Robert D. Merritt – 2022 Steel Intern Scholar
This summer I interned with Nucor Steel at their sheet mill in Blytheville, Ark., USA. I worked in the specialty cold mill with both the galvanizing line and the reversing mills. The projects I worked on involved working with metallurgical engineers as well as operators, supervisors and managers. Every teammate I interacted with was always excited to teach me about their area of expertise and help me with my projects. I would often spend time in the mill with the operators identifying problems as well as learning the process firsthand. The insight I gained from working in the mill with the operators improved my understanding of the projects I was working on and gave perspective on topics that I had learned in school.
I had three major projects, the first was to improve physicals for one of the high strength low alloy grades. This involved learning the major strengthening methods for high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steels and how changing heat treatment cycles affects them. The second involved working on more heat treatment set points; however, this project was for the continuous heat treatment line in the galvanizing line. I worked to improve the efficiency of the line by refining settings to increase production speed and properties. My third project was also on the galvanizing line where I worked to tune process parameters to increase efficiency in the mill by running various trials.
The projects I was involved in were often a mix of theory I learned in school as well as practical knowledge I gained this past summer. The experience I gained during this internship has deepened my understanding of the cold working process as well as annealing. This experience has solidified my interest in the steel industry. I am very thankful for this opportunity given to me by Nucor and AIST.