Collaborative Research & Development

Woman Working in Steel Industry Credit: Timken

The Technology department of American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) is responsible for Collaborative Research and Development (R&D). The Collaborative Research and Development Program receives direction from the Committee on Manufacturing Technology (COMT).

AISI acts on behalf of Industry Participants by:

  • Soliciting research proposals from academia, industry, government, and private laboratories.
  • Facilitating analysis of the proposals received.
  • Seeking Federal or other co-funding.
  • Providing project management for all projects within the program.

Current Topics

Advanced Measurement Technology

The Steel industry has a need for sensors which can measure various parameters throughout the steelmaking process. To date, these measurements have not been possible due to the extreme temperatures and conditions experienced. The industry has a need for these sensors to provide for more accurate modeling, real-time sensing, and overall quality improvements. Some of the measurement devices needed would provide the ability to measure oxygen in liquid metal, slag depth, liquid metal temperature, rolling mill temperatures, pickle bath chemistry, acidity, and copper levels, cold rolling stand load and separating force. In addition to the sensors, there is also a need for big data analysis. A system is necessary to analyze and compile the data from the sensors in order to make it readable and useable to predict issues.

 

The deadline for this solicitation has passed. COMT members are currently deciding which proposals to pursue. Any additional proposals received will be presented to the committee at the next meeting.

Active Projects

Novel Flash Ironmaking

An innovative ironmaking technology based on the direct gaseous reduction of fine iron oxide concentrates in a flash reduction process is under development between Berry Metal Company and the University of Utah. The Novel Flash Ironmaking Process takes advantage of shale gas discoveries in the United States and the productive use of the available large quantities of fine iron oxide concentrates. 

Once fully implemented, the projected benefits of this novel technology include a reduction in energy consumption by using concentrates that do not require pelletization or sintering—potentially eliminating the use of coke. Significant environmental emission reductions—especially CO2 emissions in comparison to the conventional blast furnace ironmaking route—come from using natural gas or hydrogen instead of coke as the reducing agent.
The Novel Flash Ironmaking Process technology is to be applied to the production of iron as a feed to the steelmaking process initially, but could also be a part of a continuous direct steelmaking process eventually replacing the blast furnace and other alternative ironmaking processes.

 

Project Participants: ArcelorMittal, Berry Metal, TimkenSteel, U. S. Steel

Future Solicitation

Recycling of Steel Plant Co-products

The Steel industry is seeking to reduce the amount of co-products of the steel making process that go into landfills. Some co-products have an established process, for example, slag handling results in slag products being used in construction, asphalt, and agricultural markets. There are other co-products that do not currently have a path towards reuse. Research is needed to increase the recycling and reuse of steelmaking co-products that end up in landfills.

CO2 Reduction from Steelmaking Processes

CO2 reduction has been, and will remain a priority for manufacturing companies. The Steel industry has made significant improvements in reducing CO2 emissions, but seeks to further this effort and reduce CO2 emissions even more. The Steel industry is seeking new technologies to reduce, capture and/or sequester the CO2 from steelmaking processes.

Additive Manufacturing Impacts on Steel and Competing Materials

3D printing has revolutionized the way that prototyping is performed. To date, the Steel industry has not experienced any significant gain with additive manufacturing technology. Research is needed to identify potential opportunities, determine the technology barriers to implementing 3D printing with steel, and decide how best to overcome those barriers. A market analysis is also necessary to gain an understanding of achievements other materials have experienced/may experience with additive manufacturing.

Unsolicited Proposals

AISI Technology is interested in any ideas to benefit the steel industry. If you have an idea that does not meet the requirements of active or future solicitations, please email your proposal to Michael Sortwell

To be added to our distribution list, please contact Fran Sico.