AISTech Program Topics

Safety & Health

Focused topics include but are not limited to mobile equipment; material handling; crane and railroad safety; contractor and project safety management; electrical safety — NFPA 70E; lockout/energy isolation; fall protection; confined spaces; hazard communication, including GHS; industrial hygiene; assessment of safety systems and reporting; and technology/automation innovations with safety and health.


Relevant topics include but are not limited to innovative technologies, regulatory drivers and operational issues pertaining to: air quality, including greenhouse gases, energy optimization, particulate matter, mercury, gaseous emissions, NAAQS, Title V updates and MACT standards; water quality, including permitting, stormwater pollution prevention, water treatment for makeup, process, water intake and industrial wastewater for reuse/discharge; solid waste management, including RCRA, CERCLA, life cycle assessment, waste minimization and recycling.


Safety innovations; byproduct process improvements; coal supply sourcing and blending; control systems and automation; energy optimization; coke quality enhancements; operating cost reductions; new coke production facilities and the refurbishments of existing facilities; refractory materials and installation advancements; repair/maintenance techniques and technology for extending the life of coke oven batteries and ensuring their manufacturing reliability; coke plant equipment improvements; environmental process improvements; new sulfur removal facilities or reliability improvement projects; wastewater treatment projects; emissions reduction projects; and alternate cokemaking.


Blast furnace operations; campaign extension; furnace relines/rebuilds; environmental programs in ironmaking; maintenance programs for ensuring reliability; hearth and taphole design; monitoring and maintenance; blast furnace stoves, stove refractory and safe stove operation; ironmaking raw materials; waste oxides recycling; DRI technology and alternate ironmaking technology; blast furnace refractory and cooling systems; ironmaking equipment design and improvement; ironmaking control and modeling. 

Direct Reduced Iron

The production of DR-grade pellets; lump ore (feedstock); different sources and treatment of reducing agents, including natural gas; oxide coating; testing and analysis of raw materials; material handling; storage; shipping; process modeling and simulation; catalytic, steam and self-reformers; gas distribution; refractory design and selection; solid flow issues; reduction and gas handling equipment; waste management; safety; environmental issues; CO2 recovery and use; value-in-use of DRI; product quality; plant operation and results; briquetting; DRI use in processes (blast furnace, EAF, BOF, foundries); and auxiliary systems, including water, gases and power.

Electric Steelmaking

Implementation of innovative safety programs and procedures; advances in energy efficiency, materials recovery, and heat recovery and their associated impact on greenhouse gas generation; advancements in workplace environmental factors, including gas cleaning and mitigation of greenhouse gas generation; process analysis and optimization, including new EAF technologies and advances in auxiliary systems such as arc regulation, oxygen and solids injection, and water-cooled components; EAF revamping projects and start-up experience with new equipment; raw materials, including scrap optimization, selection of alternative iron feed materials and yield maximization; associate development and training; EAF mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical maintenance, including primary, secondary and tertiary electrical components.

Oxygen Steelmaking

BOF environmental controls, vessel slopping, secondary emissions, tapping practices and yield improvement, endpoint predictions, charge management, blast furnace/BOF strategies and coordination, plant culture and safety innovations, maintenance practices, planning, and energy conservation.

Specialty Alloy & Foundry

Alloy and superalloy grade production; stainless steel; remelt process and innovations; refining; casting processes; scrap segregation and residual controls; raw materials; refractories; foundry operations; safety improvements; environmental regulations; and energy efficiency.

Ladle & Secondary Refining

The processes of heating/cooling, chemistry control, slag treatment, desulfurization/decarburization, degassing, stirring, shape control and inclusion modification; utilizing the support systems of ladles; refractory interactions with steel and slag; ladle transport; flow control; stirring systems; utilities; fume control; and additions.

Continuous Casting

Thin and thick slab, bloom, beam blank, billet, and near-net-shape casting machines; caster modeling; new and emerging innovations and technology in continuous casting; improvements and/or renovations in machine design to optimize operations relating to: safety, quality, productivity, reliability, energy, maintenance and the environment.

Hot Sheet Rolling

Hot ferrous sheet rolling mills and facilities: new, revamps and modernizations; new or revised technologies in width, shape productivity, quality, etc.; processing new steel chemistries such as TRIP, TWIP and dual-phase; steering and camber control.

Cold Sheet Rolling

Sheet and tin cold rolling, temper/skinpass rolling, pickling, cleaning and annealing facilities: new, revamps or modernizations. Process modeling and equipment reliability studies. New or revised technologies for enhancing safety, energy efficiencies, cost, quality, productivity and yield of ferrous-based materials. Topics of interest include but are not limited to: width, thickness, shape, flatness, edge drop, surface, temperatures, properties, steering, and processing of new and/or advanced high-strength steels.


Hot-dip galvanize, galvanneal, aluminized, new zinc alloy coating and dual metallic/organic processes (new facilities and modernizations, productivity improvements, new equipment technologies), plus coated product substrate quality, defect prevention and detection, and new surface post-treatments.

Tinplate Mill Products

Advancements applicable to tin mill processes. Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to: process improvements, process control, new or emerging technologies, procedures/practices, process reliability, quality control, water treatment, energy conservation, recycling, and other environmental opportunities.

Plate Rolling

Operational practices of reheat furnaces; new plate rolling and finishing installations; discrete and Steckel processing; mill modernization, new equipment and technologies; automation upgrades to levels 1 and 2; product control through thickness, width, crown and flatness control; surface quality and inspection; yield improvement; scale removal; thermal mechanical rolling developments, including accelerated cooling; heat treatment processes; and leveling, dividing, slitting and marking.

