Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 0

ThyssenKrupp

techforum
Issue 1 | 2009
PUBLISHER
ThyssenKrupp AG, Corporate Center Communications, Strategy & Technology, August-Thyssen-Str. 1, 40211 Dsseldorf, Germany,
Telephone: +49 (0)211/824-36291, Fax: +49 (0)211/824-36285
ThyssenKrupp techforum appears once or twice a year in German and English. Reprints with the permission of the publisher only.
Photomechanical reproduction of individual papers is permitted. ThyssenKrupp techforum is distributed according to an address
file maintained using an automated data processing system.
ISSN 1612-2771
Cover
Materials play a strategically important role at ThyssenKrupp they form the
basis for a large number of our products. The materials used are tailored to
the specific purpose and as in the case of steel strip not only offered as
standard coil, but also coated in a wide variety of processing treatments, e.g.
via high-quality galvanizing of the surface for corrosion protection purposes
as required by the auto industry.
The cover image shows a looping tower in hot-dip galvanizing line 8 in
Dortmund, which serves as an accumulator for coil changing. This is necessary
to ensure the continuous coating of the material.
The process on a hot-dip galvanizing line begins with the cleaning of the
steel strip, followed by a stress-relief annealing. Temperatures of around 800 C
ensure the high degree of formability required later. The strip is then drawn
through a bath of molten zinc, where a jet removes the excess zinc to achieve
coating layers between 7 m and 10 m thick. The line settings and the surface
quality depend heavily on the material concept used and are taken into account
when developing the steels. Close cooperation between the development depart-
ments and production results in highly innovative solutions tailored to the needs
of our customers.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Foreword | 3
Dr.-Ing. Ekkehard D. Schulz,
Chairman of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG
Dear Readers,
We come into contact with modern materials every day. In many ways they form the basis for new
developments which benefit all of us. Modern material technologies represent key technologies with
which Germany is very well positioned on the global market. But most people are only vaguely aware
of the close link between product and material.
Materials also play a prominent role at ThyssenKrupp. Their strategic importance is underlined by
the creation of the new Materials division. This issue of ThyssenKrupp techforum sets out to give
you an impression of the wide range of themes we address and our strong innovative capabilities
in the area of materials.
Simulations make it possible to realistically predict the properties of new materials and thus signif-
icantly shorten the development cycle. Last year the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in association with
numerous industrial partners led by ThyssenKrupp opened the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced
Materials Simulation (ICAMS) at the Ruhr University Bochum. Reductions in fuel consumption to meet
stricter CO2 emissions standards can be achieved by means of lighter structural parts and chassis
components, the use of advanced high-strength steels with improved forming properties, and suitable
forming processes. When it comes to saving energy, weight reduction also plays a key role in the
design of elevator cabs. We highlight a non-oriented electrical steel for use in electric drives which
exhibits special magnetic properties. The DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum surface engineering
center is engaged in the development of tailored coatings which are applied in a continuous process.
Nickel-base steels and alloys are used in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases at low
temperatures and also increasingly in the aerospace, automotive and engineering industries. NIROSTA

materials are needed for the experiments carried out by the CERN nuclear research center to gain
a better understanding of conditions at the time of the Big Bang. A newly designed converter permits
the production of high-strength superferritic steel grades as an alternative to more cost-intensive
austenitic steels. For the construction of roads subject to particularly high loads, the surfacing material
Lidonit

is increasingly in demand thanks to its strength, grip and noise abatement properties. In railway
engineering, ThyssenKrupp offers a full range of services for rail materials and components.
I hope you will find the articles in this issue interesting and enjoyable.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
4 | Contents
10 | ICAMS from atoms to materials
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. RALF DRAUTZ ICAMS founding Director | Ruhr University Bochum
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. ALEXANDER HARTMAIER ICAMS Director | Ruhr University Bochum
DR. RER. NAT. KLAUS-PETER IMLAU Senior Vice President of the Center of Materials Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. HANS-PETER SCHMITZ Senior Manager, Technology and Innovation Management | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. INGO STEINBACH ICAMS Director | Ruhr-Universitt Bochum
ThyssenKrupp Steel has a long-standing and successful collaboration with the Ruhr University Bochum. With the
opening of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS) in June 2008, the cooperation was
extended to include a further highlight. ICAMS focuses on the multi-scale simulation of materials and their surfaces
to achieve a better understanding and more systematic improvement of materials behavior. By establishing a new
masters course, ICAMS will provide training and educate a new generation of materials engineers.
14 | Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight
automotive construction with steel
DR.-ING. FRANZ-JOSEF LENZE Senior Manager Hot Stamping | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
DIPL.-ING. SASCHA SIKORA Project Manager Hot Stamping | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
DIPL.-ING. JANKO BANIK Project Engineer | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
MANFRED MEURER Team Manager Hot-dip Coating | DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum GmbH, Dortmund
Hot stamping is currently attracting a lot of interest in the manufacture of automotive body parts. The production
of high-strength, complex-shaped components which are free of springback permits a significant weight reduction
while at the same time increasing passenger safety in the event of a crash. To investigate the properties of these
parts and characterize the materials used, a test facility was set up at ThyssenKrupp Steel to carry out hot stamping
under near-production conditions. In addition, new processing technologies and coating developments are tested
on the pilot line. Examples presented are tailored tempering to achieve various properties on the basis of part
geometry and inductive heating as an alternative heat-treatment process.
10 |
28 |
14 |
34 |
22 |
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Contents I 5
22 | Development trends in advanced high-strength steels
DR.-ING. ROLAND SEBALD Team Leader New Steels, Center of Materials Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. THOMAS HELLER Team Coordinator Development and Optimization, Center of Materials Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
Lightweighting and occupant safety have played a key role in the design of new vehicles for many years. ThyssenKrupp
Steel has kept pace with this trend, producing a large number of new steels displaying increasing strengths and good
formability. Current developments are also taking greater account of a wide range of processing and service properties.
28 | Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet for electric vehicle drives
DR. RER. NAT. DOROTHE DORNER Coordinator Materials Center of Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. KARL TELGER Team Leader Process and Product Development | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Bochum
DR.-ING. ANDREAS BASTECK Team Leader Technical Customer Advice NO Electrical Steel Sales IDS | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DIPL.-ING. MARCO TIETZ Coordinator Technical Customer Advice NO Electrical Steel Sales IDS | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
The current climate debate and concerns about peak oil are initiating a trend toward more energy-efficient vehicles.
Against this background there is a growing focus on alternative in particular electric drives. The high rotational
speeds, small size and increased cooling requirements for these electric motors are placing greater demands on
the NO electrical steel. ThyssenKrupp Steel has developed 330-30AP, a steel grade capable of satisfying the many
and varied requirements of electric motors. At a polarization of 1 Tesla it displays low core losses of 75 W/kg at
1,000 Hz. Even with low magnetic field requirements, this material is characterized by a good polarization.
34 | Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development
DR. RER. NAT. JESSICA BRINKBUMER Coordinator Functional Corrosion Protection | DOC Dortmunder Oberflchencentrum GmbH, Dortmund
DR.-ING. MICHAEL STEINHORST Managing Director | DOC Dortmunder Oberflchencentrum GmbH, Dortmund
Surface engineering has become established as an important field of materials technology. Many of the properties
of a material, such as corrosion and scratch resistance, are determined by its surface. The importance of surface
to an end product should not be underestimated: In addition to shape, surface is a major determinant of product
design. As a visible and touchable external skin it represents the materials calling card. Accordingly, the
DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum surface engineering center develops tailored coatings for ThyssenKrupps
materials. As a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Steel, activities of DOC

are mainly focused on continuous coating


processes for steel strip, but it also serves as an R&D service provider for the whole ThyssenKrupp Group.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
6 | Contents
42 | Nickel steels for cryogenic applications in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases
PROF. DR.-ING. ANDREAS KERN Head of Quality Department, Heavy Plate Profit Center | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. HERMANN LCKEN Head of Quality Management | ThyssenKrupp Stahl-Service-Center GmbH, Leverkusen
DR.-ING. UDO SCHRIEVER Senior Manager Quality/Planning/R&D, Heavy Plate Profit Center | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
With the steady growth in global energy requirements, gas is becoming increasingly important as a primary energy
source. Taking into account the current economic and ecological conditions, the use of natural gas offers the advantage
of low CO2 emissions together with low exploration costs and high availability. In addition to the use of pipelines,
for transportation over longer distances gases can be liquefied and shipped in suitably equipped tankers. The con-
struction of ships and tanks for the transportation and storage of liquefied gas has led to increased demand for
steels with defined mechanical properties at extremely low temperatures. Using state-of-the-art production techniques,
ThyssenKrupp Steel can supply nickel steel grades with mechanical and service properties tailored to the require-
ments of each application.
48 | Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials
for the world's largest particle accelerator
DIPL.-ING. WOLFGANG GEBEL Technical Product Manager | ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, Krefeld
DIPL.-ING. GERT WEI Head of Product Services | ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, Krefeld
In October 2009 one of the world's famous nuclear research institutions CERN (Conseil Europen pour la Recherche
Nuclaire) in Geneva plans to restart the world's largest particle accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The LHC
will help to simulate the conditions at the beginning of the universe, the Big Bang. It operates at temperatures near
absolute zero in an inconceivably strong magnetic field. The materials used for this simulation, NIROSTA

4375 and
NIROSTA

4307, demonstrate the capabilities of austenitic stainless steels even under extreme conditions.
42 | 48 |
56 | 62|
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Contents I 7
56 | New VOD converter allows high-strength steel grades with fewer interstitial elements
ING. ANDREA BRUNO Product Manager | ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni SpA., Terni/Italy
DR.-ING. DOMENICO SCIABOLETTA Technological Process/Product Development | ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni SpA., Terni/Italy
The new VOD (Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization) converter installed at Acciai Speciali Terni in Terni, Italy successfully
completed the making of the first heats in May 2008. The new converter represents a significant quantum leap,
from a technical perspective, over the AOD (Argon Oxygen Decarburization) converter already in operation. The main
features of this state-of-the-art unit are described in this article in terms of technology, commercial spin-offs and
realizable steel grades.
Stahlgten vorgestellt.
62 | On land, sea and air: iron-nickel low-expansion alloys gaining ground
DR. RER. NAT. BERND DE BOER Head of Applications Technology | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
DR. RER. NAT. BODO GEHRMANN Project Manager Research and Development | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
DR.-ING. JUTTA KLWER Head of Research and Development | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
Iron-nickel alloys containing 36% nickel display minimum thermal expansion. Due to this property, FeNi36 has long
been used in electronics, television engineering and the lamp industry. Through targeted material enhancements,
ThyssenKrupp VDM has now made Pernifer

36 (FeNi36) suitable for use as a structural material in aerospace,


automotive, mechanical engineering and industrial plant construction applications.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
8 | Contents
68 | Lightweighting in the chassis through innovative materials and processes
DR.-ING. THOMAS BRENDECKE Head of Development Shock Absorbers | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Ennepetal
DIPL.-ING. OLE GTZ Team Leader Simulation and Engineering | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Ennepetal
DIPL.-ING. HANS DZIEMBALLA Head of Development Springs & Stabilizers | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Hagen-Hohenlimburg
The ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension product portfolio includes the chassis components suspension springs,
shock absorbers and stabilizer bars. These elements offer significant potential for reducing vehicle weight and
thus lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The use of high-strength steels reduces the amount of material
needed to manufacture McPherson struts. In the manufacture of coil springs, a thermo-mechanical forming process
can alter the properties of the material in such a way as to give the springs higher load ratings. Stabilizer bars can
be made up to 40% lighter through the use of tubular rather than solid cross-sections.
74 | Lightweight developments for elevator cars
DIPL.-ING. STEFFEN KRESS Development engineer, CoRE Center of Research Europe | ThyssenKrupp Elevator Research GmbH, Pliezhausen
To meet future demands, especially in terms of sustainability, it is necessary to develop elevator concepts with
reduced environmental impact. The focus on lightweight design on the mechanical side of the elevator system
represents a major step toward meeting this goal, which can be addressed from two different starting points:
reducing the material consumption of existing products, or enhancing system functionality and performance
by lightweight design. In the following report several lightweight solutions are presented: an aluminum sandwich
car, a car floor of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and form field structuring, a technique for the macro-
structuring of sheets.
68 74 | |
82 | 88 |
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Contents | 9
82 | Materials expertise as a competitive factor in rail equipment service
DIPL.-ING. HEIKO SANTE Head of Technology, Project Planning and Development | ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik GmbH, Essen
KLAUS POTTHOFF Head of Corporate Development | ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Dsseldorf
ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik is an integrated service provider of materials and components used in the construction
and renovation of rail tracks as well as components for rolling stock. The importance of meeting quality requirements
for the materials used and services performed is obvious considering the safety requirements which need to be met
to ensure quick, accident-free rail transportation. High-speed accidents result in terrible catastrophes and are often
caused by human error, but also not infrequently by technical problems with the material used. Against this back-
ground, the use and innovative development of materials is extremely important. ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik and
its partners form a strong team, ensuring that requirements are met in terms of product efficiency and innovation in
rail engineering materials.
88 | Lidonit

the future of road construction


DIPL.-ING. HERBERT PPPERLING Member of the Management Board | ThyssenKrupp MillServices & Systems GmbH, Oberhausen
PETER DIEKMANN Public Relations | ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Dsseldorf
The demands placed on modern roads are high: safety, durability and noise abatement are standard requirements
in the new millennium. Open-pore asphalt made from slag can provide the answer. LiDonit

, a high-quality ballast
processed and sold by ThyssenKrupp MillServices & Systems, has proven its suitability for the construction of
particularly heavily traveled roads with properties such as strength, grain shape and grip.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
10 |
| Coating of flat steel view into a hot-dip galvanizing line
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 11
ICAMS from atoms to materials
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. RALF DRAUTZ ICAMS founding Director | Ruhr University Bochum
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. ALEXANDER HARTMAIER ICAMS Director | Ruhr University Bochum
DR. RER. NAT. KLAUS-PETER IMLAU Senior Vice President of the Center of Materials Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. HANS-PETER SCHMITZ Senior Manager, Technology and Innovation Management | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
PROF. DR. RER. NAT. INGO STEINBACH ICAMS Director | Ruhr-Universitt Bochum
ThyssenKrupp Steel has a long-standing and successful collaboration with the Ruhr University Bochum.
With the opening of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS) in June 2008,
the cooperation was extended to include a further highlight. ICAMS focuses on the multi-scale simulation
of materials and their surfaces to achieve a better understanding and more systematic improvement of
materials behavior. By establishing a new masters course, ICAMS will provide training and educate a new
generation of materials engineers.
Material simulation
Computer-assisted simulations are already in use in many areas
of technology. However, they are only at an early stage where the
development and optimization of new materials is concerned. Up
to now it has not been possible to make adequately accurate
forecasts of the material behaviors such as strength, toughness or
corrosion resistance, and these have to be determined instead in
time- and cost-intensive experiments and tests. Computer-assisted
simulation can also deliver key impetus for the development and
optimization of surfaces. Now, the use of multi-scale simulations
offers completely new opportunities for the future development of
metallic materials and their surfaces. By means of virtual experi-
ments carried out on the computer at ICAMS, it is now possible for
the first time to make an isolated analysis of how specific factors
such as alloying elements I Fig. 1 I or individual steps in the manu-
facturing process I Fig. 2 I and processing affect material behavior.
For example, it is possible to switch off specific interdependencies
on the computer. ICAMS will thus play an important part in helping
ThyssenKrupp Steel to retain an innovative lead in material develop-
ment in the future.
Motivation and background
Currently, when developing new or improved materials, the approach
is largely empirical and based on laboratory investigations. For
example, in order to understand the links between an external load
and damage to materials, the microstructure of the damaged mate-
rial is analyzed on a micrometer length scale. In such investigations,
however, it is not possible to see directly how the microstructure
behaves as the result of a modification to the atomic structure
for example along a grain boundary and the behavior of the
atomic bonds.
However, it is possible to describe the chemical bonds between
atoms using the laws of quantum mechanics I Fig. 3 I and bonding
forces at atomic level can thus be determined via computer simu-
lations. This allows examinations which start by analyzing not
the macroscopic length scale but rather the atomic structure of a
material on the electronic length scale, from which conclusions
can be drawn about the microstructure of a material (mesoscale).
The microstructure of a material can be used to predict its macro-
scopic behavior I Fig. 4 I. This converse approach is known as
multi-scale modeling.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Fig. 2 | 3D phase field simulation of the growth of dendrites
12 | ICAMS from atoms to materials
Fig. 1 | Theoretically forecast ordering of an alloy with different compositions
Fig. 3 | Simulation of the electronic structure using the
density functional theory
0.5 mm
0
.
5
m
m
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
ICAMS from atoms to materias | 13
Multi-scale modeling is necessarily interdisciplinary. Traditionally,
physicists or chemists work at the atomic scale, material engineers
at microstructure level and engineers at the macro scale. At ICAMS,
the various disciplines work together in a single centre a unique
feature of ICAMS and a prerequisite for the effective realization of
multi-scale modeling.
The three endowed professorships at ICAMS complement each
other ideally: Atomistic modeling feeds into mesoscale simulation,
while microstructure calculations at mesoscale level lay the foun-
dations for analyzing the mechanical behavior of materials.
The fact that today the multi-scale modeling of materials still
means tearing down barriers between traditional disciplines also
means that there are not yet any engineers who have been taught
to derive and understand properties of materials from their atomic
structures. Here, ICAMS will create a new Masters degree course
to educate a new generation of material engineers who will grow
up in a multi-scale world rather than restricting their focus to just
one discipline.
ICAMS was founded on the initiative of the Impulskreis Werk-
stoffinnovation. It is funded by ThyssenKrupp Steel, Salzgitter
Mannesmann Forschung, Robert Bosch, Bayer MaterialScience,
Bayer Technology Services and Benteler Stahl/Rohr. The industrial
partners and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia have shared the
cost of the necessary start-up capital.
Intention of ThyssenKrupp Steel/outlook
From the point of view of ThyssenKrupp Steel, ICAMS will play a
decisive role in ensuring that the company retains an innovative
lead over competitors in the future. That is why ThyssenKrupp was
pleased to contribute to the financing of the Institute.
The material engineers trained at ICAMS will be acquainted just as
well with the principles of quantum mechanics as with the forming
characteristics of steel blanks in the deep-drawing presses of auto-
mobile manufacturers. Great hopes are being placed in these new
specialists. As experts for new, highly innovative simulation engi-
neering, they will ensure that the success of the work at ICAMS has
a sustained effect on the success of ThyssenKrupp Steel.
Multi-scale simulation will develop into one of the key tech-
nologies of this century. However, despite all the opportunities and
evident advantages that ICAMS and multi-scale simulation offer, it
must be borne in mind that material development on the computer
is one of the most complex scientific issues there is, and it will not
render obsolete the conventional method of developing new materials
and their coatings, which has been extremely successful over the
decades. ICAMS and multi-scale simulation will however provide
significant impetus for the development and optimization of materials
and their surfaces within quite a short period. In the long term, inno-
vative materials will be developed on the computer.
Mesoscale Microscale
Fig. 4 | Visualization of a multi-scale simulation
Macroscale
14 |
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| Pilot line for hot stamping in Dortmund
Hot stamping is currently attracting a lot of interest in the manufacture of automotive
body parts. The production of high-strength, complex-shaped components which are
free of springback permits a significant weight reduction while at the same time increas-
ing passenger safety in the event of a crash. To investigate the properties of these parts
and characterize the materials used, a test facility was set up at ThyssenKrupp Steel to
carry out hot stamping under near-production conditions. In addition, new processing
technologies and coating developments are tested on the pilot line. Examples presented
are tailored tempering to achieve various properties on the basis of part geometry and
inductive heating as an alternative heat-treatment process.
| 15
DR.-ING. FRANZ-JOSEF LENZE Senior Manager Hot Stamping | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
DIPL.-ING. SASCHA SIKORA Project Manager Hot Stamping | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
DIPL.-ING. JANKO BANIK Project Engineer | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Dortmund
MANFRED MEURER Team Manager Hot-dip Coating | DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum GmbH, Dortmund
Hot stamping innovative man-
ufacturing process for lightweight
automotive construction with steel
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
16 | Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight automotive construction with steel
Fig. 1 | Examples of the use of press hardened parts
Press hardening of structural parts
To meet the growing demands for strength and stiffness in structural
auto body parts, high-strength steels are increasingly being used
for these applications. The body accounts for more than a third of a
vehicle's weight, a fact often cited in discussions on emissions and
fuel consumption and an incentive to aim for a substantial weight
reduction in this area. Quenched and tempered structural parts are
therefore increasingly being used in body-in-white assemblies to
optimize weight. For example, the use of hot-stamped die-quenched
parts reduced the weight of the current Volkswagen Passat by
20 kg compared with the same model made from conventional
cold-stamped grades. Parts currently manufactured by this process
are shown in I Fig. 1 I.
In hot stamping, quench hardening takes place in the die. With
manganese-boron steels, such as MBW

