Chair for Metallurgy of Iron and Steel© Foto: Martin Braun
The Department of Ferrous Metallurgy under Professor Dieter Senk's guidance is active in teaching and in the research of the fields: steel production and processing and application of metallic materials. The education is based on the principles of a education. The classes we offer are taught on a scientific and application-oriented level. Our research projects are both, based on the fundamentals and relevant for real-life problems. The projects concern current questions and thus, contribute scientifically to solving actual problems in the industry.
Key Research Areas
A) Iron and Steel metallurgy
Steel materials show some features which are characteristic for its products: strength, ductility, energy absorption and resistance to corrosion. The steel structure, which allows for the quality of these characteristics, is mainly coined by the chemical compounds of the steel. The steel metallurgy gives us the necessary alloys, especially by taking all trace elements into account. Heat codes up to 400 t are adjusted in their chemical concentration in the ppm-range (1g per ton). This also applies to the purity of non-metallic inclusions. The primary metallurgy sets the base for steelmaking based on iron ore and a static return of recycled steel; the ideal strategies towards raw steel are studied in the area of tension between technical feasibility, availability, costs and environment protection. The secondary metallurgy strongly affects the material's quality.
B) Continuous- and Block casting of Steel
The step from heat code to solid material is based on the control of the solidification process. The solidification metallurgy takes the thermodynamic aspects during the liquid-solid-transition at a range from 100 nm to 1 m into account. It is possible to modify the quality of the solidification structure by controlling the solidification conditions. Furthermore, the knowledge about high temperature strength and ductility of the solidificated material contributes to process quality. The optimization of the casting procedures concerning the material usage comprises for, example, the selection of casting format and the cooling rate.
C) Energy and Environment
The local and global environment is affected by the steel industry. Carbon and hydrogen are used as reducers to transform iron ore into iron and steel. There is a strong connection between chemical, electric and heat energy. This is a special characteristic of the steel producing industry. Because of the worldwide tonnage of over 1.4 billion tons produced steel, there is a high requirement towards environment protection for metallurgic processes. A further development of metallurgy without involving environment protection is impossible.
D) Materials and Recycling
Resources of the steel industry are iron ore (primary source), steel scrap (secondary source) and circulating components (tertiary source). Furthermore, coal and chalkstone are essential consumables for the metallurgy. They are used to generate slag and as reducers. Metallurgical research is able to lower resource costs and improve resource quality with flexible processes. By the collection of substandard steel and the use of steel scrap steel can be used as a secondary raw material. As such, it can be reused during the production process of leftmost products. The recycling of steel is very important.