Long Products (Formerly Rod & Bar Rolling)

Safety innovations with rolling mill operations; new equipment and technologies; new installations and revamp of existing facilities; process and auxiliary equipment, including gauging systems; shearing and handling equipment, guide systems, and control systems; process and product development; defect inspection and product quality; personnel development and training.

Pipe & Tube

Safety advancements in the pipe and tubular products arena; industry requirements and specifications affecting the pipe and tube manufacturing process; pipe and tube alloys and their applications; pipe and tube connection technologies; pipe and tube inspection, testing and measurement advancements; pipe mill preventive maintenance; construction innovations; pipe and tube product quality and traceability; energy conservation and environmental challenges.


Roll manufacturing and roll shop safety; innovative roll manufacturing and roll testing; roll maintenance and inspection practices; roll use in the ferrous and non-ferrous industries, including pinch rolls; roll performance improvements; the relationship between rolls and product attributes (profile, flatness, surface, etc.); roll surface defects and their effect on sheet quality; roll surface analysis; chock repair and bearing maintenance; and opportunities to reduce environmental footprint including roll shop waste.

Metallurgy — Steelmaking & Casting

Use of any system, approach, methodology, or equipment to improve steelmaking product quality, production and/or costs.

Metallurgy — Processing, Products & Applications

The interrelation of production processes and product properties (dimensional and metallurgical), including liquid and solid steel processing, and products ranging from sheet and plate to tubular and long products, as well as finished components. Papers are being sought for process metallurgy and product application of low- and high-strength steels and advanced high-strength steels (AHSS), with focus on the fundamental aspects from microstructure to mechanical properties. Additional topics of interest include: development of new process technologies and products, process/product quality problems and control.

Energy & Utilities

Energy and utilities papers sought to promote efficient, safe, and environmentally responsible energy and utilities technology in the production and processing of iron and steel. Topics covering energy efficiency in the use of combustion and purchased utilities are desired. Papers should focus on the practical application and innovative uses of byproduct gases, steam, industrial gases, compressed air, electricity, lighting, heat recovery systems, boilers/furnaces and power generation.

Electrical Applications

Design, application, and/or engineering of power quality and distribution; AC/DC motor/drive technology; HMI systems; open architectural systems and other networks; electrical maintenance and electrical safety applications; and electrical upgrades/retrofits. Application of sensors for process control; efficiency and cost-effective solutions; on-line and off-line shape and flatness measurement; mechanical properties testing; automated surface inspection; oil thickness measurement; surface cleanliness; soft sensors (i.e., modeling of a variable that cannot be measured directly); and other unique sensors that provide new and innovative uses to the primary and finishing sides of the steelmaking process.

Computer Applications

Existing, new, and emerging uses of computers to control, monitor, and interface steel manufacturing and processing; evolution of industrial control systems — hierarchies and mobile interfaces; modern control system technologies driving a safer workplace; the application of advanced process modeling and control; impact of human factors and safety in process control (such as users, engineers and support personnel); manufacturing execution systems and business systems; network/wireless communications; automation planning and software development methodologies; database, data warehousing, data mining systems and predictive analytics; remediation of legacy automation systems; cybersecurity for industrial control systems; Industry 4.0/IIOT applications

Project & Construction Management

Capital effectiveness; project safety performance; project planning and implementation approaches for new installations, retrofits, and maintenance projects; project team alignment/team building; new technologies to aid the project team; risk assessment, commissioning and project closeout.

Maintenance & Reliability

Topics include planning, scheduling, preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, condition monitoring, reliability, resource development/talent acquisition, resource utilization/optimization, CMMS, problem solving and new technologies. Papers should focus on strategies, tactics, initiatives, and tools associated with reliability and maintenance activities that have resulted or will result in bottom-line improvements in plant operations.

Lubrication & Hydraulics

Lubrication and hydraulics bearing technology; lubrication systems; lubricant technology (greases, oils, solid lubricants); hydraulic fluids and systems; fluid filtration and filter media; oil reclamation and refining; condition monitoring; plant lubrication programs; lubricant life and testing methods; sealing technology; gearing technology; electric motors lubrication; coupling lubrication; and auto lube technology.

Refractory Systems

Laboratory developments and evaluations of new refractory products and systems; field trials of new refractory products and systems in all areas of cokemaking, ironmaking, steelmaking, continuous casting and finishing; effects of operational conditions or variables on the performances of refractory systems; recycling of used refractories into new refractory products.

Material Handling

Safety policies, procedures, strategies and prevention with material handling; product tracking and identification; fleet management strategies; material handling equipment; equipment/vehicle maintenance strategies; scrap handling; government regulations impacting material handling; communication technologies; automation technologies; infrastructure maintenance of roads, tracks, bridges, etc.; or outsourcing of services.


Case studies detailing specific experiences with reducing costs; maintenance statistical data; new technology, installations, and product applications resulting in improved safety and productivity gains; better lubrication systems; latest global crane standards for overhead traveling cranes; and crane machinery replacements, modifications or improvements.

Transportation & Logistics

Safety procedures and innovations in packaging, shipping and transportation methods in all modes of transportation, including but not limited to: infrastructure, ASTM standards, motor carriers, waterways, loading and packaging, open-top loading rules, transloading, and governmental regulations.