1500, parts with strengths


of over 1,500 MPa can be produced. Depending on the complexity
of the part, different process control variants are used to match
the die. A distinction is made between direct I Fig. 2 I and indirect
hot stamping.
However, the basic process is the same for all process variants.
To achieve the high strength required, the manganese-boron steel
must be heated to a temperature above austenitizing temperature
for MBW

1500 this is 850 C and subsequently cooled quickly in


the die to create the required martensite structure. This combination
of stamping and quenching in a die is therefore known as hot stamp-
ing with die quenching or press hardening.
To provide design and processing support for developers and
processors of hot stamping steel grades at ThyssenKrupp Steel,
a modern hot stamping test facility was set up in the application
technology unit in Dortmund. Alongside process design, trials are
carried out for customers with a view to production use. Tests are
conducted on the processing of steel grades and additionally also
on new process control technologies. The aim is to further optimize
press-hardened structural parts. In addition, the hot stamping test
facility permits the targeted development of new coating concepts
which can subsequently be tested on production tooling by the Metal
Forming business unit.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight automotive construction with steel | 17
4 minutes
2 seconds
8 seconds
10 seconds
900 C
780 C
200 C
Room temperature
1 Heating blank
2 Alloying of AS-Coating
3 Transfer
4 Hot stamping and die quenching
Fig. 2 | Process chain of direct hot stamping
Thanks to the modular die concept, various segments of the die can
be replaced to examine for example the influence of part geometry
or to investigate the use of alternative die materials I Fig. 3 I.
Coating
To prevent the workpiece surface from scaling during heat treatment,
work must be carried out in a protective atmosphere or coated sheet
must be used. The disadvantage of uncoated material is that it
causes high friction during stamping and provides no corrosion pro-
tection for the finished part. Aluminum-silicon coatings as used
for years in the construction of furnaces and exhaust systems are
state-of-the-art in hot stamping. They are applied by hot-dip coating.
In summer 2008, to increase its capacities for steel materials suita-
ble for hot stamping ThyssenKrupp Steel upgraded hot-dip coating
line 3 in Finnentrop to enable hot-dip aluminizing. Featuring ultra-
modern technology, this energy-efficient, premium-quality facility is
used to coat steels for hot-stamping applications.
As the material is heated, the aluminum-silicon coating has to
transform into an alloyed layer. During this process a concentration
Pilot line to analyze process
ThyssenKrupp Steel is responding to the challenge of new develop-
ment targets in hot stamping. In parallel with material- and coating-
related investigations, therefore, work is also carried out in the appli-
cation technology unit on describing the forming properties of steels
suitable for hot stamping. As well as basic tooling, including top-hat
profiles, hemispherical and flat-bottom punches, real pre-production
parts are also produced.
As in previous investigations using the heatable test die, the aim of
producing real original-size parts is to obtain a description of the hot
stamping process under conditions as close to production as possible
through the process chain parameters. To meet this aim, a B-pillar
concept was developed in association with CarTec Braun of Schwal-
bach for use in more extensive tests. As well as presenting forming-
related challenges, the close-to-production B pillar geometry provides
a basis for analyzing the material descriptions with common standard
parameters. In addition, the hot-stamping die can be heated to a
temperature of up to 200 C, which means that the production con-
ditions prevailing in the customer's die can be precisely reproduced.
Fig. 3 | Demonstration part B-pillar for the process description
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
18 |
of iron migrates to the surface, with the result that the melting tem-
perature of the coating is raised. This means that process reliability
is guaranteed even at the required temperatures of up to 950 C and
surface scaling is prevented. On the finished part the coating acts
as a barrier to protect against corrosion.
OEMs are increasingly demanding coating systems with improved
properties, in particular in respect of cathodic corrosion protection
after hot stamping. These coating systems must also be suitable for
the one-step process most commonly used. Development work with
metallic coatings is under way.
Further coating systems, currently still at the early laboratory phase,
are being developed on the basis of inorganic/organic coatings. This
work is being carried out by the DOC Dortmunder OberfchenCentrum
in cooperation with NANO-X. Based on the first generation x-tec coat-
ing, which has been used in production since 2005, development
work focuses on cathodic corrosion protection. Initial laboratory tests
have verified that the coating can be applied on coil-coating lines
such as the BBA1 at ThyssenKrupp Steel in Duisburg.
Thermo-mechanical process analysis
Temperature control during hot stamping has a decisive influence on
the properties of the finished part. For this reason, in parallel with the
material-related analysis of hot-stamping steels presented above,
the application technology test facility is being used to conduct basic
research to gain a better understanding of the hot-stamping process.
To monitor the temperature, analyses are carried out using infrared
thermal imaging.
At temperatures above -273.15 C absolute zero all bodies/
materials emit electromagnetic radiation. Within a measurable wave-
length range of 0.8 m- 1 mm this radiation is known as infrared
radiation and is mainly dependent on the temperature of the radiating
body. The intensity and spectral distribution of the heat radiation is
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight automotive construction with steel | 19
[C]
150
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
Fig. 4 | Thermal imaging of the B-pillar
directly correlated with the temperature and emission ratio of the
surface of the material. The emission ratio is dependent on material,
surface condition, temperature and wavelength.The aim of the inve-
stigations is to obtain a virtually complete description of the thermal
processes taking place in hot stamping which can then be integrated
into part manufacture and FEM simulation I Fig. 4 I.
For production part manufacture a meaningful method is being
sought to determine local hot spots after press hardening. Hot spots
can significantly affect the mechanical properties of the material. In
addition, thermal imaging can help detect defective parts early on
in the production process. This significantly reduces the volume
of hardness tests, tensile tests and metallographic investigations
required. In terms of optimizing part manufacture, thermal imaging
can also contribute to shortening the process cycle by minimizing
die closing time.
To meet increased crash safety requirements, body parts must be
prevented from penetrating into the passenger cell in the event of
a crash. However, some of these parts must also permit a local
deformation due to existing load paths or overloading which may
occur. In practice this has generally been achieved in the past by
joining two parts, one of hot-stamped manganese-boron steel
and one of cold-stamped high-strength steel, or by using tailored
blanks with different material combinations. As well as allowing
the production of parts in a single process step, the use of hot form
blanks contributes to weight optimization because part overlaps for
joining operations are no longer required. For these reasons the
use of hot-stamped tailored blanks is now a well established pro-
duction technology.
The world's first tailored blanks for hot stamping in full-scale
production are being supplied by ThyssenKrupp Steel together with
its subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Tailored Blanks. The laser-welded
blanks are used in the production of B pillars, side beams and tunnel
reinforcements. After hot stamping, the blanks must display defined
material properties to meet crash safety requirements. Since the
strength and residual elongation of the material to be joined were
the key factors, a combination of MBW

1500+AS and H340LAD+AS


was used. Microalloyed steels such as H340LAD+AS were used to
meet crash safety requirements. However, the changed material
properties resulting from the heating and quenching process have
to be taken into consideration in the design of the part. These para-
meters were analyzed by the application technology department
in wide-ranging investigations to ensure the success of the entire
process from steel production to hot stamping to finished auto body.
A further hot form blank solution was developed to optimize the
weight of high-strength components. The tailored blanks used in the
tunnel reinforcement of a car consist of individual sheets of different
Heat-treated area
Non-heat-treated area
Non-heat-treated area
S
t
r
e
s
s
[
M
P
a
]
1.600
1.400
1.200
1.000
800
600
400
200
0
Heat-treated area
Elongation A50 [%]
thickness made from manganese-boron steel MBW

1500+AS. This
allows the part to be precisely matched to local requirements and
also cuts down weight.
A further approach for combining different strength levels within
one component is to vary the thermo-mechanical process route
during stamping. This is being investigated by the application tech-
nology unit in partnership with the Metal Forming business unit.
A new hot stamping process was tested under near-production
conditions with the aim of tailoring the properties of the hot-stamped
part to crash safety requirements. New tooling concepts are used
to integrate the properties of the part into the production process.
The aim is to manufacture parts with customized strength and
elongation properties. This technology is therefore referred to as
Tailored Tempering I Fig. 5 I.
These defined properties are achieved by modifying the temperature
distribution within the die. Hot stamping dies commonly used today
are heated during production to 100 - 200 C and cooled with water to
hold them at these temperatures. Once the austenitized manganese-
boron steel has been stamped in the die, it cools quickly due to the
difference in temperature between the steel and die. A martensitic
microstructure forms in the steel. To achieve high strength levels,
the steel must be cooled at a rate of 27 K/s. However, with steel it
is possible to create different microstructures by cooling at different
rates. Targeted temperature control during and after stamping, e.g.
by heating the die to a higher temperature, slows down the cooling
rate which leads to a different microstructure with reduced strength
and improved ductility. However, this requires the die to be heated to
a temperature above the martensite start temperature. For example,
it is possible to obtain a ferritic-pearlitic microstructure with a strength
of approx. 600 MPa and a residual elongation of more than 17%
which is therefore able to absorb impact energy more efficiently.
The combined know-how of the Metal Forming business unit and
the application technology department is used in the design of pro-
cesses for this technology. Development work begins with a process
20 | Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight automotive construction with steel
Fig. 5 | Technological properties of Tailored Tempering
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Hot stamping innovative manufacturing process for lightweight automotive construction with steel | 21
simulation which provides the basic data for practical tests in the
application technology department. The first prototype components
display excellent properties.
Shortening the hot stamping process chain
Further facilities are being planned and built to meet the growing
demand for hot-stamped parts. However, the profitability and energy
efficiency of the production line must be taken into consideration.
The cycle time for hot-stamped parts is mainly dependent on the
die closing times and the time required for tempering the steel.
In addition, in the case of materials with metallic coatings the time
needed for the coating to form an alloyed layer has to be taken into
account. Conventional facilities with roller hearth furnaces, which
are currently used in over 90% of production lines, are inefficient
because they operate at temperatures below 600 C. Here cycle times
and energy efficiency can be optimized by using alternative heat-
treatment processes. The application technology unit is focusing on
the use of inductive heating. With this technology, heating is carried
out much more quickly and the energy is absorbed by the blank and
not via the workpiece surface as in conventional processes.
According to current plans, the heated blank will be placed in the
furnace to ensure the complete and homogeneous austenitization
of the material. This concept would make it possible to shorten the
required furnace section by up to 50%. The design of the process
window with regard to the coating concepts used will be investigated
in further tests. As well as shortening the process, the induction unit
will also make it possible to investigate the material behavior of sub-
sequently tempered parts so that part properties can be tailored
to requirements.
Conclusion
There is currently steady growth in the use of hot-stamped parts and
the number of production facilities. This technology plays a major
role in reducing the weight of vehicles. If further progress is made
with the integration of several parts into a single hot-stamped part,
the process promises to provide even greater potential for reducing
costs and vehicle weight in the future. The use of hot stamping
to produce complex structural parts is therefore likely to become
increasingly popular in the future.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
22 |
| Pilot production in Dortmund: Testing new steels on a small scale
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Modern advanced high-strength steels for the auto industry
In the course of the last 20 years, body development in the auto
industry has become increasingly focused on lightweighting and crash
safety. Due to the current CO2 debate, weight reduction is becoming
more and more important. Steel offers many design advantages
as it permits cost-effective lightweighting concepts with very good
crash performance. These advantages are reflected in the constantly
rising demand for modern advanced high-strength steels. Delivery
volumes for these steels have trebled in the last five years. As the
proportion of steels with strengths above 500 MPa in new vehicle
developments continues to increase, demand will rise further in the
coming years. ThyssenKrupp Steel is responding to this growth in
demand with numerous innovative products.
A wide range of requirements in terms of processing and
service properties must be taken into account when developing new
materials. In order to ensure that relevance to customer require-
ments is not lost in the large number of material developments, steel
development must be synchronized with development processes at
customers. For this reason, a material approval process has been
defined and implemented in cooperation with other steel companies
and auto manufacturers.
Demands on modern steel development
Lightweight construction using steel is based on the possibility of
reducing sheet thicknesses while maintaining or even improving
component strength through the use of higher-strength materials.
The resultant demand for ever increasing strengths while retaining
good formability has defined the direction of development in recent
years. In addition, the modification of processing and service prop-
erties is playing an increasingly important role and is already the
main objective of some current material developments. Examples
include improved weldability or reduced notch sensitivity. Several
auto manufacturers have also expressed reservations about using
steels with strengths above 1,000 MPa, as they feel there is in
principle a risk of hydrogen embrittlement, i.e. brittleness caused
by the diffusion and dispersion of hydrogen in their metal matrix.
ThyssenKrupp Steel is tackling this major field of work together with
other steel manufacturers and the auto industry. Several sample
developments are presented in more detail in the following.
Steels with high strengths
In the area of cold-rolled advanced high-strength steels, three
material groups are available to users. In addition to dual-phase
| 23
Development trends in advanced
high-strength steels
Lightweighting and occupant safety have played a key role in the design of new vehicles for many years.
ThyssenKrupp Steel has kept pace with this trend, producing a large number of new steels displaying
increasing strengths and good formability. Current developments are also taking greater account of a
wide range of processing and service properties.
DR.-ING. ROLAND SEBALD Team Leader New Steels, Center of Materials Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. THOMAS HELLER Team Coordinator Development and Optimization, Center of Materials Excellence, | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
Steel class Mild steels HSS AHSS UHSS
Steel grade
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
24 | Development trends in advanced high-strength steels
steels, retained austenite or TRIP (TRansformation Induced Plasticity)
steels are offered for applications with high forming requirements.
Fine-grained complex-phase steels lend themselves to use where
high yield strengths are also desired in component areas with low
deformation. These three widely used material groups are available
as cold-rolled, mass-produced products in strength classes from
500 to 800 MPa. In the range of hot-rolled steels, minimum tensile
strengths of 980 MPa can be achieved in complex-phase steels and
1,180 MPa in martensitic steels I Fig. 1 I. Cold-rolled steel grades
in the 1,000-MPa strength class are currently in development and
undergoing operating trials. Production of these steels places great
demands on equipment technology. In order to achieve the desired
strength, a comparatively high alloying element content is required.
The challenges here begin with melting and subsequent continuous
casting in the steel mill. Rolling involves significantly higher roll
forces compared with standard products and the final coating is
only possible thanks to new developments in plant technology, e.g.
preoxidation (cf. ThyssenKrupp techforum, issue 1/2008, article:
Innovative process for innovative steel concepts hot-dip galvanized
advanced high-strength steels). In order to develop a stable, reliable
production concept, precise matching of the chemical composition
and production parameters is necessary, as illustrated in the example
of hot-rolled multiphase steel I Fig. 2 I.
Steels in the highest strength classes are used in structural body
components. In recent years, the use of modern advanced high-
strength steels has become established as a way of reducing weight
in these components. The use of advanced high-strength steels in
outer panels for cars also offers great potential.
ThyssenKrupp Steel began supplying the dual-phase steel DP-K

30/50 with a minimum tensile strength of 500 MPa and an electro-


lytically galvanized finish for outer panel applications back in 2001.
However, this option for reducing weight in the body-in-white has
rarely been exercised in the past few years. The strongest steels
used in outer panels on a large scale to date are bake-hardening
steels with a minimum tensile strength of 340 MPa. The main reason
for this is likely to be the difficulties encountered in processing very
thin sheet, such as indentations from the blank lifters or visible
structural component outlines. As a result of the increasing efforts
of auto manufacturers to achieve required CO2 reductions through
lightweighting, the use of thin advanced high-strength steels in outer
panels is once again becoming more attractive. For this reason,
DP-K

30/50 with a galvannealed coating is currently being de-


veloped to production readiness.
Improved formability
Structural requirements in auto construction, particularly with respect
to lightweighting, stiffness and crash performance, often result in
complex component geometries. The production of such components
requires steels which are readily formable. In cooperation with the
Japanese steel manufacturer JFE, ThyssenKrupp Steel is developing
Tensile strength
Fig. 1 | Classification of steel grades into different strength classes
HSS: High-Strength Steels, AHSS: Advanced High-Strength Steels, UHSS: Ultra-High-Strength Steels, IF: Interstitial Free,
MS: Martensite, BH: Bake Hardening, TRIP: Transformation Induced Plasticity, DP: Dual-Phase, CP: Complex-Phase
350 MPa 450 MPa 1.000 MPa
Deep drawing
steels
IF steels
BH steels TRIP steels
CP steels
Microalloyed steels
DP steels
MS steels
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
the hot-rolled three-phase steel TP-N

68/78 with a minimum


tensile strength of 780 MPa. This steel exhibits significantly improved
elongation compared with the currently available complex-phase steel
CP-W

800 (ThyssenKrupp Steel) and NanoHiten780 (JFE). The steel


grade TP-N

75/90, also developed in cooperation, exhibits even


higher yield and tensile strength while still retaining comparable
formability. Both steels are currently being developed to production
readiness. The improved formability of both steels has been con-
firmed in component tests. This is achieved via an extremely fine-
grained, three-phase microstructure, comprising ferrite, bainite and
retained austenite phases. Ultrafine carbide precipitations in the
Development trends in advanced high-strength steels | 25
nanometer range contribute to the additional increase in strength.
The brand name TP-N

(TP = Three-Phase, N = Nano-precipitates)


is also derived from this special microstructure I Fig. 3 I. Within the
framework of this cooperation, new cold-rolled steels with strengths
in the range of 980-1,180 MPa are also being developed with the
focus on improved formability.
Joinability
Due to the high alloy content, the joining behavior of high-strength
steels differs from that of conventional steels. Retained austenite
steels in particular are often classed as difficult to weld. An increase
Ferrite
Bainite
Austenite
Perlite
Martensite
Time
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
M Martensite
F Ferrite
F
M
RA
Fig. 2 | When manufacturing advanced high-strength steels, the temperature control in the process and the transformation behavior must be precisely
matched to ensure that the desired microstructure is created.
3 m
Retained
Austenite
Nital etching Klemm color etching TEM (Transmission Electron
Microscope) examination
10 nm 500 nm 10 nm
Hole expansion
Extremely localized forming processes often occur during component
production, e.g. in flange areas. Various hole expansion tests are
used to describe such forming processes. They show that there is no
correlation between elongation and hole expansion across material
groups. Retained austenite steels, for example, exhibit very high
elongation for their corresponding strengths but relatively low hole
expansion values. Hole expansion is mainly influenced by micro-
structure factors such as grain size and differences in hardness
between the individual phases. Customers on the Japanese steel
market are increasingly raising specifications for hole expansion and
lowering those for elongation. ThyssenKrupp Steel is currently opti-
mizing hot-rolled grades with minimum tensile strengths of 590 MPa
and 780 MPa in terms of hole expansion. Improved hole expansion
behavior has also been achieved in the development of the carbon-
reduced RA-K

