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Products and solutions, 2002-03-05, 01:00 AM

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta wins "Milestones" business award

Strip casting revolutionizes stainless steel production

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH, Krefeld/Germany, has won the "Milestones" award - the open European business prize bestowed by the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) - in the major corporations section of the "New Technologies" category. The distinction was awarded for the company`s accomplishments in connection with the highly innovative stainless steel strip casting technology, which significantly shortens the production route versus conventional continuous casting.

This was the second time these "business Oscars" for outstanding corporate achievement were awarded in Düsseldorf. 142 companies from 13 countries were nominated in the three categories Globalization, Turnaround and New Technologies. The prize winners, who received their awards from NRW premier Wolfgang Clement, were selected for their exemplary accomplishments by an independent international jury of representatives from the worlds of politics, business and science.

Throughout the history of the steel industry, the dream has always been to develop a process which would allow steel products to be made in a single operation. The new technology casts molten steel between two rollers to produce strip suitable for re-rolling. This vision is being realized on a commercial scale at ThyssenKrupp Nirosta.

The conventional stainless steel strip production route comprises several phases: melting, continuous slab casting, annealing to rolling temperature, hot rolling and subsequently cold rolling. The aim of strip casting technology was to develop a new process in which molten steel could be cast directly between two rollers to form hot strip in thicknesses of 1.5 to 4 mm in a single step. By combining the casting and hot rolling operations, the strip casting process provides a shorter route to stainless strip production which is close to being realized on an industrial scale.

How was this idea turned into reality? The research findings of ThyssenKrupp Stahl and Usinor were combined with those of ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni, Voest Alpine Industrieanlagenbau and Centro Sviluppo Materiali in Terni under a European cooperation agreement. The objective was to build Europe`s first industrial-scale strip caster at the Krefeld plant of ThyssenKrupp Nirosta. An international and interdisciplinary team from the French, Italian, Austrian and German partners joined forces to pursue the project under the name Eurostrip.

The new technology not only delivers improved material properties: ThyssenKrupp Nirosta`s customers will profit primarily from shorter lead times, while emission reductions of up to 90% also provide great ecological benefits.

This technology is currently regarded as an innovation which will revolutionize the stainless steel flat products sector, and its application is also set to spread to other steels and flat metallic products.

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta is a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Stainless, the lead company of the Stainless business unit in ThyssenKrupp`s Steel segment. Other ThyssenKrupp Stainless subsidiaries include ThyssenKrupp Acciai Speciali Terni (Italy), ThyssenKrupp Mexinox (Mexico), Shanghai Krupp Stainless (People`s Republic of China), ThyssenKrupp Stainless Export (Germany) and ThyssenKrupp VDM (Germany). With sales of over 4 billion euros and more than 12,000 employees, ThyssenKrupp Stainless is the world`s leading manufacturer of stainless flat products.


Dr. Uli Albrecht-Früh
ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH
Tel.: +49 2151 83 36 16
Fax.: +49 2151 83 38 34

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