Long Products Committee of AISI Leads Effort To Help Automakers Make Better Steel Components At Lower Cost and Reduced Emission Of Greenhouse Gases

Detroit, MI, June 2, 2004 – American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) teamed up with the automotive industry and the Department of Energy to improve the quality of automotive steel components while reducing the cost of their manufacture. The collaborative project, which leads to the availability of ASTM Standard Practice A1033-04, makes possible the use of simulation models in automotive design that can accurately predict stress, distortion, and microstructure evolution in components that undergo some form of thermal treatment in their manufacture. This ranges from the basic steelmaking practices to heat treating of finished parts to forging.

A key goal in establishing the ASTM standard, internationally-accepted practice was to provide end-users the steel phase transformation data in an appropriate format so as to maximize and accelerate their utility in state-of-the-art material and process modeling computer simulation software. In fact, the practice is considered as an enabler to the achievement of significant energy savings through economy of process steps and improved efficiency and utilization of process heating equipment in production lines across the entire steel value chain.

According to David Anderson, director, AISI, Long Products Programs, “We estimate the annual monetary benefit to be $9.1 million based on the elimination of the heat treating step for just 10 percent of the total long products steel produced in the U.S., or about seven million tons.

“We estimate savings in natural gas at 0.33 billion cubic feet, along with reduced CO, CO2, SO2, NOx and other greenhouse gas emissions, “ said Anderson. “We will see reductions in material rejection, and a replacement of annealed products with hot-rolled products; and there will be minimization of scale formation and decarburization.

“The Quantitative Measurement of Steel Phase Transformation (QMST) project is truly a collaborative effort, not just a steel industry program. The QMST Consortium comprises 21 companies and organizations, representing steel makers, auto makers, suppliers to automotive, academia, and the Department of Energy, which funded the national and private laboratories and the Colorado School of Mines. All members actively participated in the research,” said Anderson. “This is the latest in a series of joint Government and Industry cooperative efforts.”

Collaborative QMST Consortium
Members of the QMST consortium are as follows:
American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
American Iron and Steel Institute
Caterpillar, Inc.
Colorado School of Mines
Deformation Control Technology, Inc.
DaimlerChrysler Corporation
Deere & Company
Dynamic Systems, Inc.
Ford Motor Company
GKN Automotive, Incorporated
Ispat Inland, Inc.
North Star Steel Company
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Sandia National Laboratories
Technologies Research Corporation
The Timken Company
The Torrington Company
Thyssen Krupp Stahl

Work on the QMST project was performed by the following organizations:

Technologies Research Corporation (TRC), a subsidiary of National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS)

Colorado School of Mines (CSM)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Sandia National Laboratory (SNL)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides guidance on the development of the QMST standard and information on reference materials.

The American Iron and Steel Institute is a non-profit association of North American companies engaged in the iron and steel industry. The Institute comprises 31 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 118 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view the American Iron and Steel Institute's website at www.steel.org.

Under the auspices of the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Bar and Rod Market Development Group strives to grow the market for value-added steel long products products. With five member companies, the group pursues this goal through two task forces committed to developing innovative solutions to the challenges facing their clients and the steel industry. These task forces are Automotive/Heavy Equipment and Construction/Infrastructure.

Long Products Market Development Group Member Companies:

Chaparral Steel
Ispat Inland Bar Company
Nucor Corporation
The Timken Company