47/78. This steel development should therefore be


seen as an example of the future direction of material development,
as the focus here was not on a major increase in strength, but rather
on the optimization of processing properties.
Material approval process
Varying material property requirements result in a large number of
development projects. Focusing development goals on concrete
customer requirements represents a major challenge. Added to this
is the fact that, due to the ever shorter product lifecycles at auto
manufacturers, material development is being conducted in parallel
with vehicle development. For this reason, these development pro-
cesses have to be synchronized to ensure that the required design
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
26 | Development trends in advanced high-strength steels
in hardness in the heat-affected zone is seen as one cause of this.
This increase in hardness is dependent among other things on the
carbon content. Retained austenite steels have a relatively high
carbon content to stabilize the retained austenite, which is a dis-
advantage compared with other material concepts. For this reason,
a carbon-reduced variant of the retained austenite steel RA-K

47/78
is currently undergoing operating trials. Initial results show that the
newly developed material concept, where the carbon content has
been reduced from 0.20% to 0.16%, enables significantly higher
force absorption in cross tension tests on spot welds. The use of this
material improves component crash performance as the joints can
withstand higher loads without failing.
The simple model that high carbon content results in reduced
weldability suggests that carbon content could also be reduced in
other material concepts. However, test results for different DP 980
variants do not confirm this assumption. In the tests carried out on
dual-phase steels with a strength of 980 MPa, the weldability of a
variant containing 0.07% C was compared with a variant containing
0.15% C. In contrast to the retained austenite steels, the final analysis
showed that the variant with the higher carbon content performed
better in this comparison I Fig. 4 I. Furthermore, the negative effect of
increasing the phosphorus content often noted for retained austenite
steels was not evident in this dual-phase material concept. These
results clearly show that failure of a joint cannot be attributed to a
single parameter and that many factors must be taken into account.
The findings established for one material group cannot be directly
transposed to other material groups.
Fig. 3 | The microstructure of TP-N

68/78 supplied the idea for the name: three-phase (ferrite, bainite und retained austenite) with nano-precipitates
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Development trends in advanced high-strength steels | 27
data are available and that feedback from the auto industry can feed
into the latest material developments at an early stage I Fig. 5 I.
A joint task force set up by the German Steel Institute VDEh and
the German Automobile Industry Association VDA on the material
approval process has consolidated this coordination in documentation
comprising a steel and iron test sheet (Stahl-Eisen-Prfblatt SEP)
and VDA guidelines. ThyssenKrupp Steel has adapted its development
process accordingly so that future material developments follow this
common systematic process.
Fig. 4 | Force absorption by a spot weld in cross tension testing: Depending on the steel concept, the carbon content produces a converse effect.
0.16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
F
o
r
c
e
a
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n
F
m
a
x
[
k
N
]
0.20 0.07 0.15
RA steel DP steel
Carbon content [%]
min. weld spot diameter max. weld spot diameter
Conclusion
Many innovative steel grades have been developed in recent years.
The main objective was to increase strength. Demand for new steel
developments is expected to focus on other parameters. Improve-
ments in processing and service properties are already increasingly
to the fore in current developments and this will intensify in the future.
ThyssenKrupp Steel will thus continue to act as partner to the auto-
motive industry with numerous innovative products.
Laboratory sample
Material general concept
approx. 5 yrs
before production
Material approval
approx. 4 yrs
before production
Production development
approx. 3 yrs
before production
Production
Alloy design concept,
flow curve
Small statistic
min 6 coils
Production status
min 12 coils
Production
statistics
Typical material
data updated
and supplemented
with small statistics
Fig. 5 | Data exchange in the material approval process
Bindingly specified
values based on
statistical analysis,
cyclic data
Test coil
Material general design
approx. 6 yrs
before production
Restricted tolerances
based on production
experience
FLD
(Forming Limit Diagram),
high speed data,
dimensions,
target corridor tolerances
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
28 |
| Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Classification of electrical steel
Electrical steel is a silicon-alloyed steel (up to 3.2% Si) which is
classified as a soft magnetic material and has specific magnetic
characteristics. It is used in components of electrical machines
that strengthen the magnetic flux. Applications include generators
(e.g. wind turbines, hydroelectric turbines), electric motors (e.g.
window lifters, pumps, refrigerators, hybrid vehicles) and trans-
formers (e.g. substations).
Electrical steel is divided into two subclasses, non-oriented (NO)
and grain-oriented (GO) electrical steel. NO electrical steel possesses
roughly equal magnetic properties in all directions in the sheet plane.
By contrast, the magnetic properties of GO electrical steel are strongly
anisotropic. I Fig. 1 I shows the microstructure and crystallographic
orientation of NO and GO electrical steel. GO electrical steel is charac-
terized by grains measuring several millimeters to centimeters
across and a distinctive crystallographic texture (Goss texture). This
results in a preferred orientation with easy magnetization, and the
material is characterized by one cube edge lying in the direction
of rolling and one face diagonal at right-angles to the direction of
rolling. Due to the strong anisotropy of its magnetic properties,
GO electrical steel is used only in non-rotating parts, i.e. as a core
material in transformers.
NO electrical steel is mainly used in electrical machinery. In
rotating machines such as motors and generators, the direction
of magnetic flux changes constantly. NO electrical steel used for
such applications should therefore have largely identical magnetic
properties in all directions in the sheet plane. Ideally, NO electrical
steel should have a polycrystalline microstructure with grain sizes
| 29
Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet
for electric vehicle drives
The current climate debate and concerns about peak oil are initiating a trend toward more energy-efficient
vehicles. Against this background there is a growing focus on alternative in particular electric drives.
The high rotational speeds, small size and increased cooling requirements for these electric motors
are placing greater demands on the NO electrical steel. ThyssenKrupp Steel has developed 330-30AP,
a steel grade capable of satisfying the many and varied requirements of electric motors. At a polarization
of 1 Tesla it displays low core losses of 75 W/kg at 1,000 Hz. Even with low magnetic field requirements,
this material is characterized by a good polarization.
DR. RER. NAT. DOROTHE DORNER Coordinator Materials Center of Excellence | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. KARL TELGER Team Leader Process and Product Development | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Bochum
DR.-ING. ANDREAS BASTECK Team Leader Technical Customer Advice NO Electrical Steel Sales IDS | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DIPL.-ING. MARCO TIETZ Coordinator Technical Customer Advice NO Electrical Steel Sales IDS | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
30 | Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet for electric vehicle drives
Grain-oriented electrical steel
(anisotropic)
Non-oriented electrical steel
(isotropic)
Direction of rolling
fully finished
semi-finished
Fig. 2 | Electrical steel production at ThyssenKrupp Steel in Bochum
Fig. 1 | Classification of electrical steel
0.3 mm 30 mm
Hot strip
Pickling
Hot strip annealing
Cold rolling
NO GO
of between 20 and 200 m. The faces of the crystals should
be randomly oriented in the sheet plane. In reality, however, the
magnetic properties in the sheet plane depend to a minor extent on
the direction of magnetization. This can result in loss differences of
up to approx. 10% between longitudinal and transverse directions.
ThyssenKrupp Steel currently assumes that 200 to 400 g of NO
electrical steel are needed per kilowatt for the drive of a hybrid
electric vehicle. Stamping scrap must be added to this. As a result,
280 to 560 g of NO electrical steel would be required per kilowatt
rating of the electric motor.
Production of NO electrical steel
A differentiation is made between fully finished and semi-finished NO
electrical steel. Fully finished electrical steel possesses the desired
magnetic properties upon delivery to the customer. Semi-finished
electrical steel is finished on the customers premises after proces-
sing into laminations/magnetic cores. Both grades of NO electrical
steel are produced from hot-rolled material I Fig. 2 I. Production of
fully finished grades includes pickling, in part hot strip annealing,
cold rolling and finish annealing. Semi-finished material is pickled,
cold rolled, annealed and temper rolled.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet for electric vehicle drives | 31
Properties of NO electrical steel
Compared with other steel grades, NO electrical steel is characterized
by the following magnetic properties:
specific core loss,
magnetic polarization = possible flux density in the material, and
permeability = magnetizability.
The materials specific properties are influenced to a large degree
by the silicon and aluminum content and by the production process
(hot rolling, cold rolling and annealing). The purity of the material
is of major importance for the production of NO electrical steel. For
example, depending on the alloy, carbon content must not exceed
between 20 and 50 ppm. This provides resistance to magnetic
aging, i.e. the magnetic properties of NO electrical steel do not
change during service.
NO electrical steel is normally supplied in thicknesses of 0.35 mm,
0.50 mm, 0.65 mm and 1.00 mm and in widths of 20 to 1,250 mm.
Electrical steel for the manufacture of electric vehicle drives
In addition to standard grades, high-permeability NO electrical steel
grades are produced. As shown in I Fig. 3 I these grades are pro-
duced in batch furnaces with a 100% hydrogen atmosphere. These
Narrow strip
Wide strip
Continuous annealing
Coating
Slitting
Temper rolling
Recrystallization
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
32 | Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet for electric vehicle drives
I Fig. 5 I summarizes the various parameters and their resultant
effects on NO electrical steel. It shows that the newly developed
ThyssenKrupp Steel grade 330-30AP with this combination of
prop- erties is superior in every respect to the standardized grades
previously available on the market. It was developed esspecially
for hybrid and all-electric drives and is now available to customers.
I Fig. 6 I lists the typical values for grade 330-30AP. Advan-
tages include higher polarization, which results in higher torque
when used in electric vehicle drives. Compared with the standard
grade, this new grade also displays a significantly lower core
loss of 75 W/kg at 1,000 Hz/ 1.0 T. The standard grade M 330-35A
has a typical core loss of approx. 90 W/kg at 1,000 Hz/1.0 T.
This or other grades can be further optimized to meet other specific
requirements.
Fig. 3 | Batch furnaces for heat treatment during production of high-permeability NO electrical steel grades
NO grades have a higher fraction of the Goss texture, which allows
higher polarization values to be achieved. If the machines have
medium or high magnetic fields, the materials are easier to magnetize
and have better thermal conductivity than conventional grades.
Due to their higher polarization compared with standard grades
a higher motor torques can be generated. Alongside use in medium-
size machines such as wind turbines, high-permeability grades from
the AP (Advanced Permeability) class are also suitable for the man-
ufacture of electric vehicle drives for the reasons stated.
I Fig. 4 I shows examples of where NO electrical steel can be
used and the typical magnetic requirements. The higher polarization
of AP grades compared with standard grades with the same core
losses can be clearly seen. The arrows represent the direction of
future developments to further increase efficiency.
1.80
1.70
1.60
1.50
1.40
1.30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
AP
Standard
Generators
(Hydroelectric power)
Small motors,
appliances
Ballasts
Hermetic
Core losses P1.5 [W/kg]
M
a
g
n
e
t
i
c
p
o
l
a
r
i
z
a
t
i
o
n
J
2
,
5
0
0
[
T
]
LLB = Low-Loss Ballasts
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Outlook
Particularly given the need for greater energy efficiency and lower
emissions, ThyssenKrupp Steel intends to play an active part in current
and future trends and contribute directly to conserving resources and
protecting the environment in the area of power engineering. This
is achieved on the one hand by the availability of standard grades
in various thicknesses and sizes. In addition, ThyssenKrupp Steel
is supporting current trends by developing special grades such as
330-30AP specially for hybrid drives. This grade is currently being
developed further to take account of increased requirements at higher
core loss frequencies. Furthermore, special material design require-
ments can be implemented in cooperation with customers.
Non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet for electric vehicle drives | 33
P1.5 bei 50 Hz/1.5 T 2.8 W/kg
P1.0 bei 400 Hz/1.0 T 18.0 W/kg
P1.0 bei 1.000 Hz/1.0 T 75.0 W/kg
Thermal conductivity 25 W/K*m (20 C)
Polarization J2,500 1.56 T
Polarization J5,000 1.65 T
Polarization J10,000 1.77 T
Effect Loss Polarization Thermal conductivity Processability
Feature
Reduced Si
Reduced thickness vs. standard
Texturing
Result 330-30AP
Fig. 4 | Application-specific requirements on NO electrical steel
Fig. 5 | Advantages of material 330-30AP thanks to combined properties
Rail/ind.
Drives LLB
Fig. 6 | Properties of the grade 330-30AP
Generators
(Turbo)
Generators
(Hydroelectric power)
34 |
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 35
Innovative surface engineering
basis for tomorrows materials
development
Surface engineering has become established as an important field of materials
technology. Many of the properties of a material, such as corrosion and scratch
resistance, are determined by its surface. The importance of surface to an
end product should not be underestimated: In addition to shape, surface is a
major determinant of product design. As a visible and touchable external skin
it represents the materials calling card. Accordingly, the DOC Dortmunder
OberflchenCentrum surface engineering center develops tailored coatings for
ThyssenKrupps materials. As a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Steel, activities of
DOC

are mainly focused on continuous coating processes for steel strip, but
it also serves as an R&D service provider for the whole ThyssenKrupp Group.
DR. RER. NAT. JESSICA BRINKBUMER Coordinator Functional Corrosion Protection | DOC Dortmunder
Oberflchencentrum GmbH, Dortmund
DR.-ING. MICHAEL STEINHORST Managing Director | DOC Dortmunder Oberflchencentrum GmbH, Dortmund
Introduction to DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum
DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp
Steel is one of the worlds leading development centers for surface
engineering and coating of materials. Founded in October 1999, the
company moved into the newly built development center on the
former site of the Dortmunder Westfalenhtte steel mill in December
2000. There, around 100 employees have access to numerous
state-of-the-art laboratory and test facilities. Their activities focus
on improving established processes and developing new techniques
for the continuous coating of steel strip. Current customer require-
ments and future market trends form the basis for tailored coating
designs I Fig. 1 I. As well as being closely involved in the R&D
activities of ThyssenKrupp Steel, DOC

pursues numerous projects


with other business units of ThyssenKrupp, including cross-segment
projects on priority R&D subjects and bilateral development projects
with individual subsidiaries.
The activities of the DOC

are organized into four core areas:


metallic and inorganic coatings,
novel coating technologies,
organic coatings and sandwich materials, as well as
pre- and post-treatment technologies.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
36 | Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development
Metallic and inorganic coatings
Work on metallic and inorganic coatings is mainly concerned with
steadily improving conventional zinc-coating processes and their
application on novel steel grades. For example, in cooperation with
ThyssenKrupp Steel a novel and innovative process was developed
for hot-dip galvanizing of advanced high-strength steels. The so-
called oxidation-reduction-technique significantly improves the sur-
face quality of the zinc coating. To enhance corrosion protection,
new magnesium-containing zinc coatings for hot-dipping have been
developed. The high corrosion resistance of the coating enables to
reduce coating thickness with no loss of corrosion protection, or to
significantly increase corrosion protection with the same coating
thickness I Fig. 2 I. This innovative coating with the product name
ZM EcoProtect is already being produced on various ThyssenKrupp
Steel hot-dip galvanizing lines. The area of inorganic coatings also
includes the development of new coatings for hot forming, which
can resist the high stresses during the forming process as well as
corrosive attack in the vehicle.
Fig. 1 | Development trends for future coatings
Decorative appearance
Solar thermal
systems
Wear resistant
Noise damping
Anti-fingerprint
Antigraffiti
Easy-to-clean
Strength
Shine
Surface structure
Foam adhesion
Scratch
resistance
Fig. 2 | Comparison of ZM EcoProtect and other metallic coated sheet products
in the salt spray test
T
i
m
e
t
o
f
i
r
s
t
r
e
d
r
u
s
t
[
h
]
Coating thickness [m]
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
0 5 10 15 20 25
Galvalume

(AZ)
Galfan

(ZA)
Hot-dip
galvanized (Z)
ZM EcoProtect
Corrosion Protection
Environmental Compability
Processability
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 37
Fig. 3 | Pilot coating line for testing new coating technologies
Novel coating technologies
The main aim of this DOC

area is to develop new high-potential


surface technologies for large-scale production use in continuous
coating of steel strip. Examples include plasma-assisted vapor
deposition processes, which allow the development of coating
systems with improved or completely new properties. A modular
pilot coating line is available at DOC

which can be used for testing


new surface technologies in a continuous process. For example, in
a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) module, thin metallic or oxide
coatings can be deposited on the strip surface in a vacuum. A CCVD
(Combustion Chemical Vapor Deposition) module is used to apply
thin silicone oxide coatings, for example as an environmental-friendly
pretreatment for organic coil coating.
A roll-coater integrated into the pilot line I Fig. 3 I permits the con-
tinuous application of solvent-free, UV-curing or heat-curing paints.
The findings obtained on the pilot coating line form the basis for
up-scaling the new coating technology for production.
Organic coatings and sandwich materials
The use of organic-coated sheet steel has become firmly established
in the appliance and construction industries. At DOC

, work is
being carried out for further improving the properties of these high-
value products, with the focus on surface functionalization based on
customer requirements, i.e. increasing scratch resistance, improving
cleaning properties and creating new surface designs. Another focus
of development are organic-coated products for the car industry
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
38 | Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development
Fig. 4 | Coater in the coil coating laboratory
with the aim of transferring certain process steps from the auto-
mobile manufacturer to the steel producer I Fig. 4 I. Sandwich pro-
ducts, i.e. sheet steel and plastic composites, combine different
properties to new innovative products. Sound-absorbing composite
sheets have been established on the market for many years under
the product name BONDAL

. For weight reduction in car production,


DOC

is developing a light-weight sandwich panel with thin face


sheets and a strengthened polymer core. A coil coating laboratory
is available for developments in the organic coating technology. In
the laboratory for interface chemistry and electrochemistry, corrosion
mechanisms are investigated with the aid of state-of-the-art test
methods (scanning Kelvin probe I Fig. 5 I etc.), contributing to
targeted product development.
Pre- and post-treatment technologies
The pre- and post-treatment area is focused on developing tech-
nologies for steel strip cleaning, phosphatizing and passivation.
Various application units are available for testing new products
in cooperation with suppliers. Also, test programs concerning
functionalization of anticorrosion coatings are carried out to simplify
customer process steps. Here the focus is on developing coatings
for conventional zinc-coated steel that improve metal forming.
Improvements in forming properties are a direct benefit for the
customer e.g. a reduction of lubricants in car manufacturers press
shops. Numerous facilities for corrosion testing are available in
the pre- and post-treatment technology area. For example, pro-
grammable test chambers e.g. for customized alternating climate
tests are available for accelerated laboratory testing of both test
sheets and components I Fig. 6 I.
Cooperation at DOC

To support the development of new coatings and coating technolo-


gies, DOC

has built up a network of reputable cooperation partners


I Fig. 7 I. The wide variety of this network enables an integrated
approach for product development. The individual building blocks
of the network are described below.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development | 39
Fig. 5 | Corrosion potential is studied with the aid of the scanning Kelvin probe.
ThyssenKrupp Group
In numerous projects, DOC

works together with the development


departments relevant to surface engineering of ThyssenKrupp Steel.
For example, full characterization of newly developed coatings is made
possible by the latest surface science techniques and metallography
methods. In addition to surface analytics, different methods for
material testing are applied. To demonstrate the advantages of new
developments to customers, extensive application-related test methods
are available, from forming and joining technology up to prototype
manufacture. Numerous test methods employed in the car and other
industries are used to validate product developments. Once develop-
ment is complete, i.e. after successful laboratory and pilot phase,
the results are applied in the corresponding production facilities of
ThyssenKrupp. The testing of producibility is also supported by DOC

