Unavoidable by-products of the steelmaking process, nonmetallic inclusions in steel have been a focus of the industry for over a century.
July 6, 2020
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research are bringing computer-vision and machine-learning techniques to the study of inclusions, hoping to increase the efficiency of inclusion analysis and gain new insights.
Ovako, together with Linde Gas AB, conducted a full-scale trial using hydrogen to heat steel before rolling. The trial was performed with good results in one of the company’s pit furnaces at the Hofors rolling mill in Sweden. This historic development for the steel industry proves that carbon dioxide emissions from rolling can be eliminated provided the right financial support and infrastructure are in place.
Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. successfully completed the acquisition of AK Steel Holding Corp., integrating North America’s largest producer of iron-ore pellets downstream into the production of value-added steel and specialty manufactured parts for the automotive industry. The combined company will be led by Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves. It combines mining, pelletizing, direct-reduction, EAF steelmaking, BF/BOF steelmaking, highly technologically developed finishing mills and automated manufacturing of auto parts.
Jingye Group, a Chinese steelmaker, acquired British Steel’s facilities in the U.K. and the Netherlands, a move that will secure approximately 3,200 jobs. Jingye will invest approximately $1.5 billion in the business. Initiatives include: the development of an electric-arc furnace (EAF) in Teesside; the construction of a new 250-MW power plant to serve the Scunthorpe site; investment in the rolling mills to produce high-quality steel products; the construction of a new rebar line; and enhancing the current rail mill.
Saarstahl AG successfully commissioned a new five-strand billet caster at its steel plant in Völklingen, Germany. The caster, supplied by SMS Concast, a member of SMS group, is designed for a nominal annual production of 850,000 tons and the casting of 180-mm-square billets. According to SMS Concast, the casting machine at Saarstahl is the first caster in the world designed with mechanical soft reduction (MSR) technology for a billet cross section of 180 mm (7 inches) square. It produces billets in a wide range of steel grades, including bearing steel, spring steel, cold-heading and free-cutting steels.
United States Steel Corp. plans to reduce greenhouse-gas-emissions intensity across its global footprint by 20%, as measured by the rate of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents emitted per ton of finished steel shipped, by 2030 based on 2018 baseline levels. This target will apply to U.S. Steel’s global operations. The company plans to achieve this goal through multiple initiatives, including the development of electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking at its Fairfield Works and at Big River Steel, in which U.S. Steel recently acquired a minority interest with an option to acquire the remainder over the next four years.
Nucor Corp. selected SMS group for the supply of a single-strand continuous caster for ultra-wide and thick slabs. Designed for an annual capacity of 1.45 million tons, it will be a core element of the production chain of Nucor’s new plate mill in Brandenburg, Ky. The companies say the casting machine will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide. The caster will produce slabs 8-12 inches (200-305 mm) thick up to 124 inches (3,150 mm) wide. Slab lengths will vary from 104 to 600 inches (2,642 to 15,240 mm).
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. completed the sale of its Canadian specialty steel subsidiary, ASW Steel Inc. (ASW), to Valbruna Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Acciaierie Valbruna S.p.A., of Vicenza, Italy. With production facilities in Fort Wayne, Ind., and in Italy, Valbruna produces stainless steels, nickel alloys and titanium long products. It has an annual output of approximately 200,000 tons of specialty steels.
United States Steel Corp. announced a joint-venture partnership agreement under which it has taken the first step toward acquiring Big River Steel through the purchase of a 49.9% ownership interest for approximately $700 million in cash, with a call option to acquire the remaining 50.1% within the next four years. U.S. Steel has committed financing to execute the transaction. Big River Steel operates an LEED-certified, Flex Mill in northeast Arkansas that is, according to the company, the most advanced EAF-based flat-rolled mill in North America. Big River Steel produces advanced automotive steels and electrical steels and provides services to customers in the automotive, energy, construction and agricultural industries. The company’s recently announced Phase II-A expansion is expected to double the mill’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually.
BlueScope, an Australian steel producer, has approved the expansion of its North Star facility in Delta, Ohio. The company will add an additional 850,000 metric tons per year of steelmaking capacity. The $700 million project is expected to begin in mid-2022 with full ramp-up scheduled for approximately 18 months later. In addition, the expansion has potential future growth of a further 500,000 metric tons per year. According to BlueScope, the expansion offers long-term sustainable earnings growth from a high-quality asset.