In the "Strip casting" project, the partners demonstrate the resource efficiency of the strip casting process for producing HSD steels. HSD stands for High Strength and Ductility. This high-tech steel is characterized by its maximum strength and extraordinary formability, and is additionally cast using an energy-saving belt casting technology.
A metallurgical process route was developed to start with for the cost- and energy-efficient production of customized manganese-ferroalloys which focused in particular on product quality, resource efficiency and economic viability.
A laboratory-scale strip casting plant in Clausthal is producing rough sheets of HSD steel in order to obtain the insights necessary for upscaling. It has already been possible to belt cast steels on a laboratory scale with a strip width of 300 millimetres. In order to be able to produce modern materials competitively in the future, a demonstration plant is being constructed on an industrial scale in Peine, which can produce high strength steel materials with high concentrations of manganese, silicon and aluminium at a strip width of 1,000 millimetres. To complete the project, the partners are developing concepts to further process the cast product to refined strip material and to provide test samples for application engineering. Finally, the first example components are to be constructed and tested.
Because the belt casting process can save electricity, CO2, water, casting powder and natural gases, it enables resource-conserving production of HSD steels with high manganese content and thus has advantages over other steel making methods.
The lighter steels produced can be used, for example, by car-makers for sophisticated lightweight construction and crash safety. Up to 170 kilogram of CO2 can be saved per tonne of hot strip when producing lightweight steels using the belt casting method. Related to the planned production volume of the new plant (25,000 tonnes), this results in a CO2 saving potential of 4,250 tonnes per year. In addition to this, if used in vehicles, it is also possible to achieve fuel reductions of about 0.2 litres per 100 km and CO2 emission reductions of around eight grams per kilometre. This corresponds to about eight million litres of fuel each year when calculated based on the annual amount of steel produced.