.
DOC

is an important development partner for other segments


and subsidiaries of the ThyssenKrupp Group besides ThyssenKrupp
Steel. For example, DOC

co-operated with ThyssenKrupp Stainless


to develop the new scratch-resistant anti-fingerprint coating Silver Ice

UV for stainless steel surfaces. Another major cross-segment R&D


project is InCar, in which DOC

is cooperating with ThyssenKrupp


Steel and ThyssenKrupp Technologies to develop innovative solutions
for the car industry in the body, chassis and powertrain areas. In
addition to these prominent examples, there are many other joint
activities with subsidiaries in the ThyssenKrupp segments.
Fraunhofer project group
ThyssenKrupp is the first industrial company with whom the
Fraunhofer Society has established a public-private partnership
in application-related research and development: A project group
set up at DOC

includes staff from the Institute for Material and


Beam Technology (IWS) in Dresden and the Institute for Coating
and Surface Technology (IST) in Braunschweig. The activities of
this group focus on the coating of surfaces by means of PVD and
PACVD (Plasma-Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition), as well as
spray coating and laser machining. The benefit of this public-private
partnership is that DOC

and hence all other ThyssenKrupp sub-


ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
40 | Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development
Fig. 6 | Corrosion chamber for testing parts, e.g. auto doors
sidiaries can gain rapid access to the development capacities and
capabilities of the two institutes and ultimately of the entire Fraun-
hofer Society, which is used intensively. For example, low-friction
wear-resistant coatings have been developed for sliding bearings
in concrete plants. Together with the Fraunhofer project group,
DOC

is also pursuing a large number of research and development


projects aimed at developing new functional coatings and coating
processes to expand the use of carbon and stainless steels.
Research institutes and universities
In developing new products, DOC

also makes use of know-how


gained from basic research. Joint development projects are carried
out with research institutes in Germany and abroad. In very close
cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in
Dsseldorf, joint investigations are carried out on surface corrosion
phenomena and interface delamination. Interface chemical processes
such as the interaction of steel surfaces with subsequent coatings
are investigated in collaboration with the department of technical
and macromolecular chemistry of Paderborn University. Today,
simulation techniques play a role of growing importance in materials
development. They permit the targeted development of new pro-
ducts by providing realistic predictions of material properties. For
this reason, DOC

is pursuing a collaboration with the materials


research center ICAMS (Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced
Materials Simulation), which was opened at Ruhr University Bochum
in June 2008 (see page 10 ff).
In addition, DOC

provides students with the opportunity to learn


about industrial development work in practice. Numerous masters
theses and dissertations have already been finished here. DOC

maintains close contact with several universities, including Dortmund


Technical University, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences, Ruhr
University Bochum and RWTH Aachen University.
Customers and suppliers
For successful product development it is important to have precise
knowledge of customer requirements and integrate them into project
work. For this reason, DOC

pursues development partnerships


with users of ThyssenKrupp Steel products. This makes it possible
to test process steps under real conditions at customers plants.
Here too, the aim is to supply users with the best possible surface.
This involves matching the coatings, e.g. temporary corrosion pro-
tection, to the available surface. For this reason, DOC

works
closely with manufacturers of pretreatments, corrosion preventive
oils, paints and adhesives. In addition, DOC

collaborates with
original equipment manufacturers on the implementation of inno-
vative coating concepts.
Conclusion and outlook
Developing new and improved coated sheet steel products is of
major importance in the automotive, construction and appliance
industries. The forming of DOC Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum
concentrated and expanded the capabilities required for surface
engineering development. Development work at DOC

is focused
on metallic and inorganic coatings, novel coating technologies,
organic coatings, sandwich materials as well as pre- and post-
treatment technologies. Together with various cooperation partners,
DOC

pursues the long-term development of innovative coatings.


This is served by an extensive networking with development partners
from basic research to end use customers.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Innovative surface engineering basis for tomorrows materials development | 41
Fig. 7 | DOC

cooperation network and position in Group structure


Steel Stainless Technologies Elevator Services
ThyssenKrupp AG
Corporate
ThyssenKrupp Steel
Steelmaking
Industry
Auto
Metal Forming
Processing
Suppliers
Universities
Customers
Research institutes
Original equipment
manufacturers
DOC

ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
42 |
| Water quench for the hardening of heavy plate at ThyssenKrupp Steel in Duisburg-Sd
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Steadily growing demand for nickel steels
For use as an energy source, gas - like crude oil - always requires
transportation because it is generally consumed a long distance
from the natural deposits. As a result, there is increased demand
for storage capacity and facilities to transport large volumes of gas
over very long distances and therefore also for steels used in these
applications. In the context of storage and transportation, the lique-
faction of gas is especially important because the conversion from the
gaseous to the liquid state can reduce the volume by a factor of 600.
This simplifies storage and transportation and helps significantly
reduce costs. The liquefaction temperatures of these gases are typi-
cally under -100 C. For liquefied natural gas (LNG) the liquefaction
temperature is -162 C, for liquefied ethylene gas (LEG) -104 C.
Specially equipped carriers I Fig. 1 I are used for ocean shipping
of liquefied gases. For transshipment, the gases are stored in corre-
sponding storage tanks at specialized terminals. The construction
of carriers and tanks for LNG/LEG transportation and handling
requires large volumes of steel with special mechanical properties
at cryogenic temperatures. Due to the high potential risks involved
in the event of leakage, the materials used must meet stringent
requirements. As well as having the toughness to resist brittle fracture
at cryogenic temperatures, they must also be extremely strong to
minimize the thickness of the tank walls. In addition, the steels have
to be suitable for welding and resistant to brittle fracture in the heat-
affected zone. Steels with high nickel contents (5 9%) have proved
capable of meeting these requirements.
| 43
Nickel steels for cryogenic applications
in the transportation and storage of
liquefied gases
With the steady growth in global energy requirements, gas is becoming increasingly important as a
primary energy source. Taking into account the current economic and ecological conditions, the use
of natural gas offers the advantage of low CO
2
emissions together with low exploration costs and high
availability. In addition to the use of pipelines, for transportation over longer distances gases can be
liquefied and shipped in suitably equipped tankers. The construction of ships and tanks for the trans-
portation and storage of liquefied gas has led to increased demand for steels with defined mechanical
properties at extremely low temperatures. Using state-of-the-art production techniques, ThyssenKrupp
Steel can supply nickel steel grades with mechanical and service properties tailored to the requirements
of each application.
PROF. DR.-ING. ANDREAS KERN Head of Quality Department, Heavy Plate Profit Center | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
DR.-ING. HERMANN LCKEN Head of Quality Management | ThyssenKrupp Stahl-Service-Center GmbH, Leverkusen
DR.-ING. UDO SCHRIEVER Senior Manager Quality/Planning/R&D, Heavy Plate Profit Center | ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
44 | Nickel steels for cryogenic applications in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases
Construction of liquefied gas storage tanks
The storage tanks used at high-capacity liquefied gas terminals are
usually of flat-bottomed design in line with international standards such
as EEMUA (Engineering Equipment & Materials Users' Association),
API 620 and BS 7777 I Fig. 2 I.
Three basic designs are used:
Single containment (free-standing structure made of nickel steel/
insulation/outer tank made of structural steel, surrounded by a
bund wall to contain any leakage),
Double containment (single containment + outer tank of
prestressed concrete, bund wall not necessary) and
Full containment (double containment + concrete roof and
granular insulating material between inner and outer tank).
In addition, the outer surface of the tanks is often coated with con-
crete. Liquefied ethylene gas is generally transported in spherical
tanks made of nickel steel.
Properties of nickel steels for cryogenic applications
I Fig. 3 I provides an overview of the steel grades used and the
corresponding service temperatures and nickel contents required for
applications in liquefied gas tanks. This shows that as the cryogenic
requirements increase, higher nickel contents are necessary. For
example, for LNG applications steel grades with a nickel content of
9% are used exclusively.
Resistance to brittle fracture is the most important criterion for
steels used in the shipment and storage of liquefied gas. Over the
past few decades, the low-temperature toughness of these steels
has been continuously optimized. As a rule, the service properties
of today's modern steels significantly exceed the requirements of
international standards and customer specifications. I Fig. 4 I shows
the increase in toughness levels required by customers for 9% Ni
steels (test temperature -196 C). This shows that nickel grades with
an impact energy of more than 100 Joules at -196 C are now
required to display toughness levels several times higher than those
of steels used around 30 years ago.
To meet these stringent requirements, special heat treatment
techniques have to be used in the production process. These out-
standing low-temperature properties are achieved by optimizing the
microstructure of nickel steels comprising fine-grained martensite,
a high nickel content and a residual share of austenite. This micro-
structure permits enhanced toughness in combination with high yield
strength and tensile strength.
Fig. 1 | Tanks made of nickel steel from ThyssenKrupp Steel are responsible for the safe shipment of 15,000 tons of liquefied ethylene.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Nickel steels for cryogenic applications in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases | 45
Fig. 2 | Construction of an LNG tank (Bioko Island/Equatorial Guinea, storage capacity: 136,000 m
3
)
Nickel steels are supplied in accordance with various interna-
tional standards and specifications. The Heavy Plate profit center
of ThyssenKrupp Steel generally supplies high-strength steels with
nickel contents between 5% and 9% to DIN EN 10028-4 (X12Ni5
and X7Ni9 (X8Ni9)) or to the ASTM (American Society for Testing
and Materials)/ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)
standard (A553 Type I).
Manufacture of 9% Ni steels
Advances in metallurgy, rolling and heat treatment methods have
made it possible to manufacture steel products which fully meet the
wide-ranging requirements of the market.
For nickel steels, ladle metallurgy is particularly important. It re-
duces the amount of work to be carried out in the converter process,
permits very precise adjustment of the targeted chemical composition
Fig. 3 | Liquefaction temperatures of gases and corresponding steel types
Stored/transported Gas Boiling point [C] Identification Used steel grade
Main Component
Butane - 0.5 Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG Fine grained steels
Propane -42 Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG Fine grained steels
Carbon Dioxide -78 Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG 1.5% nickel steels
Ethane -89 Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG 3.5% nickel steels
Ethylene -104 Liquefied Ethylene Gas LEG 5% nickel steels
Methane -162 Liquefied Natural Gas LNG 9% nickel steels
Oxygen -183 Liquefied Natural Gas LNG 9% nickel steels
Argon -186 Liquefied Natural Gas LNG 9% nickel steels
Nitrogen -196 Liquefied Natural Gas LNG 9% nickel steels
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
46 | Nickel steels for cryogenic applications in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases
and allows the sulfur and phosphor contents to be minimized. This
is favorable in terms of cleanness and means that the few remaining
oxide and sulfide inclusions are available in globular form which is
less detrimental. As a result, enhanced resistance to brittle fracture
and highly isotropic toughness and forming properties can be achieved
even in high-strength steels. For high-strength 9% nickel steels with
enhanced cryogenic toughness, the optimum combination of strength
and toughness is achieved with a phosphor content of around 0.010%
and a sulfur content of below 0.003%.
In addition to an optimized chemical composition of the steels
and suitable metallurgy technologies, the use of modern rolling and
heat treatment processes is of crucial importance to the production
of cryogenic nickel steels. High-strength nickel steels are produced
by hot-rolling with subsequent quenching and tempering I Fig. 5 I.
To meet customer requirements with regard to surface quality, the
descaling of the surface is especially important.
In the Heavy Plate profit center, quenching and tempering is carried
out on high-performance equipment at the Duisburg-Sd location.
First the heavy plate is thoroughly heated to temperatures above Ac3
(austenitization). Heating is followed by rapid cooling using pressurized
water (hardening). The material is then tempered at temperatures of
around 600 C. To meet particularly stringent mechanical require-
ments it may be necessary to repeat the quenching and tempering
process. With modern production processes it is now possible to
simplify the quenching and tempering process by hardening the
material straight from the rolling heat. This process is known as
direct hardening.
Supply of 9% Ni steels
ThyssenKrupp Steel has been producing high-strength nickel steels
for more than three decades. In recent years large quantities of nickel
steel heavy plate have been supplied to various major projects for
the production and shipment of liquefied gases. As a result of the
growth in demand for alternative energy sources and increasing
natural gas exploration activity, the demand for storage and ship-
ment capacity and thus for nickel steel for cryogenic applications
has been growing continuously since 2004. ThyssenKrupp Steel is
a certified and authorized producer of 5% and 9% Ni steels for use
in carriers and storage tanks. The production of heavy plate in nickel
steel grades is carried out in accordance with the latest quality
standards and is inspected and audited by various independent
certification agencies.
The Heavy Plate profit center is currently manufacturing 9% Ni
steels for various LNG exploration and storage projects. One example
is the supply of around 3,500 tons of 9% Ni steel for a gas lique-
faction and storage plant owned by the Marathon Oil Company on
Bioko Island/Equatorial Guinea. Consisting of two large tanks with an
aggregate capacity of 272,000 m
3
, this LNG terminal is designed for
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
1980-1990 1990-2000 >2000 1970-1980
I
m
p
a
c
t
E
n
e
r
g
y
,
C
h
a
r
p
y
-
V
,
l
o
n
g
i
t
u
d
i
n
a
l
/
t
r
a
n
s
v
e
r
s
a
l
-
1
9
6

C
[
J
]
Fig. 4 | Development of customer requirements for minimum impact toughness of 9% nickel steels
Year
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Nickel steels for cryogenic applications in the transportation and storage of liquefied gases | 47
the production and shipment of around 3.4 million tons of LNG per
year. The steel plate used to build the storage tanks is 5 to 25 mm
thick. The majority of the liquefied gas produced by the plant on Bioko
Island is shipped to Lake Charles/Louisiana, where it is converted
back to its gaseous form and fed into the Gulf Coast Pipeline System.
Other orders for 9% Ni steels for the production of LNG storage tanks
have been supplied to Sakhalin Island/Russia, Texas/USA and South
Hook/UK.
Summary
The construction of increasingly high-capacity tanks and carriers for
the transportation and storage of liquefied gases such as LNG and
LEG has resulted in strong demand for steels with mechanical prop-
erties suited to these applications. High-strength nickel steels, which
can only be produced using modern metallurgical, rolling and heat-
treatment methods and equipment, meet the extreme requirements
for materials needed in the construction and safe operation of lique-
fied gas facilities. The continuous optimization of the processing
and service properties of high-strength nickel steels has produced
significant economic and ecological advantages. One example is
the reduction in tank wall thickness made possible by enhanced
strength properties. Nickel steel heavy plate offers optimum strength
properties together with enhanced cryogenic toughness and resist-
ance to brittle fracture. With properties tailored to each application,
these steels are the material of choice for applications in the liquefied
gas sector. The ThyssenKrupp Steel Heavy Plate profit center has many
years of experience in the production of high-quality nickel steels.
Over the past three decades, having supplied these materials to
various major projects throughout the world, the company has gained
a reputation as a reliable partner to the plant construction industry.
BOF (Basic Oxygen
Furnace) plant
Vacuum plant TN (Thyssen-
Niederrhein) plant
Continuous
caster
Rolling
Hardening from the rolling heat
Tempering Quenching Austenitization
Fig. 5 | Production of high-strength nickel steels with enhanced cryogenic toughness
Testing,
finishing,
shipment
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
48 |
| View inside an open quadrupole magnet prior to installation in the particle accelerator
Special stainless steels help simulate
the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for
the world's largest particle accelerator
In October 2009 one of the world's famous nuclear research institutions CERN
(Conseil Europen pour la Recherche Nuclaire) in Geneva plans to restart the world's
largest particle accelerator, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider). The LHC will help to
simulate the conditions at the beginning of the universe, the Big Bang. It operates
at temperatures near absolute zero in an inconceivably strong magnetic field. The
materials used for this simulation, NIROSTA

4375 and NIROSTA

4307, demonstrate
the capabilities of austenitic stainless steels even under extreme conditions.
DIPL.-ING. WOLFGANG GEBEL Technical Product Manager | ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, Krefeld
DIPL.-ING. GERT WEI Head of Product Services | ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, Krefeld
| 49
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
50 | Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for the world's largest particle accelerator


CERN-LHC simulates the Big Bang
Scientists have no clear answers to the question of what the universe
is made of, how it came about and why we exist. But that could
soon change. In October 2009 CERN plans to restart the largest
particle accelerator in the world, after it was put out of commission
by a faulty electrical connection shortly after it was switched on for
the first time on September 19, 2008. The LHC is a machine that
can simulate the Big Bang. Researchers use the term Big Bang
to describe the beginning of the universe, when matter was created
by the interaction of elementary particles and energy. The LHC is
able to create conditions similar to those thought to have occurred
only a few moments after the Big Bang, and therefore may help clear
up the still unsolved questions. The researchers are entering new
territory with this unprecedented scientific experiment and hope to
obtain key findings about the origin of the universe. ThyssenKrupp
Nirosta supplied two special high-alloyed stainless steels for the
project which are capable of meeting the extremely high demands
imposed on the material.
Function of the LHC
It took roughly ten years to complete the biggest machine ever built
by mankind I Fig. 1 I 100 m below the earth's surface in the old
26.7 km long circular tunnel which until the year 2000 had housed
the LEP (Large Electron Positron Collider). The special accelerator
works as follows: Protons subatomic particles are accel-erated
at up to 7 TeV (1 terra electron volt = 10
12
electron volts) to almost
speed of light in opposite directions in two separate circular ultra-
high vacuum pipes (10
-13
atm.) through a strong magnetic field,
created by superconducting electromagnets. They collide repeatedly
at four collision points where several huge detectors are located.
Through the collisions, the LHC creates conditions similar to those
that occurred less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.
The majority of the 26.7 km long accelerator consists of magnets,
over 8,000 of which are superconducting. The superconducting
magnets create fields with a magnetic flux density of up to 8.33 T,
a previously unimaginable level. By comparison, the maximum flux
density of conventional magnets is 2 T. To achieve this extremely high
flux density, superfluid helium has to be used to cool the magnets
to -271 C, or 1.9 K, a temperature colder than outer space.
When the protons circulate at full energy (7 TeV) and a speed
vanishingly lower (3 m/s) than the speed of light (300,000,000 m/s)
with 2,808 proton bunches per beam and 115 billion protons per
bunch, the beam has a total energy of around 360 MJ, roughly the
equivalent of a 400 t train traveling at 150 km/h. At the interaction
points the beam diameter is squeezed down from 300 m to 16 m.
This results in the highest luminosity (number of collisions related
to effective cross-section) ever achieved: 10
34
cm
-2
s
-1
. This means
that despite the small size of the particles the probability of collision
is sufficiently high. At full intensity, around 20 collisions per pair of
bunches or 630 million collisions per second are expected at each of
the four interaction points; in addition, 50 to 70 secondary particles
are expected to be produced, i.e. 40 billion particles per second.
The matter created and the particle shower will be registered by the
four large detectors of the ATLAS, CMS (pp physics), LHC-B (b-quark
physics) and ALICE (Pb-Pb collisions) experiments. In addition to
finding the Higgs boson particle, whose existence has never been
proven, scientists hope to make completely new discoveries for
example concerning the previously unsolved question of dark matter,
which is thought to make up around a quarter of our universe.
Magnets
In the LHC the particles are accelerated mainly by 1,232 supercon-
ducting dipole magnets 15 meters in length, and 392 quadrupole
magnets I Fig. 2 I, which serve to focus the beam and are between
5 and 7 meters in length. The quadrupole magnets have four mag-
netic coils and act as magnetic lenses, focusing the particle beam
alternately in horizontal and vertical direction. Alongside the main
quadrupoles, further quadrupoles and around 6,000 corrector
magnets are needed. Over 23 km of the 26.6 km circuit of the
LHC consists of superconducting magnets with an extremely low
operating temperature of 1.9 - 4 K.
For the power supply of the magnetic coils, a total of 7,600 km
of superconducting niobium titanium cable was needed. The cable
consists of 32 strands each comprising 6,400 filaments. If all the
filaments were unraveled, their total length would be ten times the
distance between the earth and the sun. At temperatures below 9 K,
the niobium-titanium alloy becomes superconducting, i.e. it conducts
electricity without resistance. Without superconducting magnets,
the unit would have to have a circumference of 120 km and would
consume thirty times more energy. Even a temperature of 9 K is not
cold enough because helium, which is to be used to cool the machine,
only liquefies at temperatures below 4.2 K. But even that is not cold
enough to dissipate the heat produced. Superfluid helium II cooled to
1.9 K is required to cool the LHC. If liquid helium also designated
helium I is cooled below the Lambda point of 2.18 K, a mixture
of superfluid helium II and liquid helium I is produced which do not
interact, meaning that the components flow with no friction. As a
result the mixture loses all inner friction, its viscosity is reduced to
a negligible level and it can flow through the smallest capillaries and
even defy gravity by creeping upwards in ultra-thin layers. The high
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 51
LHC-B
Point 8
CMS
CMS
Point 5
Cern
Atlas
Atlas
Point 1
Alice
Alice
Point 2
TI 1
TI 2
SPS
LEP/ LHC
Fig. 1 | LHC tunnel 100 m below ground with layout of experiments (ALICE= A Large Ion Collider Experiment; CMS = Compact Muon Solenoid,
set up to investigate proton/proton collisions)
LHC-B
thermal conductivity of helium II, which is around 108 times greater
than that of helium I, is a further prerequisite for the superconductivity
of the magnets.
Particular demands placed on the NIROSTA

