Dillinger has agreed to continue a partnership with two Germany-based research institutes as it looks to enhance the modelling of microstructures and properties of special steels through microstructure-based material design.
The heavy plate producer has, once again, committed €1 million ($1.14 million) of funding for a three-year programme with the University of Saarland and the Material Engineering Center Saarland. This follows the end of a previous three-year pact that started in 2015.
Dillinger said: “The three participating departments at the University of Saarland are working to develop innovative analysis techniques, simulation methods and material models aimed at continuously advancing this insight into the internal structures. They are integrating these methods and models with each other as well as with Dillinger’s application-oriented research activities.”
Simulations are used to link process phases with the product in order to model the microstructure and, thus, the desired product properties, Dillinger said.
“The simulation can be achieved much faster in plate production than with real laboratory tests and, most importantly, can be exactly reproduced accordingly,” the company added.
Already, the findings of previous research, together with knowledge collected over many years and new insights gained through modelling and simulation, have resulted in previously “unimaginable leaps in development that enable Dillinger to respond to increasing customer requirements more precisely, flexibly and innovatively than ever before,” the company said.
This research could lead to a totally different way of developing new steels, according to Dillinger.
“Dillinger will, in the future, be able to precisely define the way a special steel microstructure needs to look to remain optimally prepared for applications under Arctic operating conditions, for instance.”
And, in turn, this could influence the production of heavy plate steel to be used in the mining sector, according to Dillinger’s research and development department.
“The development of wear-resistant steels with higher hardness leads to an improvement in abrasion resistance (development of DILLIDUR 550 or DILLIDUR 600) and longer tool life in the mining sector,” the department told IM.
“With increasing hardness, the toughness of the steel decreases, which makes it more wear-resistant but also very sensitive to collisions with stones, for example. This is why Dillinger develops steels that not only have a high hardness but also a good toughness.
“Compared to Dillinger’s competitors, Dillinger can offer these properties for plate thicknesses of up to 150 mm (development of DILLIDUR 400 to 150 mm and DILLIDUR 550 to 100 mm), which makes it possible to produce tools and construction machinery with sufficient reserves and, thus, long service lives even under extremely abrasive operating conditions.”
Dillinger produced 2 Mt of heavy plate and 2.5 Mt of crude steel last year.