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Metallurgy and Automotive Industry
ArticleName Strength alone is not enough — the search for the optimum material
ArticleAuthor H. Ferkel

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG (Duisburg, Germany):

Ferkel H., Prof., Dr., Head of Research and Development, phone: +49-203-52-25-168


Steel is the number one industrial material – and a high-tech product. Competitively priced steel grades with custom properties are growing in importance around the world. The attributes a steel must possess depend on the intended application. The automotive sector requires completely different combinations of properties to the construction, machinery and packaging industries. Features such as strength, formability, elongation and corrosion resistance are difficult to combine. Improvements to one attribute are frequently achieved at the cost of another. Research and development at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is focused on four core areas: innovative steels, hot stamping processes, new coatings and finishes, and hybrid materials and composites. There is major market interest in steel grades that meet a variety of requirements — such as ultrahigh strength, improved weldability, improved crash properties, lower notch sensitivity, improved springback control and optimized finishes. In the field of optimized steels for thermal processes, the company has great hopes for manganeseboron steels (MBW). ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is also working to develop cold forming steel grades with customized properties. TPN-W 780 is a readily cold formable alternative. For the auto industry the company develops organic coated products with the aim of transferring process steps such as painting and corrosion protection from auto manufacturer to steel producer. In the case of hot dip galvanized sheet for outer skin applications signifi cant surface improvements through optimization of furnace atmosphere, air knife systems and skin pass rolls have been achieved. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has also developed a zinc-magnesium coating (ZM Eco-Protect) that provides better corrosion protection than conventional hot dip coating.

keywords Steels, research and development, hot stamping, thermal processes, cold forming, organic coatings, hybrid materials, composites, corrosion protection, hot dip galvanizing
Language of full-text russian
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