4375
stainless steel
The austenitic stainless steel grades are capable of meeting the
demands described in the following. The four magnetic coils of the two
steel tubes are individually encased in collars made of stainless steel
I Fig. 3 I. The material has to withstand the enormous forces created
by the magnetic fields at cryogenic temperatures. At the same time
it must not become magnetized even at temperatures near absolute
zero. The collars must guarantee the precise positioning of the mag-
netic coils and the uniformity of the magnetic field for 20 years.
In this period around 12,000 charge cycles and 25 complete tem-
perature cycles from room temperature to 1.9 K are scheduled.
For these collars for the LHC's roughly 528 quadrupole magnets,
ThyssenKrupp Nirosta supplied 860 t of the non-magnetizable material
NIROSTA

4375, a nitrogen-alloyed, manganese-containing austeni-


tic stainless steel (X2 CrMnNiN 20-9-7). The material is tailored so
that it has the requisite physical properties within close tolerances
and can guarantee to retain these at -271C, or 1.9 K.
Austenitic stainless steels under extreme conditions
Of all stainless steels, only the austenitic grades are suitable for
applications at extremely low temperatures on account of their ductile
behavior. This is due to their face-centered cubic crystal structure
and the associated quantity of equivalent slip systems. Only with
this type of lattice the force needed to introduce plastic deformation
is at all temperatures lower than the fracture stress, i.e. there is no
risk of brittle fracture. The outstanding cryogenic toughness of aus-
tenitic steels compared with ferrites and martensites is illustrated
in I Fig. 4 I. Unlike unalloyed and Cr-alloyed ferritic steels which
exhibit a sharp decrease in notch impact energy, in some cases
beginning at room temperature, austenitic stainless steels display
ductile fracture behavior down to extremely low temperatures close
to absolute zero and provide outstanding energy absorption. These
are therefore the only steel grades which according to the AD 2000-
Merkblatt W10 regulations are approved for pressure vessels in
operation at -270 C.
The material must display 0.2% offset yield strength above 630 MPa
at room temperature and tensile strength above 850 MPa. At the
same time a minimum elongation of 10% must be guaranteed even
at a test temperature of 77 K. This high strength is necessary because
at 8 T the magnetic coils are pressed apart with an electromagnetic
force of 440 t/m and the collars have to absorb this force. At 300 MPa,
the 0.2% offset yield strength of common stable austenitic CrNi steels
is inadequate. Adding 7% manganese and in particular 0.35% nitro-
gen increases the 0.2% offset yield strength of NIROSTA

4375 in
the solution annealed condition to 420 MPa. To guarantee the other
physical properties required, no further alloying modifications to meet
the 0.2% offset yield strength requirement are permissible. Moderate
strain hardening was therefore used to achieve the required strength
for the material used in the collars.
For the effective operation of the LHS at 1.9 K, the collars must
not only exhibit sufficient strength and expansion at this temperature
but must also be non-magnetic. These properties depend on the
stability of the austenitic structure.
Austenitic steels can be classified into two groups: stable auste-
nitic and unstable austenitic steels. While the microstructure of stable
austenitic steels does not change after low-temperature cooling or
plastic deformation, in unstable austenitic steels low-temperature
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
52 | Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for the world's largest particle accelerator


Fig. 2 | View inside an open quadrupole magnet: At the center of the outer casing is the cold mass, i.e. the actual magnet cooled to 1.9 K. The two
beam pipes in which the particles will later be accelerated to almost the speed of light are sealed with a black cover.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for the world's largest particle accelerator | 53


Fig. 3 | Model of a quadrupole magnet, collars made of NIROSTA

4375 encase the superconducting magnetic coils. The collars are placed
in a return yoke comprised of iron clamps.
in the 0.2% offset yield strength of stable austenitic steels is signif-
icantly greater while the decrease in the elongation at fracture is
lower. In particular, the sharp fall in elongation at fracture at the bot-
tom end of the temperature scale is not observed in stable austenitic
steels. The reason for this behavior in unstable austenitic steels is the
effect in this case negative of the deformation martensite. This is
illustrated by the example of steel grade 1.4301 compared with the
0.15% nitrogen steel 1.4311 I Fig. 6 I.
The steel for the collars must exhibit extremely low relative per-
meability within a close tolerance range of 1.001-1.005 both at
room temperature and at 1.9 K to ensure that it cannot itself become
magnetized by the extremely strong magnetic field and thereby in-
fluence the quality of the magnetic field. In stable austenitic steels,
low-temperature cooling has no influence on the magnetic properties.
Since strain hardening also does not affect the magnetizability of
NIROSTA

4375, the requirements relating to low relative perme-


ability are met.
cooling and deformation induce a phase transformation; the austeni-
tic microstructure is partly transformed into deformation martensite.
The degree of transformation can be determined for example by
measuring the material's magnetic permeability. Based on a type
18-8 austenitic CrNi steel, the addition of both austenite-stabilizing
elements such as Ni, Cu, Mn, N and C and ferrite-stabilizing elements
such as Cr, Mo, Ti and Nb stabilizes the austenite against the for-
mation of deformation martensite. This is the alloying concept which
was adopted here. As I Fig. 5 I shows, NIROSTA

4375 displays
very high austenitic stability, showing no increase in relative perme-
ability up to high degrees of deformation. By contrast, in the case
of the standard austenite 1.4307 which displays low magnetizability
in the solution annealed condition, a significant rise in magnetizabilty
is observed as the degree of deformation increases.
However, austenitic stability also influences the temperature depen-
dence of the 0.2% offset yield strength and elongation at fracture
at cryogenic temperatures. At decreasing temperatures, the increase
Between room temperature and 4.2 K, the linear coefficient
of thermal expansion must be between 0.26 and 0.28 x10
-3
, i.e.
between 9.0 and 9.7x10
-6
K
-1
. Only a low expansion coefficient
guarantees that the collars can maintain the 100 MPa prestress in
the widely varying temperatures. The addition of manganese has
exactly this desired positive effect.
1.4301 Rm
1.4311 Rm
1.4311 Rp0,2
1.4301 Rp0,2
2,000
1,750
1.500
1,250
1,000
750
500
250
0
0 50 -50 -200 -150 -100 -250 -300
1.4301 A5
1.4311 A5
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 50 -50 -200 -150 -100 -250 -300
The collars are encased in a low-carbon steel return yoke. Inside
the iron yoke a helium distribution line serves to discharge heat. The
entire magnet structure is placed in a cold mass assembly filled
with helium I Fig. 7 I which is also made of austenitic CrNi steel. To
prevent heat from entering, the inner vessel is thermally insulated by
means of several layers of aluminum between which is a vacuum.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
54 | Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for the world's largest particle accelerator


Fig. 6 | Mechanical properties of stainless austenitic CrNi stainless steel at low temperatures, influence of an alloy with nitrogen
S
t
r
e
n
g
t
h
[
M
P
a
]
E
l
o
n
g
a
t
i
o
n
i
n
f
r
a
c
t
u
r
e
[
%
]
Cold deformation [%]
1.4307
1
0.1
0.01
0.001
100
40 60 80 20 0
Fig. 5 | Influence of cold deformation on the magnetic properties of austenitic
CrNi(Mn) steels of various austenitic stability
P
e
r
m
e
a
b
i
l
i
t
y

-
1
1.4375
200
150
100
50
0
0 200 -100 100 -200 -273
CrNi austenite
Cr ferrite
C
h
a
r
p
y
i
m
p
a
c
t
(
D
V
M
s
p
e
c
i
m
e
n
s
)
[
J
]
Test temperature [C]
St 42-2 (S260)
17% Cr martensite
13% Cr martensite
Fig. 4 | Impact energy temperature curves of various steel grades
Temperature [C] Temperature [C]
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Special stainless steels help simulate the Big Bang: NIROSTA

materials for the world's largest particle accelerator | 55


Alignment fixture
Cold mass assembly
Radiation screen
Multi-layer superinsulation
Thermal shield
Vacuum vessel
Support post
Heat exchanger tube for Helium II
Beam screen
Superconducting coils
Collar of NIROSTA

4375
Iron yoke
Inner Helium II vessel
Bus bars
Fig. 7 | Cross section of an LHC quadrupole magnet
Cryogenic system
The cryogenic system of the LHC plays a crucial role in ensuring the
superconductivity of the magnets. Cooling is carried out with the help
of a ring line system running parallel to the magnets which supplies
the magnets with liquid helium II via eight liquefying stations. For the
ring lines a stainless steel such as NIROSTA

4307, a chromium
nickel steel (X2 CrNi 18-9), is needed which remains tough and
resistant to cracking even at temperatures close to absolute zero.
ThyssenKrupp Nirosta supplied 450 tons of this material to the stain-
less steel fabricator Butting, who used it to manufacture approxi-
mately 120 kilometers of pipe in four different sizes. Altogether
around 60 tons (700,000 liters) of liquid helium has to be cooled
to 1.9 K to keep the over 8,000 magnets in operation below 1.9 K.
These conditions place extreme demands on the material. Once the
very low temperature has been established it has to be maintained
for several months.
Conclusion
The scientists from the CERN's 20 member states hope this unique
machine and their experiments will provide deeper insights into the
origin of the universe. In addition to searching for the Higgs boson
particle, the LHC will be used to fathom the mystery of dark matter,
a substance which makes up around 25% of our universe but whose
presence can only be inferred indirectly from its gravitational effects
on visible matter.
With their resistance to corrosion, outstanding hygienic properties,
pleasing appearance and long service life, stainless steels have
become indispensable in thousands of everyday applications. Their
use in the LHC shows that their broad spectrum of capabilities can
also prevail under extreme conditions, for example at temperatures
close to absolute zero and in extremely strong magnetic fields.
Sources:
www.cern.ch/LHC, www.weltderphysik.de, www.cea.fr
| VOD converter installed at Acciai Speciali Terni
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
56 |
VOD in modern steelmaking
Competitive production of high-quality special steels is an extremely
demanding task made up of several high-complexity steps. These
steps, in modern steelmaking, generally start with the direct melting
of steel scrap in an electric arc furnace hence the name Integrated
Electrical Cycle for this specific production route followed by the
refining of the molten metal in a subsequent phase (secondary
metallurgy). Secondary metallurgy is crucial in order to achieve
the desired chemical composition, and thus properties, for a given
alloy. Refining is carried out by means of special converters whose
main purpose is basically the decarburization of the molten metal.
Depending on the technology involved there are different families
of converters, the most widely used today being the AOD (Argon
Oxygen Decarburization) converter. VOD (Vacuum Oxygen Decar-
burization) converters are based on a more recent technology and
are gaining in popularity as they can be operated under vacuum
conditions and are thus more efficient I Fig. 1 I. In the production
of high alloyed steels (e.g. stainless), it is critical to reduce the so-
called interstitial elements such as C and N (or H for forging steel)
to a minimum. The name interstitial comes from the fact that these
elements can be found in the metal matrix in the form of atoms
whose dimensions are appreciably smaller than the iron atoms;
it is therefore possible for these elements to take up places in the
regular gaps between the iron atoms I Fig. 2 I. Elements such as
C (or N) are essential in the making of steel, which is defined as an
iron-carbon alloy. But when the interstitial elements, especially C,
are present over a certain limit in stainless steel, they have several
negative effects:
Dramatic embrittlement
Embrittlement leads to low formability and low resistance to
impact which is unacceptable for many applications
Formation of undesirable carbides
E.g. in the form of Cr23C6, that not only removes Cr from the
metal matrix (Cr in carbide form does not contribute to guarantee
corrosion resistance) but also adversely modifies steel properties
| 57
New VOD converter allows high-strength steel
grades with fewer interstitial elements
The new VOD (Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization) converter installed at Acciai Speciali Terni in Terni, Italy
successfully completed the making of the first heats in May 2008. The new converter represents a signif-
icant quantum leap, from a technical perspective, over the AOD (Argon Oxygen Decarburization) converter
already in operation. The main features of this state-of-the-art unit are described in this article in terms
of technology, commercial spin-offs and realizable steel grades.
ING. ANDREA BRUNO Product Manager | ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni SpA., Terni/Italy
DR.-ING. DOMENICO SCIABOLETTA Technological Process/Product Development | ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni SpA., Terni/Italy
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
For thermodynamic reasons, as the content of alloy elements such
as Cr and Ni rises it becomes increasingly difficult to reduce the inter-
stitials to below the desired level. On this basis it is easy to see that
the industrial production of some classes of steel, such as duplex
steel, high-chromium ferritic steel or superalloys, is only possible by
means of VOD. Reducing the pressure also promotes the floating of
the inclusions to provide a higher purity steel.
The VOD process and its benefits are described in detail in I Fig. 3 I.
New VOD converter at Acciai Speciali Terni
The VOD converter in Terni was commissioned to SMS Mevac via
SMS Demag Innse, the market leader in the supply of steelmaking
plants, and in many respects represents a milestone for this kind of
equipment worldwide. The plant is made up of a tank connected to
a steam-powered, multi-stage vacuum pump I Fig. 4 I. To enhance
environmental protection, the plant is equipped with an additional
burner in order to burn the CO produced during the decarburization
process into far less harmful CO2 before it enters the atmosphere.
The VOD converter can process heats of up to 150 t and can be
operated in 2 different modes:
1. VD (Vacuum Degassing)
A deep vacuum to degas steel while adding deslagging and alloying
elements in order to achieve the desired chemical composition. This
operating mode is used exclusively in the production of forging steels
for increased forgeability especially to remove H atoms from the
molten metal.
2. VOD (Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization)
This involves low-pressure oxygen blowing through a lance under
vacuum conditions to remove the interstitials (C, N) from the steel.
This operating mode is intended for high-alloyed steels (e.g. stain-
less steels).
The core of the VOD converter is the vacuum generation unit, a
4-stage steam-jet vacuum pump. The pump can generate a pressure
of 0.2 mbar, roughly 1/5,000 of the standard atmospheric pressure
at sea level or equivalent to the pressure found at an altitude of
60,000 m, for the duration of heat treatment. The VOD converter
is also equipped with two CCD color cameras for visual inspection,
a vacuum hopper, the oxygen blowing system, a wire injection
system, a temperature measuring system and a fully automated
sampling system. Positioning of the oxygen blowing lance is fully
automated through an absolute encoder. Alloying elements can
also be added completely automatically through the vacuum hopper,
while the vacuum conditions are maintained thanks to a vacuum
lock system. Once the alloying elements have been added, the
pressure in the vacuum hopper is restored to atmospheric values by
means of nitrogen injection.
The VOD converter is also capable of adding alloying elements
in form of wires, e.g. the so-called stabilizing elements such as Ti or
Nb, rendering superfluous the ladle furnace and the related process
step otherwise required. Temperature measurement and sampling
are also automated, improving the reproducibility of this procedure
and making it safer for operators. Temperature measurement and
oxygen activity are monitored by means of CELOX

