) standards and transparency, better management of steelmaking materials involving sorting and beneficiation processes that will result in a smaller environmental footprint. Worldsteel is setting up a membership expert group to review in detail how the five identified key megatrends will shape the global social and economic landscape and the steel industry value chain in the years and decades to come.




Defying the virus

Thyssenkrupp sets sails for DRI

In one of the last (online) conferences of the year, five pioneering German engineering companies on 16 and 17 December took the first opportunity to present products that integrate functionalities of the OPC UA for machine tools.

Germany’ main mill group used to be an adamant advocate of blast furnace steelmaking to achieve the best quality for its strips. Now it is seriously testing other paths.

This preview might be subject to change. Photo: Fraunhofer

An update on what COVID-19 does to the industry – and what the industry does against it.

Umati opens new chaper in Industry 4.0

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December 2020 / MPT International

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