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Company News, 2003-09-25, 02:00 AM

New markets for ThyssenKrupp VDM: Minister Schartau of North Rhine-Westphalia inaugurates new high-performance furnace

Harald Schartau, Minister for Economic Affairs and Labor in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, today inaugurated a new vacuum induction melting furnace (VIM) in Unna together with Dr. Helmut G. Hadrys, Chairman of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp Stainless and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH. ThyssenKrupp VDM will use the facility to produce high-purity nickel-containing superalloys for the aerospace industry and special applications in electronics and electrical engineering.

The inauguration of the approx. 15 million euros furnace concludes an investment program aimed at broadening ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH`s product spectrum. The company already operates ESR and VAR remelting units in which the alloys produced in the VIM furnace can be processed. The new furnace is the largest facility of its kind in Europe.

Nickel-containing superalloys are mainly used in turbines produced for the aerospace and energy supply sectors. The metals used have to withstand extreme mechanical and thermal stresses. This requires purity and homogeneity levels which can only be achieved through vacuum melting and further remelting steps. Practically all metallic materials used in aircraft turbines today are produced using the remelting process. Superalloys manufactured by vacuum melting technology currently make up 30% of the entire high-performance metallic materials market.

With its current product range, ThyssenKrupp VDM is already market leader for particularly heat and corrosion resistant nickel-base alloys. The new furnace for superalloys will allow the company to achieve further growth in a new market segment.

With more than 1,900 staff, ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH generated sales of 587 million euros in fiscal 2001/2002. The company specializes in nickel-base materials and special stainless steels for the energy, environmental, automotive, aerospace, chemical, petrochemical, offshore and marine sectors. All the metals the company sells are produced in Unna. Processing facilities are located at Altena, Bärenstein and Werdohl, the headquarters of ThyssenKrupp VDM. There is also a subsidiary in the USA, PRP Precision Rolled Products Inc., which manufactures mainly for the American aerospace industry.

Up-to-date pictures of VIM-furnace are available on the internet at <a href=","></a>,</a>where journalists can use our online facility to obtain quick and easy accreditation to our Press Photo and Graphics Service.

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Dietmar Stamm
Tel.: +49 203 / 52 - 2 62 67
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

Bernd Overmaat
Tel.: +49 203 / 52 - 4 51 85
Fax: +49 203 / 52 - 2 57 07

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