probes, i.e.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
58 | New VOD converter allows high-strength steel grades with fewer interstitial elements
Outokumpu, Tornio/Finnland
planned for 2010
ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni,
Terni/Italy
Bao Steel, Shanghai/China
Fig. 1 | Main working VOD plants worldwide for the production of flat stainless products
Posco, Pohang/South Korea
Yusco, Kaoshiung/Taiwan
Acesita, Belo Horizonte/Brazil
JFE Steel east japan works, Chiba,
Nishinomiya/Japan
Ugine & ALZ, France
Background of VOD process
Decarburization in presence of Cr
The two reactions combined
Equilibrium constant K
(where K is only function of temperature)
New VOD converter allows high-strength steel grades with fewer interstitial elements | 59
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
P
co
= p
CO
CO+ Ar + N
2
+ other
C
bath
+
1
/
2
0
2
gas
= CO
gas
2Cr
bath
+
3
/
2
0
2
gas
= Cr
2
O
3
slag
3CO
gas
+ 2Cr
bath
= Cr
2
O
3
slag
+ 3C
bath
Cr
2
O
3
C
3
p
co
Cr
2
K =
Decarburization in presence of Cr
In the ratio K depends from C that is an analytic aim, from Cr
that is another analytic aim, but also from CO partial pressure
that is present in the liquefied bath in the form of bubbles that
arise in the surface.
The reduction of this partial pressure can be obtained
in two ways:
either adding neutral gas to the oxygen (this is AOD
or CLU(Creusot-Loire-Uddeholm) principle)
or reducing the total pressure p operating vacuum
in a closed vessel (VOD principle) or both
VOD benefits
Production of superalloys with high content of Cr and Ni
Production of ferritic stainless steels with low C content
and high Cr content
Production of superferritic stainless steel C + N 200 ppm
with mechanical properties similar to austenitic steel
Adding of alloy elements under vacuum conditions improves
elements yield (better control of chemical composition)
Better workability properties due to interstitial reduction
Reduction of stabilizing elements linked to C/N content
e.g. Ti, Nb
Fig. 3 | VOD process
Fig. 2 | Left: typical austenitic face centered cubic (FCC) crystal lattice,
right: typical ferritic body centered cubic (BCC) crystal lattice
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
60 |
Fig. 5 | Typical application for AST 470LI -24Cr can be found in catering, home appliances, hoods and chimneys,
industrial plants, constructions as well as in shipbuilding.
Fig. 4 | VOD plant layout at Acciai Speciali Terni
1 Silos loading system
2 Alloy element silos
3 Vacuum hopper
4 Wires coils store
5 Alloy wires machine
6 Alloy wires liner tube
7 Oxygen lance
8 Ladl
9 Tank
10 Emergency bunker
11 Vacuum line
2
5
1
6
3
7
8
9
10
11
4
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
New VOD converter allows high-strength steel grades with fewer interstitial elements | 61
a thermocouple and an electrochemical cell. Collected samples,
both hot and cold, are then conveyed in special containers through
a pneumatic mail system to the automatic receiving station of the
chemical lab. It is possible to have the result of a chemical analysis
within 5 minutes of collecting the sample. The system can also be
used to send samples from the lab to the VOD converter.
Customer benefit
The advantages described so far can be summarized in a few key
concepts: reducing the interstitial elements makes it possible to
obtain steel with increased formability (or increased forgeability in
the case of forging steels.) In addition it is also possible to produce
high-alloyed grades such as superferritic grades, duplex grades or
superalloys. The widening of the commercial offering in specific
market areas can therefore have a tremendous commercial impact.
One typical example are the superferritic stainless steels: Important
superferritic grades have been developed and patented in Terni,
e.g. 470LI 24Cr I Fig. 5 I.
AST 470LI - 24Cr is a new-generation superferritic grade born from
the need for economically competitive alternatives to steel grades
with high corrosion resistance I Fig. 6 I. The specific production pro-
cess and chemical composition ensure corrosion resistance levels
comparable or superior to traditional austenitic grades such as AISI
316 but without relying on expensive alloying elements such as Ni
or Mo. In applications where very high formability is not required,
superferritic steels can thus represent a valid alternative to traditional
austenitic grades but with a lower and more stable price level. Ferritic
grades, unlike austenitic grades, have a very stable price over time,
allowing end users to plan long-term commercial strategies. For
specific market areas, such as automotive construction, long-term
visibility of commodity prices is an absolute must.
Conclusions
The installation of the new VOD converter in Terni is a typical example
of a complex project involving cutting-edge plant technology, metal-
lurgical expertise and commercial aspects. The know-how imple-
mented in the plant at Acciai Speciali Terni allows the production of
a wide variety of products that offer high performance at competitive
prices; for example, the recently developed VOD superferritic grades
represent, in many cases, a valid alternative to traditional austenitic
grades but at a fraction of the price. They should therefore prove very
successful on the market.
17
18.7
18.2
20
24
25
21
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
PREN (Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number) value= % Cr + 3.3 % Mo + 16 % N
25
441
EN-1.4509
439
EN-1.4510
AISI 304
EN-1.4301
AISI 316
EN-1.4404
AISI 444
EN-1.4521
460LI
AST-21Cr
470LI
AST-24Cr
AISI 430
EN-1.4016
Fig. 6 | Comparison of corrosion resistance for standard grades and superferritic grades
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
62 |
| Natural gas processing plant on a pipeline
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Invar effect
Discovered in 1896, the Invar effect describes an anomaly in
the thermal expansion of binary iron-nickel alloys. While seeking a
lower-cost alternative to platinum-iridium for the manufacture of the
standard meter, the Swiss physicist Charles Guillaume discovered
that iron-nickel alloys with 36% nickel content display a minimum
of thermal expansion. In 1920 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for
Physics for his discovery.
When subjected to a temperature increase of 100 C, a 1 m-long
bar of aluminum expands by around 2 mm and a steel bar by 1 mm;
with FeNi36 the expansion is only 0.1 mm I Fig. 1 I. That is why this
alloy is used wherever materials should display no expansion in
response to temperature changes. The original use of this material
was in the copies of the standard meter, which is used as a cali-
bration standard. Later came large-scale industrial applications in
the electronics and electrical industries, such as in shadow masks
for high-quality cathode ray tube televisions. These are plates with
tiny holes etched into them, each hole accounting for one pixel on
the screen I Fig. 2 I. If the thermal expansion of this mask is too
great, the edges of the picture will become blurred. Foils for shadow
masks had to display extremely high cleanness, as oxide inclusions
and other defects result in problems during the etching process.
The introduction of todays flat screen technology signaled the end
of the shadow mask, but the know-how needed to produce high-
purity foils is gaining importance in other areas of use. Further classic
applications include thermo-bimetals, lead-frame strip and for passing
electrical currents through glass or ceramic materials. This short list
| 63
On land, sea and air: iron-nickel
low-expansion alloys gaining ground
Iron-nickel alloys containing 36% nickel display minimum thermal expansion. Due to this property,
FeNi36 has long been used in electronics, television engineering and the lamp industry. Through
targeted material enhancements, ThyssenKrupp VDM has now made Pernifer

36 (FeNi36) suitable
for use as a structural material in aerospace, automotive, mechanical engineering and industrial plant
construction applications.
DR. RER. NAT. BERND DE BOER Head of Applications Technology | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
DR. RER. NAT. BODO GEHRMANN Project Manager Research and Development | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
DR.-ING. JUTTA KLWER Head of Research and Development | ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH, Werdohl
Material Coefficient of linear expansion in 10
-6
m/mK
Aluminum 23.8
Stainless steel (1.4301) 16.0
Nickel alloy (2.4816) 13.7
Carbon steel 11.1
Glass 8.0
Granite 3.0- 8.0
Pernifer

36 1.2
Pernifer

33 Co 0.5
Fig. 1 | Coefficient of linear expansion of various materials in comparison
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
64 | On land, sea and air: iron-nickel low-expansion alloys gaining ground
shows that iron-nickel low-expansion alloys (Pernifer

alloys) have
become well established as functional materials.
By contrast, the use of Pernifer

as a structural material is rela-


tively new. Alongside its physical properties, strength, toughness,
weldability, machinability and the manufacture of large plates and
pipes also play a role. This necessitated the further development
of the classic Pernifer

36 I Fig. 3 I.
Safety and precision: Pernifers

in engineering and aerospace


The fact that wings, tail assemblies, fuselages and other large air-
craft components can now be manufactured from carbon fiber rein-
forced plastics (CFRP) is in part attributable to Pernifer

36. Parts of
CFRP are cured at around 200 C in molds made from Pernifer

36
displaying thermal expansion behavior similar to that of the carbon
fibers. This reliably avoids thermal stresses in the part during curing
which could otherwise result in cracks in subsequent use. High-
precision optical lithography devices used to generate structures
less than a micrometer in size also use Fe-Ni low-expansion alloys
to achieve the required precision. The variant Pernifer

36 HC with
increased carbon content was developed especially for the pro-
duction of wafers (thin slices of semiconductor material usually
silicon used to produce the actual chips, i.e. the integrated circuits),
as it is more readily weldable than the classic variant. Laser welding
machines are a further application in which the required level of
precision is achieved using Fe-Ni low-expansion alloys. They are also
used in radio telescopes for space observation. Under the project
name ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) 50 radio telescopes
are being set up on the Atacama plateau in Chile. This telescope
will be able to focus exactly on points in the sky to observe space
phenomena that can provide clues as to the origins of the universe.
Precision is vital: The equipment must remain true to dimension even
at temperature differences of 40 C and more which occur on the
Chilean plateau. Pernifer

36 provides exactly this property. In the


required range, the coefficient of expansion of this steel is practically
zero. The high resolution of ALMA, which will be ten times that of
the optical Hubble telescope, is achieved by connecting individual
telescopes in an array. The telescope reflectors, which are 12 meters
in diameter, may only deviate from the ideal parabolic shape by
Fig. 2 | TV shadow masks with 0.020 mm wide webs between the etched holes
in %
Southeast Asia 4
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
0.025 mm a human hair is five times thicker. To prevent defor-
mation inside the telescope, many parts of the substructure are made
from Pernifer

36.
Safe unloading of liquefied gas at minus 162 C: Pernifers

for gas transportation


Natural gas deposits are distributed unevenly around the world.
The biggest fields are in the Middle East and Russia, whereas the
biggest consumers of natural gas are Europe and the USA I Fig. 4 I.
That means that the gas has to be transported by pipeline from
Russia and by ship from the Middle East.
Ocean transportation is carried out in LNG carriers (LNG = Liquefied
Natural Gas) I Fig. 5 I. For this the natural gas is cooled to -162 C,
compressed to a 600th of its original volume and liquefied. In a
similar way to oil, it can then be transported by large tankers to
distribution terminals near the end consumers. Unloading from the
ship to the regasification terminal at the port is done via pipelines.
The pipes are typically 30 - 34 inches (760 - 860 mm) in diameter.
To date, such pipelines were supported on raised structures above
sea level, and thermal expansion was compensated by so-called
expansion bends. For both safety (liquefied gas is explosive) and
technical reasons, it can be necessary to lay the pipelines on the
sea bed. Companies such as ITP-Interpipe, Technip and Gaztrans-
port offer pipeline systems which can be laid underground. The
central element of these systems is an inner pipe I Fig. 6 I made of
Pernifer

36; the advantage is that pipe contraction is very low on


cooling, which dispenses with the need for expansion bends or
bellows. The Pernifer

36 pipe is surrounded by an insulating layer


and one or two protective outer pipes made of stainless or carbon steel.
The longitudinal welded pipes used in these applications must be
made of a material that undergoes no thermal expansion when the
-162 C liquid gas passes through them and does not become brittle
On land, sea and air: iron-nickel low-expansion alloys gaining ground | 65
Trade name Composition in % Example application
Fe Ni Co Other
Pernifer

36 Rest 36 - - Electronics, die making, laser


Pernifer

36 HC Rest 36 - Low C addition Chip manufacture


Pernifer

36 CrAl Rest 36 1.5 1.2 Al/1.5 Cr Weld filler for LNG pipelines
Pernifer

36 Z Rest 36 - - Readily machinable variant for the auto industry


Pernifer

36 Mo Rest 36 - 2.5 Mo, Cr, W, C High-tension cables


Pernifer

33 Co Rest 33 4 - Special applications, extremely low thermal expansion


Fig. 3 | Name, chemical composition and typical applications of Pernifer

36 and newly developed Fe-Ni low-expansion alloys


Fig. 4 | Distribution of global natural gas reserves (Source: Qatar Gas)
Asia 9
Europe 4
Russia 31
Africa 8
Middle East 40
USA 4
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
66 | On land, sea and air: iron-nickel low-expansion alloys gaining ground
at these low temperatures. Pernifer

36 from ThyssenKrupp VDM


meets these requirements.
The safety requirements for the pipes are high. As in the majority
of cases the weld is the weakest link in the chain, requirements on
the welding filler material are particularly high the strength of the
same-grade material Pernifer

S36 proved inadequate. For this


reason, ThyssenKrupp VDM launched a research and development
project aimed at developing a high-strength filler material with ade-
quate ductility for this application: the result is Pernifer

S36CrAl.
Compared with the conventional Pernifer

S36, this new welding filler


alloy contains chromium (approx. 1.5%) and aluminum (approx. 1.2%).
These two chemical elements result in pronounced solid solution
hardening, which in turn results in higher strength. The ductility of
the new material remains very good even at -196 C with a notch
toughness of more than 150 J/cm
2
. Development work on this welding
filler material was concluded with certification by the German TV
technical inspectorate.
Piezo technology in the auto industry
The precision injection of gasoline or diesel into the engine is a key
requirement for low fuel consumption. The most advanced process
for controlling the injection valves is piezo technology in which
a piezo crystal (piezo actuator) transforms an electrical pulse into a
force I Fig. 7 I. This force causes the valve to open and close. To
safeguard this function, the metallic housing surrounding the actu-
ator must display equivalent thermal expansion properties. The
ThyssenKrupp VDM material Pernifer

36 Z was developed as a
component of the piezo injectors used in new engine technologies.
Like Pernifer

36, Pernifer

36 Z displays very low thermal expan-


sion in the temperature range from -60 C to +200 C, corresponding
to the expansion characteristic of the piezo actuator in terms of level
and temperature-dependent curve in a very narrow tolerance range.
The required function of the injector is only guaranteed if the thermal
expansion of the actuator housing lies within the specified tolerance
range. To reliably meet the close tolerance limits, the analysis
tolerances had to be narrowed and the entire process route from
rolling to annealing to final annealing of the actuator housings opti-
mized in terms of the necessary process parameters and defined
with tight process parameters. During development work, engineers
were able to fall back on the extensive production expertise in the
high-precision manufacture of shadow mask foils. ThyssenKrupp
VDM has a state-of-the-art vacuum metallurgy facility to meet close
analysis tolerances and minimize impurities.
Development work on Pernifer

36 Z has now been successfully


concluded: The material is already in use in the latest diesel engines
with piezo injection systems.
High-voltage cables
A further new application for Pernifer

36 is still at the trial stage.


High-voltage cables (overhead cables) made of steel can be used
Fig. 5 | Special tankers transport liquefied natural gas to distribution terminals close to end consumers.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
at up to roughly 200 C. One problem is sag, which becomes signif-
icant at temperatures above 80 C. To ensure the high-voltage cable
remains at a safe distance from the ground, the only way of solving
this problem at present is to raise the height of the masts or reduce
the distances between them. As sag is attributable to thermal ex-
pansion, the use of iron-nickel low-expansion alloys has been under
consideration for years. However, the Pernifer

36 material used in
traditional electronic applications does not display adequate strength.
For this reason, ThyssenKrupp VDMs laboratories developed the
variant Pernifer

36Mo, which at over 1,000 MPa has more than


double the tensile strength of the standard variant. Trials with the new
material will commence next year.
On land, sea and air: iron-nickel low-expansion alloys gaining ground | 67
Fig. 6 | Concept of a pipe-in-pipe (PiP) solution for LNG terminals (Source: ITP-Interpipe) Fig. 7 | Piezo-controlled diesel injection nozzle with actuator housing
made of Pernifer

36 (Source: Siemens Automotive)


Summary
In recent years, iron-nickel low-expansion alloys have demonstrated
their versatility and moved into new areas of application as structural
materials. The classic product forms such as stampings and wires
have been added to by pipes, large-size plates and welded structures.
In parallel with the development of new applications, the materials
have been developed further.
While these further developments are being tested, the next
generation of Pernifer

materials has already been created: in cobalt-


alloyed Super-Pernifer

the coefficient of linear expansion has been


reduced by a further 50%.
Concrete cladding
Pipe 3: Carbon steel
Pipe 2: Seal
Insulation material ISOFLEX
Pipe 1: Pernifer

36
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
68 |
| Innovative chassis products from ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 69
Lightweighting in the chassis through
innovative materials and processes
The ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension product portfolio includes the chassis components suspension
springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars. These elements offer significant potential for reducing vehicle
weight and thus lowering fuel consumption and CO
2
emissions. The use of high-strength steels reduces
the amount of material needed to manufacture McPherson struts. In the manufacture of coil springs,
a thermomechanical forming process can alter the properties of the material in such a way as to give the
springs higher load ratings. Stabilizer bars can be made up to 40% lighter through the use of tubular
rather than solid cross-sections.
DR.-ING. THOMAS BRENDECKE Head of Development Shock Absorbers | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Ennepetal
DIPL.-ING. OLE GTZ Team Leader Simulation and Engineering | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Ennepetal
DIPL.-ING. HANS DZIEMBALLA Head of Development Springs & Stabilizers | ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension GmbH, Hagen-Hohenlimburg
Lightweighting in the auto industry
Measures to reduce fuel consumption are becoming an important
development goal in the auto industry due to the rising demand
for reductions in CO2 emissions. Reducing vehicle weight through
systematic lightweighting represents an effective lever in this context.
With its damper, suspension spring and stabilizer components, the
wheel suspension accounts for a large proportion of the total weight
of a car. The portfolio of ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension includes
these products and offers integrated concepts for weight reduction
in the chassis. Current developments and the achievable weight
savings are presented below.
Lightweight stabilizer bar construction
Substituting tubular stabilizer bars for solid versions offers major
weight-saving potential. The stabilizer bar connects the left- and
right-hand wheel suspension and provides roll stabilization during
suspension travel in opposite directions e.g. when cornering. Roll
moment stabilization also influences the steering behavior of the
vehicle. When designing stabilizer bars, spring rate and lifetime
criteria must be met within the pre-defined packaging space.
In the simplest approach, the solid stabilizer bar is replaced by a
tubular version with a constant tube cross-section along its entire
length. The spring rate of the stabilizer bar is given by the overall
deformation of the areas subject to bending and torsional stress
under a given load. To achieve the required rate, a specific cross-
section (area moment of inertia) is required. The buckling resistance
of the tube limits the possible reduction in sheet thickness. For this
reason, the ratio of outside diameter to wall thickness should not
exceed 6.5 to 7.5. Assuming the same spring rate, approx. 6%
larger outside diameters and correspondingly higher stresses are
possible with a weight saving of approx. 40% compared with solid
stabilizer bars.
The bends between the central section and the arms of a stabilizer
are usually the most highly stressed areas of this component. The
complex geometries result in increased stresses in these areas which
may result in the component not meeting lifetime requirements. In
such instances, the use of a tube with a constant cross-section is
not expedient.
The solution to these conflicting aims lies in varying the cross-
section along the length of the stabilizer I Fig. 1 I to transfer the
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
70 | Lightweighting in the chassis through innovative materials and processes
stress from the critical areas of the stabilizer bar to the less critical
areas (central section, arms). In the area of the bending radii and
bearing points, increasing the wall thickness outwards is the most
effective way to reduce stress levels to a sufficient extent to enable
lifetime requirements to be met while maximizing weight reduction.
The resultant increase in stiffness must be offset by adjusting the
cross-section in other areas. Modern processes such as rotary
swaging are used to manufacture semi-finished tubes with variable
cross-sections. In this process, the dies are arranged concentrically
around the tube. The oscillating dies create the diameter and wall
thickness in incremental forming steps.
Welded tubes made of microalloyed materials are used to achieve
a high-grade surface finish and the desired heat-treated strengths
in tubular stabilizers. Particularly highly stressed tubular stabilizer
bars can also be shot peened on the inner surface of the tube to
create residual compressive stresses which counter cracking and
thus enable lifetime requirements to be met.
High-strength lightweight spring: Bilstein ThermoTec Spring

