The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel: 101
Conference Details: 8–10 March 2016, Huntsville, Ala., USA
Conference Highlights: The MSTS: 101 course provides essential knowledge to attendees who do not have a technical background in metallurgical engineering, rolling or quality-added downstream processing but have a need to understand more about the technical aspects of steel manufacturing, properties and applications. The two-day course is taught by instructors who have both an academic and an industry background. The instructors have a unique ability to take real-life, practical operations and clearly explain the science and technology behind them.
On the first day, Ronald O’Malley of Missouri University of Science and Technology provided instruction on the critical raw materials required for producing steel. Raw materials require initial processing to become suitable to efficiently meet a customer’s quality specification. Recycled scrap steel must also be understood to ensure certain types of scrap are used to maintain steel quality. The different steelmaking processes were presented and the key equipment components were described. Liquid steel chemistry refining options were provided, highlighting how the different processes could affect the final steel chemistry of the heat. The session ended with O’Malley reviewing the many different options for solidification of the steel, how continuous casters operate and the key equipment for each type of caster. The day ended with a review to further reinforce the concepts covered.
On day two, Steve Jansto of CBMM North America Inc. provided instruction on the many different grades of steel and why a specific grade must have certain properties for particular applications. Individual products and their applications were covered, including how they are produced, the key material specifications for the product, and how those specifications are achieved through chemistry, grain size, heat treating and rolling practices. Pipe products were covered, including the different types of pipe, how they are welded or formed, and why certain types of pipes are used in very specific applications. ASTM structural steels were presented, along with the difficulties in producing certain grades in the peritectic range of carbon and how the properties can be achieved. Carbon content has a large influence on toughness and, by reducing carbon content, toughness can be maintained in subzero temperatures. Automotive application of steel was also presented, detailing the various steel properties that are tailored to particular steel components. Reinforcement bar, rod, special bar quality, and wire production were explained, as well as the equipment used and how the final product microstructure is created. The day continued with an in-depth discussion on the importance of proper reheat treatment procedures and proper furnace operation. The class concluded with instruction on the various testing techniques used to ensure steel products meet customer specification, including an explanation of how testing results can reveal a product’s quality.
On 10 March 2016, the attendees were given the opportunity to tour Nucor Steel–Decatur LLC in Decatur, Ala., USA. Included in the tour were visits to the EAF and LMF operating pulpits and the continuous casting facility, which included the reheat furnaces and the hot rolling mill. A special thanks to Anna Voss, Zane Voss and the Nucor Steel–Decatur LLC operators who took the time to discuss their operations and to answer any questions from the tour attendees.
The attendees of MSTS: 101 toured Nucor Steel–Decatur LLC on 10 March 2016.