Microstructural technologies for special steel development (US)

The 3D surface measurement system analyses even small steel samples in the millimetre range. The illustration shows the roughness measurement of spring wire with a diameter of 0.5 mm. (Credit Photo@Ugitech )

Ugitech is expanding its technological resources in research & development, the company announced. The producer of made-to-order stainless steel solutions has equipped its research centre with state-of-the-art 3D surface measurement technology. According to the company, the new system provides 360° measuring of surface geometry and topography down to the micrometre level. With this new technology, Ugitech wants to take a step forward to meet the increasing demands in development of sophisticated special steel products. Ugitech, a company of the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group, in Ugine, France, operates a state-of-the-art research centre in theContinue reading

NASA Welding Technologies Could Revolutionize Workboat Fabrication (US)

Solid-State Welding Processes Being Developed for NASA Manufacturing Programs Could Significantly Reduce Workboat Fabrication Costs

Whether it is for a tug boat, cargo vessel, or an offshore supply ship, much of the workboat fabrication industry is located along the Southern Coast of the U.S. But a visit to any one of the workboat facilities in that area (or any other in the country) would reveal antiquated and archaic fabrication processes used seventy years ago. The workboat manufacturing process is very expensive, labor intensive, and has not really changed since World War II. Perhaps it is time to go back to the drawing board and redesign the workboat manufacturing process from the ground up so that new solid-state welding processes and other aerospace technologies being developed at NASA’s Marshall Space Continue reading

Steel Giants Dofasco and Algoma Bet on Artificial Intelligence to Disrupt The Steelmaking Industry (US)

A full ladle of liquid steel, seen here at the ArcelorMittal Dofasco plant in Hamilton, weighs about 318 tonnes, and can be heated to about 1,600 C. Dofasco wants to fully automate its ladle metallurgy process – the stage when trained operators manually add the ‘secret sauce’ to liquid steel before it is cast into numerous grades of steel slabs for construction, car-making and packaged goods. Instead, digital sensors could consistently determine the precise temperature at which to add the right ingredients to produce the desired grade of steel

Dofasco wants to improve its ladle metallurgy process, a key step in steel-making, while Algoma eyes the potential to automate product development. In both cases, the companies look to artificial intelligence and machine learning to help them set new, world-beating standards of efficiency, quality, energy savings and generate as-yet unimagined innovations.

Steel-making is a science but still relies on experienced human operators at key stages of production. But what if “smart” technology replaced manual tasks with digital sensors that consistently update information and reveal insights impossible to detect with the trained eye – or brain ?  Answering the “what if” question is a top priority for Canadian steel giant ArcelorMittal Dofasco as it strives to compete globally. To speed the hunt for answers – when Canadian steel already is under siege from U.S. tariffs in a burgeoning global trade war – the Hamilton-based manufacturer hopes to join forces with innovative startups, university researchers and even a competitor, Essar Steel Algoma Inc., to promote a new generation of manufacturing.

“Traditionally, the research and development of a product in steel-making is a slow process, In future,  Algoma could apply self-learning algorithmic models to assess multiple variables at once – beyond the capacity of any experienced technician. As a result, the product development cycle could take just 15 days to two or three months.”

Pramod Shukla, chief operating officer of Algoma, in Sault Ste Marie, Ont

In future, he says, Algoma could apply self-learning algorithmic models to assess multiple variables at once – beyondContinue reading

Why lithium-ion may rule batteries for a long time to come (US)

Materials scientist Gerd Ceder is overseeing a research effort to extend the capabilities of the dominant form of energy storage, using a new class of compounds.

he US Department of Energy is launching a major research effort to develop a new generation of lithium-ion batteries largely free of cobalt, a rare and expensive metal delivered through an increasingly troubling supply chain. The three-year program, part of a broader effort to accelerate advanced vehicle technologies, could eventually lead to cheaper, longer-lasting consumer gadgets, electric cars, and grid storage. Materials scientist Gerd Ceder is overseeing one project under the research program at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, aimed at developing Continue reading

Big River Steel Attends White House Summit on Artificial Intelligence (US)

OSCEOLA, Ark.May 11, 2018 – The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invited government officials, technical experts in academia, heads of industrial research labs and business leaders to attend the “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry” summit. Big River Steel’s chief executive officer Dave Sticklerwas in attendance as part of the discussions on how industries are adopting AI technologies to Continue reading

Crack formation captured in 3D in real time (US)

Thanks to new 3D images of crack formation, scientists have a better understanding of the propagation of micro fractures caused by hydrogen embrittlement. Photo by Texas A&M University

Aug. 23 (UPI) — Material scientists have for the first time captured 3D images of crack formation in real time. The breakthrough allowed scientists to better understand how microscopic fractures propagate. The research could allow Continue reading

NASA uses shape memory nickel-titanium-hafnium alloy to fold F-18 wing (US)

The 300-pound wing section was removed from an F/A-18 at NASA Armstrong in Edwards, California, enabling the team to prove a full wing section could be folded using a newly developed nickel-titanium-hafnium high temperature SMA torque-tube actuator, capable of applying 5,000-inch-pounds of torque.

Beginning at the horizontal position, the SMA mechanism was electrically heated and cooled on command to allow the wing to move 90 degrees up and down. More importantly, researchers were able to move the wing section to any selected position within that sweep with Continue reading

Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism (US)

Professor Tilmann Beck (left), doctoral student Shayan Deldar (in front of the picture) and Dr. Marek Smaga have developed the process together with colleagues from Mainz. (Credit Photo@TUK/Koziel)

Wear, corrosion, material fatigue—these signs of degradation are common to most materials. This makes it all the more important to detect damage early, preferably on the micro-scale. Magnetic test methods are often used for this purpose, which was previously impossible with non-magnetic steel. Researchers from Kaiserslautern and Mainz have now developed a process in which they apply a Continue reading

Millions exposed to potentially dangerous metals, new technology could help lower the risk (US)

Linda Nie, an associate professor in Purdue University’s School of Health Sciences, helped create new technology to try to reduce the number of people impacted by health problems associated with the accumulation of metals in the body

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A unique system developed by Purdue University researchers may help reduce the number of people impacted by health problems associated with the accumulation of metals in the body. The technology detects manganese, a known neurotoxicant in high concentrations, which more than 1 million people in the United States are exposed to each year through their work in areas such as welding and construction, or during daily activities, such as eating food and drinking water. Overexposure can lead to impaired cognitiveContinue reading

Mysterious force found behind strange superconductor metals (US)

Scientists analysing a group of truly strange metals have found a whole new superconductor capability. 

Metals known as cuprates have fascinated scientists for their strange characteristics, but a recent discovery published in Science has found that they also carry current in a completely different way to other metals such as copper. Cuprates are high-temperature superconductors (HTS), which means that theyContinue reading