The suspension spring is part of the wheel suspension and its


static force supports the weight of the vehicle body while its spring
travel enables relative movement between wheel and body. The
increase in the heat-treated strength of the materials used and
the resultant improvement in material utilization have enabled the
weight of vehicle suspension springs to be significantly reduced
in recent decades. The strength of materials currently used for
suspension springs lies in the range of 1,900 to 2,050 MPa.
The lifetime of a spring is determined mainly by the strength
and ductility of the material from which it is made in the heat-
treated condition. As shown in I Fig. 2 left I, increasing heat-treated
strength results in reduced ductility and increased notch sensitivity.
Therefore, in order to achieve the required lifetime, suitable pro-
cesses must be employed to increase toughness if the strength is
increased further.
The most important process steps in the manufacture of hot-
formed springs are illustrated in I Fig. 2 above I. In conventional
hot forming, the spring wire (rod) is heated to austenitizing tem-
perature by means of gas or induction heating and then directly
wound into a coil spring on a winding mandrel. It is then heat-
treated via hardening in an oil bath and subsequent tempering.
The High Performance ThermoTec Process (HPTP) developed
by ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension is an additional step between
heating and the winding process. In the so-called cross rolling
process, the diameter of the heated raw material is reduced to
the required final diameter by means of mechanical forming using
specially arranged and shaped rolls I Fig. 2 right I. A critical degree
of deformation must be exceeded to ensure that recrystallization
processes produce a fine-grained microstructure in the material.
This effect results in an increase in ductility while retaining the
higher strength. The refined microstructure is frozen in the sub-
sequent hardening process.
This effect, which has a positive impact on lifetime, permits
improved material utilization. Compared with a conventionally
manufactured spring, a ThermoTec Spring

produced via the HPTP


process can be designed with lower rod diameters and fewer coils,
while retaining the same lifetime and spring rate. This results in
a weight reduction of 15 to 20% depending on the application.
The reduction in the number of coils and rod thickness results in
a reduction in spring block length, which in turn means that the
packaging space for the spring can also be reduced. Mass pro-
duction of the Bilstein ThermoTec Spring

is expected to begin
in 2010.
D
1
t
1
D
2
t
2
Fig. 1 | Stabilizer bar with varying cross-section
t
1
D
1
D
2
t
1
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Weight reduction through the use of monotube
shock absorbers
In todays rear axle designs, the shock absorber does not usually
have any wheel control function. In addition to separate springs
and shocks, coil-over shocks are also used. The twin-tube version
currently dominates the shock absorber market.
The monotube shock differs from the twin-tube version in that
precision compression phase damping is possible even at low exci-
tation amplitudes due to the lower pressure level. The elimination
of non-return valves helps to reduce noise. In addition to these
functional advantages, monotube shocks also offer significant
weight reduction potential as, unlike twin-tube shocks, they have
no additional inner tube. In comparably-sized shocks, the monotube
version weighs 30% less. I Fig. 3 I shows the difference in weight
between monotube and twin-tube systems in standard system sizes
(defined by piston/rod diameter) for a sample design length. More
weight can be saved by substituting monotube shocks for the twin-
| 71
HPTP rolling process
d
0
d
1
Microstructure with HPTP Microstructure without HPTP
Effect of increase in toughness
F
a
t
i
g
u
e
s
t
r
e
n
g
t
h

D
N
o
t
c
h
f
a
c
t
o
r

K
D
K
Fig. 2 | Principle and effect of the hot forming process
30/11
Monotube
32/11
Monotube
30/11
Twin-tube
27/11
Twin-tube
36/11
Monotube
Parameters:
Stroke 200 mm, Monotuber t =1.5 mm,
Twin-tube t
a
=1.5 mm, t
i
=1.3 mm
2.00
1.80
1.60
1.40
1.20
1.00
0.80
0.60
0.40
0.20
0.00
-30%
W
e
i
g
h
t
[
k
g
]
Fig. 3 | Weight comparison of shock systems
Spring production process workflow
HPTP Winding Hardening Rod heating
Tensile strength R
m
72 | Lightweighting in the chassis through innovative materials and processes
weight reductions of up to 40% can be realized, depending on
diameter. The lower end of the tube assembly is attached to the
wheel knuckle via a bracket or clamp. Further add-on parts include
the spring plate and stabilizer bar bracket. In several applications,
additional brackets or positioning sheets are attached. The hydraulic
damping unit, comprising inner tube, piston, piston rod, bottom
valve and guide/sealing unit, is located inside the outer tube.
Using high-strength steels in the aforementioned add-on parts
in place of the conventional structural steels employed to date
permits a weight saving of up to 20% through reduced material
usage. However, only reducing the wall thickness is inappropriate
for these structural parts as this would result in an unacceptable
loss of stiffness. The development goal when optimizing geometries
is to improve material usage while meeting strength and stiffness
requirements. In addition, production-related requirements must
be taken into account when deep drawing high-strength materials.
Dual-phase steels (DP-W600/700) lend themselves to use in welded
sheet-formed parts. The tensile strength of dual-phase steels, which
is 40%/65% higher than a conventional structural steel (S420), is
achieved without any loss of elongation, which is required for forming.
Friction-welded aluminum fork
Suspension spring
Spring plate
Stabilizer bracket
Outer tube
Inner tube
tube versions than by reducing the size of the twin-tube system.
ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension has developed lightweight mono-
tube shocks made of steel with reduced wall thicknesses to pro-
duction readiness.
The use of monotube shocks made of aluminum permits weight
to be reduced by a further approx. 25%. I Fig. 4 I shows a pro-
duction application for this type of aluminum shock: in the rear axle
of the Porsche 911.
Lightweight McPherson strut
Used in around 85% of all small to mid-size cars, the McPherson
axle concept is the most important front axle design for this class of
vehicle. The so-called McPherson strut represents the central element
of this compact design I Fig. 5 I. In addition to damping and sus-
pension, it also absorbs and transmits wheel, brake and stabilizer
bar forces into the vehicle body.
As the strut performs a wheel control function, the dimensioning
of the piston rod is determined by stiffness and strength require-
ments. Hollow piston rods are now almost the norm in the standard
diameter range of 20 to 28 mm. Compared with solid piston rods,
Fig. 4 | Aluminum monotube shock absorber Fig. 5 | McPherson strut
Bracket
Upper bearing
Aluminum spring plate
Aluminum outer tube
Aluminum upper bearing housing
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
I Fig. 6 I shows an example of the optimization process for devel-
oping a weight-reduced spring plate using the latest analysis methods.
The use of DP-W700 high-strength dual-phase steel together with
the optimized component structure reduces the weight by 20% (100 g).
The additional beading of the spring plate ensures the required com-
ponent stiffness despite the significantly lower wall thickness.
The high strength of the steels used results from the fact that the
yield strength is close to the tensile strength in areas with a sufficient
degree of deformation. The forming process is therefore very impor-
tant. Component geometry design (e.g. the positioning of stiffener
beads) must ensure that a sufficiently high degree of deformation is
also achieved in the more highly stressed areas.
Summary
Using new, high-strength steel materials, weight-optimized designs
and innovative production processes, significant weight savings
can be realized in McPherson struts, shock absorbers, suspension
springs and stabilizer bars in the chassis.
Taking a mid-size vehicle as an example, the lightweight product
portfolio developed by ThyssenKrupp Bilstein Suspension permits
a maximum weight saving potential of approx. 7 kg I Fig. 7 I.
| 73
Strut Spring Stabilizer Shock absorber
Example: Mid-size car
Potential saving of up
to 7 kg compared with
current production part
Lightweight construction technology High strength steels ThermoTec Spring Use of rotary-swaged Substitution of monotube
tubular stabilizer bars shock for twin-tube version
Current production part weight 2.5 kg 2.5 kg 4.0 kg 1.6 kg
Weight reduction ~ 20% (-0.5 kg) ~ 15% (-0.4 kg) ~ 40% (-1.6 kg) ~ 30% (-0.5 kg)
Step 1:
FEM analysis of as-is part (DD13, t=2.5 mm, 455 g)
Step 2:
Optimize geometry
Step 3:
FEM analysis of new part made of high-strength steel
Step 4:
Forming simulation
Step 5:
Prototyping (DP W-700, t=2.0 mm, 359 g)
Fig. 6 | Spring plate optimization
Fig. 7 | Potential for weight reduction
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
74 |
I Locally form field structured sheet metal
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Motivation
With a growing urban population, the need for transportation capa-
cities in buildings is rising constantly, calling for efficient elevator
systems. In addition, the current debate on sustainability is deman-
ding products with a reduced ecological impact.
With the introduction of new concepts like the TWIN

with two cars


operating independently in one shaft (cf. ThyssenKrupp techforum,
July 2003), the destination selection control (DSC), drive energy
recovery and the use of LED lighting in cars, major enhancements
have been made on the electrical/electronic side of the elevator. On
the mechanical side, improvements through weight reduction have
so far been subject to strict limits: The basic mechanical propulsion
principle of a traction elevator is described in EN 81 and gives an out-
line of the weight relation between payload, car weight and counter-
weight. Currently, the car weight and 40-50 % of the payload are
compensated by the counterweight to reduce energy consumption.
In some cases, elevator cars are additionally weighted in order to
achieve sufficient traction with the common combination of a steel
rope and a steel traction sheave. To put this in figures, the moving
mass of a common office or home elevator with a car weight of
around 600 kg and payload of 630 kg adds up to around 1,500 kg
even when only used by one passenger weighing 75 kg. Similar
figures are known from the automotive industry.
By changing the traction coefficient, increasing the contact
pressure between rope and sheave or for applications in high-rise
buildings with corresponding rope weight, the car weight can be
reduced without putting systems functionality at risk. Savings can
be expected on material costs, car assembly and the dynamic re-
sponse of the system through reduced drive requirements. Based
on these assumptions, various lightweight concepts were developed
at the ThyssenKrupp Elevator Center of Research Europe (CoRE).
The solutions, namely an aluminum lightweight car, a CFRP (Carbon
Fiber Reinforced Plastic) car floor and the form field structuring
technique, a macro-structuring technique for sheets, are presented
in the following.
Development of an aluminum sandwich car
and a CFRP car floor
Requirements
The key requirement of an elevator is that the car must be able to
travel up and down safely. But anyone entering a noisy and uncom-
fortable car will also attach importance to properties such as sound
| 75
Lightweight developments for elevator cars
To meet future demands, especially in terms of sustainability, it is necessary to develop elevator concepts
with reduced environmental impact. The focus on lightweight design on the mechanical side of the elevator
system represents a major step toward meeting this goal, which can be addressed from two different
starting points: reducing the material consumption of existing products, or enhancing system functionality
and performance by lightweight design. In the following report several lightweight solutions are presented:
an aluminum sandwich cab, a cab floor of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and form field structuring,
a technique for the macro-structuring of sheets.
DIPL.-ING. STEFFEN KRESS Development engineer, CoRE Center of Research Europe | ThyssenKrupp Elevator Research GmbH, Pliezhausen
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
76 | Lightweight developments for elevator cars
damping, horizontal and vertical acceleration, vandalism resistance, a
long lifetime, and reduced deflection of the floor and of the side walls.
Additional factors for elevator manufacturers include simplified car
assembly from the inside, short installation times in the building,
low production costs, low space requirements for the complete system,
reduced maintenance costs, and corrosion and fire resistance. To
achieve a desired reduction in energy consumption, the weight of
the car was to be reduced in the framework of this project by more
than 50% to less than 200 kg.
Material selection
Based on these targets a requirement list was drawn up to classify
and compare the various types of available material in terms of
mechanical properties. For different mechanical problems, several
lightweight coefficients have been defined allowing fast material
selection, as there is not always a linear correlation between mecha-
nical properties and material density.
A major criterion for the deflection of the car floor (e.g. when a
passenger enters the car) is the plate flexural stiffness I Fig. 1 I which
is defined via the Young modulus and the material density. Of further
interest is the compressive rigidity, which is of decisive importance
for emergency braking. Based on the specific car loads and the car
design it is obvious that it is not the strength of the material that is
important (as in automotive crash applications like B-pillar or side
beams) but its rigidity. When corrosion resistance and the price tag
are added to the comparison, aluminum is selected as the favored
solution for the volume market.
For high performance systems, a carbon fiber solution will be
developed. Carbon fiber not only offers advantages in terms of me-
chanical properties but also by enhanced design possibilities and
the possible integration of multiple functions.
Selection of design principle
Simply replacing steel with aluminum would not have been enough to
achieve the set target weight, so the design also had to be adapted
in accordance with the properties and behavior of the material. This
is of particular importance for fiber composites, which require a
completely different approach to design, engineering and production.
Only in this way can the full benefit of the material be utilized.
As the stiffness of the car floor is key to dimensioning, a weight-
efficient design was sought. An established approach in the aero-
space industry is to use stringers and ties in order to reinforce
a structure. In part, these are replaced by sandwich structures
which offer enhanced mechanical properties combined with further
weight reduction.
A sandwich panel I Fig. 2 I consists of two face sheets bonded
to a honeycomb or foam core. This principle allows great flexibility
in selecting materials to meet requirements. Furthermore, additional
functions can be integrated into the core, such as joining elements
(inserts), fire retardant material or enhancements for sound insulation
without altering the flat surface that is visible to the customer. As in
the article Use of textile-reinforced plastics in lightweight elevator
cars published in ThyssenKrupp techforum, issue December 2004,
sandwich structures were selected as design principle for both the
aluminum and the fiber composite version.
Property Criterion Steel Aluminum Magnesium Glass fiber (UD) Carbon fiber (UD)
Plate flexural stiffness 1 2 2.7 2.7 5.2
Tensile/compressive strength 1 1 1 0.9 5.4
Fig. 1 | Lightweight coefficients, based on steel
E
3
E

ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009


Lightweight developments for elevator cars | 77
Honeycomb core
Insert
Face plates
Design and FEM calculation
The specified requirements in combination with the selected sandwich
structure made it necessary to come up with a completely new design.
Multiple design proposals were analyzed and the most promising
selected. These were then optimized by the finite element method
(FEM), taking requirements from the production facilities into account.
The FEM analyses made it possible to exclude possible core or fiber
material failures in advance.
The design of the aluminum car is shown in I Fig. 3 I; to improve
visibility the door panels have been blanked out. The integration
of the operating panel normally a separate part can be clearly
seen. I Fig. 4 I illustrates the von Mises stresses in the sandwich face
sheets of the aluminum car during asymmetric emergency braking,
a load case that occurs very rarely. Even with these extreme loads,
the stresses stay well below the yield limit of the chosen material.
The bionic design and the FEM analysis of the carbon fiber floor
are shown in I Figs 5 and 6 I. By adapting the design to the prop-
erties and the manufacturing possibilities of fiber composite material
it was possible to clearly reduce the number of parts and joining
steps. With the optimization of the fiber orientation, forces can be
transmitted in an improved manner helping to reduce critical local
stresses. As a result, the weight of the CFRP floor is less than 1/6 of
the original steel floor. Further weight saving potential is created by
integrating the sill or aerodynamic cladding into the floor. Fire resist-
ance to DIN 4102-B1 is met by the chosen resin and core material.
The results of the Tsai-Wu failure criteria (the von Mises criterion
is not suitable for fiber composite materials) demonstrate the low
load level in normal use. The deformation in I Fig. 6 I is scaled to
enhance visibility.
Prototype component testing
Having completed dimensioning of the car, prototype parts were
built and tested in various load cases. In collaboration with the DOC
Dortmunder OberflchenCentrum, a section of the aluminum car
floor joined to part of the sidewall underwent salt spray corrosion
testing for 1,000 hours I Fig. 7 I. The surface scratches made in
advance on the face sheets simulated damage that could be caused
by vandalism.
The good test results prove the inherent corrosion resistance of
aluminum and the need to pay attention to contact corrosion when
using different materials. This problem can be solved by using alu-
minum screws.
In order to increase transportation capacity in buildings, high
performance elevators will run more frequently in the future. Despite
this, they will still be expected to last for at least 30 years, which
was already taken into account in the dimensioning of the car. To
Fig. 2 | Structure of a sandwich panel
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
78 | Lightweight developments for elevator cars
demonstrate the cars properties, the sandwich floor was tested
in 10 million load cycles with the full payload according to EN 81
I Fig. 8 I. The test verified the results of the FEM analysis with no
damage to the face sheets, the core or the adhesive between them.
In addition, there was no loosening of the screws used to fasten
the sidewall.
Summary of the car development
The development of an aluminum sandwich lightweight car I Fig. 9 I
achieved a weight reduction of more than 60% by using new design
principles and materials. This allows savings on drive requirements
and shorter installation times on site due to the reduced parts count
and the lower weight of the components. The competitive price of
the aluminum car and its multiple advantages allow the total elevator
system costs to be reduced.
The carbon fiber floor I Fig. 10 I with a weight advantage of more
than 40% compared to the aluminum floor clearly demonstrates the
advantages of the fiber composite material and the design possibili-
ties it opens up for high-performance elevator systems. The higher
material costs for carbon fiber are outweighed by the advantages of
the improved system capabilities.
In the future, automated production techniques may also allow
the manufacture of products from glass fiber reinforced plastic (GRP)
for the volume market.
Fig. 3 | Design of the aluminum car Fig. 4 | FEM analysis of the aluminum car
Fig. 5 | Design of the carbon fiber floor Fig. 6 | FEM analysis of the carbon fiber floor
103.1
94.9
86.6
78.6
70.4
62.2
54.1
45.9
37.7
29.5
21.4
13.2
5.0
0.0
0.040
0.037
0.035
0.030
0.027
0.023
0.020
0.017
0.013
0.010
0.007
0.003
0.000
Von Mises stress
[MPa]
Tsai-Wu
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Lightweight developments for elevator cars | 79
Fig. 7 | Result of the salt spray corrosion test Fig. 8 | Set-up of the endurance test Fig. 9 | Assembly of the complete aluminum car
Use of structured sheet metal
A different approach to saving material against the background of
economical and ecological issues is the structuring of material, a
process that can easily be integrated into the existing production chain.
For more than 150 years structuring of material has been a com-
mon procedure to increase the stiffness of parts exposed to bending
stresses. A well known application is the Junkers JU 52 aircraft,
where this technique helped reduce the amount of stringers and ties.
However, the existing principles show disadvantages in terms of
material range or joining operations due to their three-dimensional
structure. A new process that avoids these disadvantages has been
developed by the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg and is
currently being applied and tested in the ThyssenKrupp Group.
Like the familiar vault structuring process, the form field struc-
ture pressing (FSP) is based on the self-organization of the sheet
in the forming process. However, the punch and die commonly used
in the metal forming process are replaced by an elastomer and a tool
with the desired sheet structure pattern I Figs 11 and 12 I. In the low
energy forming process, the sheet plops into the tool cavities to
form symmetrical, smooth bulges I see title picture of the report I .
Since it is not a forced deformation process, the degree of plastic
deformation in the sheet is very low. Surface coatings remain intact,
simplifying subsequent production steps.
Depending on the chosen sheet material this bulge pattern
increases stiffness by up to 500%. In part even higher values are
achieved, which is also the result of the cross arcs that give addi-
tional stiffness to the bulges. Compared with flat sheet material, this
allows sheet thickness to be reduced by more than 30% with equi-
valent stiffness. The FSP process is highly flexible in terms of material
selection, as it can be used with steel, aluminum, magnesium (even
at room temperature) and fiber composite material up to a maximum
sheet thickness of 2 mm (with the chosen bulge size). FSP allows
local structuring with flat connecting surfaces, so that subsequent
joining operations like bonding or welding can be carried out without
additional effort. Areas for the attachment of additional add-on parts
can also be kept flat. The modular design of the tooling permits the
location of these areas to be changed flexibly. Currently, the benefits
of this structuring technique are being tested on an elevator ceiling
I Fig. 13 I, for which the sheet thickness can be significantly reduced.
In addition, vibration loads on thin parts are reduced, which may allow
savings on insulating and damping material.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
80 |
Fig. 10 | Prototype of the carbon fiber floor Fig. 11 | Production principle for FSP technology
Fig. 12 | Tool for the FSP process Fig. 13 | FEM analysis of an FSP-structured ceiling for an elevator car
Pressure
Sheet
Structure
form field
Elastomer
Due to their three-dimensional topology, FSP sheets cannot be
dimensioned by analytical means unlike corrugated sheets, for
example which is why FEM methods are used. However, despite
the computer capacities available today, the mesh size required by
this approach requires a tradeoff between calculation times and
the validity of information on local behavior. In order to reduce cal-
culation time, an analogous model is currently being developed
which transfers the elastic properties of a structured sheet to a shell
model that can be meshed in a simple manner.
The theory of the analogous shell model is mainly used for the
analysis of fiber reinforced materials that commonly display aniso-
tropic behavior, meaning their properties depend on their orientation.
Based on the mechanical properties of the single fiber layer, the ply
stack is taken into account to set up the ABD matrix I Fig. 14 I that
can be used for thin-walled components. The stiffness matrix incor-
porates both the material and the geometry and links the forces
acting on the part, which may occur in the form of normal forces or
moments, with the resulting elongation and curvature of the part. If
the matrix is completely filled, part curvature may occur due to
normal forces and elongations due to the action of moments.
The behavior of the thin-walled form field structured sheet is
optically captured in a test which induces defined normal forces and
moments I Fig. 15 I. Based on the measured elongations and curva-
tures, the single components of the matrix are calculated and sub-
sequently used as a corresponding shell element in a finite element
program.
In this way, the stiffness behavior of parts in the elastic zone
can be analyzed quickly. Stresses can be calculated by using the
submodel technique, which analyzes only sections of the complete
geometry in detail. The model is unsuitable for crash simulations
with geometric nonlinearities, but with the multi-level safety systems
used in an elevator system, this load case is not necessary.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Lightweight developments for elevator cars | 81
Summary of the form field structuring process and outlook
for lightweight development in the elevator sector
The introduction of FSP technology represents a major step toward
sustainable lightweight design for current products with only minor
changes in the production process. Material and weight savings can
be achieved on a large scale for many parts of the elevator system
by using structured sheets. For future products secondary savings
can also be achieved, e.g. with regard to the drive or rope size, since
they will benefit from the reduced system weight.
The creation of an analogous stiffness model which allows a
quick and efficient analysis of form field structured parts in an FEM
system is an important prerequisite for the broad utilization of the
structuring technique.
To support the future design and development process, a data-
base will be set up based on the knowledge gained in the project
so far. This database will, based on the set technical, commercial
or ecological requirements, deliver suggestions for the selection of
material and construction method.
Fig. 14 | Equation with ABD matrix
Fig. 15 | Optical capture of sheet behavior in a tensile test using a stereo camera
N
x
A
11
A
12
A
16
B
11
B
12
B
16

