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Products and solutions, 2002-04-15, 02:00 AM

ThyssenKrupp Innovation Contest 2002

Joint first prize for ThyssenKrupp Stahl and ThyssenKrupp VDM

This year`s Group Innovation Contest provided an impressive demonstration of ThyssenKrupp Steel`s research and development capabilities. Now in its third year, the contest not only attracted more than double the number of last year`s entries, the outstanding quality of the projects also gave the jury a real headache.

The 25,000 euros first prize was awarded jointly to the Steel subsidiaries ThyssenKrupp Stahl and ThyssenKrupp VDM for projects relating to materials for TV screen frames.

Dr. Thomas Heller and Günter Stich from ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG in Duisburg were honored for the development of a high-strength complex-phase steel for use in flat screen frames. This new grade replaces previous supplies from Japan and dispenses with the need for expensive alloying agents. They shared first prize with Dr. Bodo Gehrmann of ThyssenKrupp VDM GmbH in Werdohl; he developed a ferro-nickel alloy as frame material for pre-tensioned shadow masks in large flat color screens, known as TrueFlat screens.

Innovations provide competitive edge

At the award ceremony in March, ThyssenKrupp Executive Board member Prof. Dr. Eckhard Rohkamm highlighted the importance of innovation as an engine for growth and competitiveness: "The joint first prize winners have come up with different approaches to what must be seen as a system solution. It enables ThyssenKrupp Steel to offer customers a total solution and thus gives the company a competitive edge."

Background information: steel and ferro-nickel alloys are used in numerous TV components - shadow masks, screen frames, shield covers, bimetal springs and implosion protection frames - each placing their own specific requirements on the material. The collective expertise of the ThyssenKrupp Steel group, including ThyssenKrupp Stahl, ThyssenKrupp VDM, Wickeder Westfalenstahl and ThyssenKrupp Nirosta, provides interesting solutions for TV tube components.

High market potential for complex-phase steels

Picking up early on the trend toward flat screens, ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG developed new complex-phase (CP) steels which are already used for the volume production of TV frame angles and open up huge market potential for the company. Trials have shown that hot-rolled CP grades resist the high temperatures involved in blackening the frame and hardening the seam between the two halves of the tube, guaranteeing perfectly flat and distortion-free shadow masks. Despite displaying a strength of more than 800 N/mm<sup>2</sup> in the delivered condition, CP steel is nonetheless cold formable and weldable. Fine precipitation during screen frame production further increases the strength of the material to around 1,000 N/mm<sup>2</sup> with no loss of toughness. In the future, this high strength will permit a reduction in frame weight.

Pernifer 42 TVR: The new material for flat screens

The problem with modern flat screens is that the screen mask is not subject to deep drawing, which normally provides stability. To counter this, the shadow mask is fixed to a solid frame to keep its shape. The frame material must be designed to permanently resist distortion at temperatures of around 100 degrees Celsius and maintain the tension in the shadow mask. ThyssenKrupp VDM has come up with the answer: The chemical composition of the ferro-nickel alloy Pernifer 42 TVR is such that following heat treatment of the finished frame, thermal expansion is virtually eliminated, ensuring that the shadow mask is not overstretched and retains its tension after cooling.

Since launching this ferro-nickel alloy in 2000, the Strip division of ThyssenKrupp VDM has qualified as an approved supplier for TrueFlat screens. Pernifer 42 TVR strip is now volume produced.

For more information:
ThyssenKrupp Stahl AG
Dietmar Stamm, Public Relations
Tel: +49 (0)203-52-2 62 67
Fax: +49 (0)203-52-2 57 07

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