00:00 AM

Pitt engineering researchers recognized by Association for Iron & Steel Technology for research into steel finishing

PITTSBURGH (May 6, 2014) … A research group led by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering was awarded this week by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology with its 2014 Rolls Technology Award for Best Paper. The paper, " Multiscale Finite Element Modeling and Microstructural Evaluation of Centrifugally Cast High-Speed Steel Finishing Rolls ," was presented at AISTech 2013, the Iron & Steel Technology Conference and Exposition in Pittsburgh, and published in the October 2013 edition of "Iron & Steel Technology," published by AIST. The group was recognized at AISTech 2014's Rolls TC meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. on May 6.

The research group was led by C. Isaac Garcia, PhD , research professor in the Swanson School's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Fellow Pitt researchers in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science include Jeffrey S. Vipperman, PhD , associate professor, and Konstantin V. Redkin, PhD, postdoctoral researcher. Corporate partners include Christopher M. Hrizo, director of product development at WHEMCO, Inc., Pittsburgh and Pitt alumnus; and Raymond F. Schleiden, technical director at United Rolls Inc., Canton, Ohio.

According to the research, "the quality of the hot rolled steel strip and the productivity (tonnage/month or the length of the campaign) of the hot strip mill (HSM) are two of the most critical concerns in a steelmaking plant. The main characteristics of the hot rolled strip (shape, surface condition and dimensional tolerances) are directly related to the shape profile and surface quality of the work rolls (i.e., rolls which are in contact with the rolled material). Additional cost savings can be realized by minimizing the need for maintaining operations (roll replacement, inspection, surface grinding, etc.). In order to achieve the above objectives, the development and microstructural improvement of high-speed steel (HSS) finishing work rolls have undergone strong initiatives for more than a decade.

"Every ten years, the level of required thermomechanical properties of HSS rolls is being increased by modern alloy design and advanced processing conditions. The likelihood of roll failure becomes higher due to the increased loading and aggressive environmental demands, resulting in considerable economic losses. A microstructural evaluation using advanced characterization techniques was conducted on a series of radial samples from the shell of high-speed steel (HSS) work rolls produced by centrifugal spin casting. Continuous local transformations along the working shell due to thermal gradients during heat treatments were simulated. Finite element modeling substructuring and image processing techniques were implemented to develop a multiscale model to simulate the local response of individual microstructural constituents. The major purpose of this work is to improve a microstructure of the HSS shell material in centrifugal spin cast rolls by appropriate alloy design, unconventional heat treatments and more efficient quenching techniques. Reports about the new material that have been developed and placed in service indicate that the rolls last 50-70% longer. It was achieved through the multidisciplinary research in materials science and mechanical engineering."


Contact: Paul Kovach