x
N
y
A
22
A
26
B
22
B
26

y
N
xy
sym. A
66
sym. B
66

xy
M
x
=
B
11
B
12
B
16
D
11
D
12
D
16

x
M
y
B
22
B
26
D
22
D
26

y
M
xy
sym. B
66
sym. D
66

xy
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
82 |
I Rail and craneway lines for heavy loads in Hamburg port
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 83
Brief profile of ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik
The system solutions offered by ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik
cover a broad spectrum of product expertise in track materials,
production expertise for core components and application expertise
through consulting and support for users during product selection
and component installation. These are linked by the materials
expertise demonstrated in the various products and associated
services. The core range comprises tracks and switches for all types
of rails as well as components for rolling stock for state and private
rail companies, regional public transport and rail track operators
I Figs 1, 2a-2d I. The range includes:
Rails
Flat-bottom rails up to 120 m in length, grooved and crane rails
Switches
For all rail types including industrial switches and special
designs such as linear displaceable frogs and switch measure-
ment systems
Fasteners
Fastening systems for rails and switches including insulation
material, rail clips and elasticated mounts or complete systems,
e.g. steel beam bridge sleepers
Sleepers
Steel sleepers, e.g. the patented Y-steel sleeper, wooden/
concrete sleepers and sleepers for switches and crossings
Wagon components
Wheel sets, wheels, wheel set shafts, wheel tires
Track systems
Slab track for high-speed lines including the New Slab Track
(NFF) with pile anchors
Accessories
Cable ducts, noise control systems
Services
For the entire product range, e.g. rail welding, reconditioning,
milling, construction site logistics, preventive track and
switch maintenance
Materials expertise as a competitive
factor in rail equipment service
ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik is an integrated service provider of materials and components used
in the construction and renovation of rail tracks as well as components for rolling stock. The importance
of meeting quality requirements for the materials used and services performed is obvious considering
the safety requirements which need to be met to ensure quick, accident-free rail transportation. High-
speed accidents result in terrible catastrophes and are often caused by human error, but also not in-
frequently by technical problems with the material used. Against this background, the use and inno-
vative development of materials is extremely important. ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik and its partners
form a strong team, ensuring that requirements are met in terms of product efficiency and innovation
in rail engineering materials.
DIPL.-ING. HEIKO SANTE Head of Technology, Project Planning and Development | ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik GmbH, Essen
KLAUS POTTHOFF Head of Corporate Development | ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Dsseldorf
Continuous Inspection
System testing and
documentation
Project planning
and logistics:
Planning
Product development
Delivery to construction site
Unloading using approved
systems
Just-in-time provision
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
84 | Materials expertise as a competitive factor in rail equipment service
Material use in rail equipment
The various product ranges contain an extremely broad spectrum
of materials, some in very special grades. The innovative capacity of
ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik is reflected in the ongoing enhance-
ment of tried-and-tested applications as well as the development of
specific new components.
Materials include:
Steel
in particular heat-treatable steels, highly wear-resistant special
steels, alloy steels and spring steels
Concrete
mainly used in sleepers and high-speed Slab Tracks;
an intelligent connection between the concrete bed and the
steel rail is important in this context
Plastics
wide-ranging use in numerous components, e.g. in cable ducts
(flame retardant plastic) or noise control; use of various elasto-
mers in vibration damping, e.g. in steel beam bridge sleepers or
noise damping along entire track sections for streetcars
Although the combination of materials places special demands on
the technology involved, it is in precisely such cases that innovative
solutions can provide increased customer benefit. Examples are
described below. In this context, it is important to take account of
safety aspects. Recent debates concerning defects in wheel sets
or axles in particular highlight the need to give high priority to the
reliability and durability of the materials and material combinations.
The New Slab Track (NFF) system supplied by ThyssenKrupp GfT
Gleistechnik is one example of a balanced system, comprising rigid
elements to reduce track alignment errors and sufficient elasticity in
the mounting points of the steel rails to enable the positive absorp-
tion of the forces between the train wheels and the rails. The ongoing
development of such systems has been a major factor in enabling
higher operating speeds while retaining maximum reliability.
Material innovations in rail equipment
The competitive position of a company is determined by its product
range and its innovative capacity for improvement and development.
This rule also applies to the market position of ThyssenKrupp GfT
Gleistechnik, where the focus is on integrated systems combining
technical products and associated services. Several examples of
product innovations are described in detail in the following.
Fig. 1 | ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik as a track system supplier: supply and service chain
Track materials:
Rails
Shop welding
Switches
Sleepers
Fastening systems
Track systems
Noise control
Welding
External services:
Track laying
Partners:
Rail construction companies
Grinding Inspection/Acceptance
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 85
Fig. 2c | Long-term stress test: NFF slab unit during test procedure
Fig. 2a | Double crossover Fig. 2b | Complex switch system in urban public transport
Fig. 2d | New Slab Track (NFF) testing section in Wlfrath
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
86 | Materials expertise as a competitive factor in rail equipment service
Steel beam bridge sleeper
The steel beam bridge sleeper (SBS) I Fig. 3 I replaces conventional
beams in open-type bridges with a steel beam structure. This alter-
native to wood offers advantages in terms of lower maintenance and a
longer lifetime, which can be assumed to be between 60 and 80 years.
In addition, noise emissions are lower than with wooden sleepers.
Steel structures are also more environmentally friendly than wooden
beams as the latter have to undergo complex impregnation processes
with corresponding emissions which impact the environment.
All in all, these sleepers offer significant economic advantages
in terms of both maintenance outlay and investment costs due to
their practically unlimited lifetime, as well as better conditions with
respect to noise and chemical emissions. Vibration damping in the
SBS is achieved through the use of elastomers. The overall advan-
tage of the SBS system lies in the interaction of the steel and elasto-
mer materials.
New Slab Track (NFF)
To date, conventional slab track applications have required largely
subsidence-free subgrade, which in turn necessitates significant
earthworks. This accounts for a large proportion of the total costs
involved in constructing a new line. The New Slab Track (NFF)
system I Fig. 4 I, which ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik helped to
develop, allows such cost-intensive preparatory work to be elimi-
nated. Depending on the ground conditions, individual foundation
piles ensure a secure basis for the concrete bed and rails. At the
same time, the need for surface water drainage is also eliminated.
Additional advantages include the minimization of the ground area
used and sealed surfaces compared with conventional new lines.
This results in lower maintenance costs and reduced construction
times. As a result, the New Slab Track (NFF) system can be used
not only in the construction of high-speed lines, but also for mixed
usage tracks also taking heavy freight and even for repairs to existing
Fig. 3 | Steel beam bridge sleeper
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
| 87
ballasted tracks. Here again, the use of different materials such as
steel and concrete has resulted in an economically and ecologically
optimized solution for the customer.
Whisper Rail
The noise emissions of a railway train or streetcar result from
various factors, but in particular from friction and running noise
from the wheel-rail system. ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleistechnik has
further developed proven processes for damping rails. At the heart
of the innovation is a continuous bedding system which permits
rail deflection. The elasticity of this system can reduce vibrations
in the critical frequency range by up to 90%. This effectively
reduces structure-borne sound and ground shaking. There is a
wide range of these so-called whisper rails I Fig. 5 I, for use in
urban/national rail networks and a grooved version for streetcars.
The whisper rail is an example of a steel/elastomer combination
in which the material properties are carefully coordinated to maxi-
mize vibration damping.
Summary
The use of such a wide range of materials, including steel, concrete,
plastics and combinations of these materials, in or adjacent to rail
tracks necessitates detailed knowledge of the materials themselves
and the potential interaction between them. The further development
of existing components or systems for track construction and the
development of new ones are geared to customer benefit and in
particular to the reliability of rail transport. ThyssenKrupp GfT Gleis-
technik has dedicated itself to providing new and innovative solutions
for these requirements, thereby contributing to both the economic
operation of rail services and the environmentally friendly handling
of areas through which rail traffic travels.
Fig. 4 | New Slab Track (NFF) slab unit intended for use in high-speed tracks Fig. 5 | Whisper Rail, top: Road version, suitable for road vehicles
to cross; bottom: Use in subway or suburban train tunnels
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
88 |
I Steel mill slag arises during the melting process
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
Introduction
Around eight million metric tons of blast furnace slag and seven
million tons of steel mill slag are currently generated every year in
Germany as a by-product in the manufacture of hot metal and crude
steel. The steel mill service provider ThyssenKrupp MillServices &
Systems has been handling slag management for the steel industry
for over 50 years. The company processes all slag produced by all
the Duisburg mills at Huckingen, Ruhrort and Beeckerwerth. The
slag management unit of the company also has operations in Bochum,
Brandenburg an der Havel, Hennigsdorf, Krefeld and Witten, as well
as outside Germany in Romania.
When iron ore was first smelted, the slag had to be separated
from the metal by means of striking. The German word for this is
schlagen, from which the term slag is derived. Today, slag is
generated in the fused mass, separated from the metal by its lower
density and its properties deliberately manipulated by various methods
in the molten phase, during cooling and in subsequent processing.
| 89
LiDonit

the future of road construction


The demands placed on modern roads are high: safety, durability and noise abatement are standard
requirements in the new millennium. Open-pore asphalt made from slag can provide the answer. LiDonit

,
a high-quality ballast processed and sold by ThyssenKrupp MillServices & Systems, has proven its suitability
for the construction of particularly heavily traveled roads with properties such as strength, grain shape
and grip.
DIPL.-ING. HERBERT PPPERLING Member of the Management Board | ThyssenKrupp MillServices & Systems GmbH, Oberhausen
PETER DIEKMANN Public Relations | ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Dsseldorf
Slag products tried and tested
Slag products can be used in a wide range of applications such as
fertilizer for plants, building or bridge construction or reinforcing
lake/river banks I Fig. 1 I. Roads made of blast furnace slag and
housing developments built with bricks made from slag are still fully
functional 75 years after construction. One modern example of the
versatility of this building material is the bridge over the Rhine on the
A44 freeway in Germany which is made of blast furnace cement
concrete. In hydraulic engineering, riprap made of steel mill slag has
been used successfully to reinforce lake/river banks for more than
30 years. The agricultural and forestry industries have also been
enjoying the benefits of slag products for decades here, so-called
slag and converter limes are used as fertilizers.
Steel mill slag is not waste, but rather a high-quality product.
Using slag even reduces the impact on the environment. For example,
in the manufacture of cement, the more granulated blast furnace
slag is added, the lower the CO2 emissions.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
90 | LiDonit

the future of road construction


Slag can be extremely hard or easily crumble. It can be trans-
parent like glass or occur in the form of black stones. These grades
can be controlled by means of various processes: for example the
cooling speed or the inclusion of additives in the molten condition.
Usually, three types of slag are processed for different areas of use:
Blast furnace slag is produced during the melting of iron ore to
pig iron. The blast furnace produces pig iron, gas and blast furnace
slag. Red hot steel mill slag runs off and is cooled quickly in a special
process using water to produce vitreous granulated slag which is
highly sought after in the cement industry. By contrast, if blast furnace
slag is left to cool slowly exposed to the air, it becomes crystalline
lump slag. This slag is used as a building material compound in
road construction, among other things.
Steel mill slag I Fig. 2 I is produced by the LD (Linz-Donawitz)
and electric arc furnace (EAF) processes. So-called LD slag (LDS)
is produced when iron is refined into steel. In road construction it
is preferred for high-quality asphalt road surfaces.
Electric arc furnace slag is produced in the electric furnace where
scrap is melted by generating an electric current in the electric arc
at temperatures of up to 3,500 C. This produces new steel from
scrap. Like LDS, EAF slag is also used in road construction and
hydraulic engineering.
Slag in road construction
Roads comprise several layers. The base layer, which has no binder
agent, has to withstand the majority of the pressure which in the
case of heavy trucks can be around 100 t/m
2
. The binder course,
which is made of asphalt, transfers the pressure downward. The
surface layer must have grip, permit water to drain and damp tire
rolling noise. Slag products are used as high-performance elements
in all layers of modern roads.
Slag has been successfully used in road construction for decades.
The spectrum of applications ranges from earthworks to frost-resistant
and ballasted base layers through to asphalt pavement layers.
Good grain shape, angularity and a rough surface ensure that the
required load-bearing values are properly met when building layers
without binder agents. These properties also mean that asphalt mix-
tures exhibit high resistance to deformation, which is why asphalt with
steel slag aggregates is particularly well-suited for the construction
of heavily traveled roads. When used in pavement layers, the rough
surface structure provides excellent long-lasting grip. For the pave-
ment layer, the decisive question is increasingly: What is its polished
stone value? In other words: What will happen to the road surface
when thousands of vehicles polish it with their tires? Will it become
smooth and thus dangerously slippery, or will it maintain its grip?
Fig. 1 | River bank reinforcements made from slag, such as here on the Elbe, are also an important element
in hydraulic engineering.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
OPA safe and quiet roads
High-quality asphalt pavement layers require polished stone values
of at least 55. For this reason, mixtures of bitumen and natural stone
with high polished stone values have been used in the construction
of road surfaces for decades, as it takes a very long time for e.g.
diabase or graywacke to become polished. Values in excess of 60
have also been confirmed for steel mill slag this is due to the good
grain shape and a significantly more favorable void content in the
asphalt I Fig. 3 I.
For several years, open-pore asphalt (OPA) has been used for
particularly critical sections to reduce the intensity of vehicle noise or
the amount of water thrown up by vehicle tires. Using a single-grade
mixture creates more voids which absorb the noise generated by the
tires traveling over the road surface. The reduction in noise emissions
amounts to five to six decibels. In addition, water drains through the
voids better. Because of these properties, the substance is known
as open-pore or drain asphalt. Third-generation open-pore asphalt is
characterized by a higher void content at least 22% of the volume.
This high void content is largely achieved through the composition
of the asphalt: Aggregate of a single grade size is used. Sufficient
bitumen is added to bind the stone and at the same time provide a
high void content. This is single-grade asphalt. To counter aging in
the binder agent and the associated embrittlement as a result of the
high void content, the temperature may not exceed 170 C during
manufacture and processing. In order to fix the thick binder agent
film in the mixed material, stabilizing additives usually cellulose
fibers and high-viscosity, polymer-modified binder agents must
be added. Polymer-modified bitumen also improves resistance
to relaxation cracks in cold conditions and inhibits deformation in
hot conditions.
When a section of the A 40 freeway more than three kilometers
long had to be rebuilt in July 2007 to enable it to continue coping
with the high volume of traffic and the increasing share of heavy goods
traffic, the roads authority of North Rhine-Westphalia Strassen.NRW
| 91
Fig. 2 | Tipping molten LD slag into beds
Fig. 3 | Maintenance on the A 40 freeway between Bochum and Essen in July 2007
opted for LiDonit

, made by ThyssenKrupp Steel, and processed


and supplied by ThyssenKrupp MillServices & Systems. The new
pavement of open-pore asphalt (OPA) is very hard, highly anti-skid
and hard-wearing. The properties of LiDonit

directly influence the


quality of the open-pore asphalt the good grain shape and high
resistance to freeze-thaw damage, which are of particular importance
in open-pore asphalts, have a positive effect on durability. Since the
material is available locally, transportation of the rock is minimized
which saves energy and costs and protects the environment. Tires
running on its porous surface compress the air less, and high-
volume air-pumping noise is thus prevented. The porous surface
also absorbs some of the engine noise. During work on the second
carriageway, the noise-reducing effect was clearly perceptible on
the already completed carriageway.
As the asphalt is porous, rainwater does not collect on the carriage-
way, but seeps straight onto the waterproof course beneath. Conse-
quently, far less water is thrown up by tires, the risk of aquaplaning
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
92 | LiDonit

the future of road construction


is reduced, and the glare caused by reflection of the sun on the road
after rain is considerably diminished.
LiDonit

for the future of roads


LiDonit

is a registered trademark derived from the Austrian steel


works in Linz-Donawitz and the steel production process of the same
name, and the Greek word for stone (lithos). LiDonit

is a synthetic
mineral substance that is generated in the smelter process in steel
production, which is rich in calcium-silicate I Fig. 4 I. The targeted
addition of silicates (e.g. quartz sand) and oxygen during the
smelting process produces a raw material which is extremely well-
suited for the production of construction materials which meet the
highest quality requirements.
A facility for stabilizing LD slag using SiO2-bearing materials
and oxygen is in operation at steel mill II at ThyssenKrupp Steel
in Duisburg. This process was developed within the framework of
a European research project. The required quartz sand is stored in
a silo with a capacity of 180 t. The volume of sand required for each
individual stabilization process is conveyed from the silo into the
dispenser and drawn from there together with pure oxygen during
the stabilization process. Depending on the chemical analysis of each
individual heat, the operators can add the exact amount of quartz
sand and oxygen needed to produce the LiDonit

raw material to
the still liquid slag via an injection lance. The oxygen causes the iron
minerals to oxidize and supplies the energy needed for the process.
The quartz sand binds free lime particles in calcium silicates. These
measures ensure stable slag volumes and a similar strength to basalt
while maximizing grip. The constant exchange of data between the
individual production steps guarantees stabilization with no fluctuations
in quality in the final product. This makes LiDonit

superior to many
types of natural stone.
Conclusion
Steel mill slag is extremely well-suited for use in pavement layers
in modern road construction due to its uniform structure, very high
strength, high bitumen affinity and rough surface I Fig. 5 I. Under
quality monitoring regulations and in-house production monitoring,
its construction- and environment-related parameters are subjected
to regular internal and external checks to guarantee a high-quality
building material product. Its practicality and capabilities have been
demonstrated for many years in applications such as on the A 40
freeway. Independent reports confirm that using slag can even
reduce the environmental burden.
Fig. 4 | LiDonit

, which looks very similar to natural gravel, is made in the


smelting stage of steel production by adding quartz sand and oxygen.
ThyssenKrupp techforum 1 | 2009
LiDonit

the future of road construction | 93


Fig. 5 | The method and speed of cooling, such as here in a so-called slag bed, allow different types
of slag to be made.