Steel - Hydrogen - Climate Neutrality. The DGM/AWT Steel Materials Technology Joint Committee discusses solutions

More than 75 materials experts came together virtually last Friday, April 22, 2022, to discuss the many challenges of tomorrow's energy and production technology using steel as a material.

The greatest leverage here lies in the transformation of metallurgical plants for primary steel production. Professor Johannes Schenk from the Montan University in Leoben explained the high maturity of European initiatives for hydrogen-based direct reduction for large-scale application. But where does the required electrical energy of approx. 500TWh/a come from, and how does the hydrogen get to the steel mills? Dr. Juliane Mentz of Salzgitter-Mannesmann-Forschung (SZMF) was able to show that the rededication of natural gas pipelines for hydrogen does not pose an incalculable risk provided that an appropriate fracture mechanics assessment is carried out. Thanks to innovative steel solutions, the exponentially increasing demand for regenerative energy is also a technical problem that can be solved by offshore wind turbines. Joining heavy plates using electron beam welding (EBW) enables highly sustainable monopile foundation structures for water depths of more than 40m, says Dr. Sebastian Scholl of AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke about an ongoing research project with RWTH Aachen University and Saarland University. Its aspects on machine learning in microstructure research were also the subject of the technical committee meeting. Further contributions on energy-efficient gas quenching with hydrogen, in-situ measurement of corrosion processes, and calculation of the product carbon footprint with the FRED software showed how diverse the efforts to develop climate-neutral steel technologies are.

Although due to the pandemic, the first three meetings of the Joint Committee on Steel Materials Technology could only take place virtually, Dr. Frank Hippenstiel (BGH Edelstahl) and Professor Ulrich Krupp (RWTH Aachen) drew a very positive conclusion in view of the continuing high level of interest and hope to meet again in person on the occasion of the new DGM & AWT meeting Steel Innovation 2022, which will be held in parallel with the Hardening Congress in Cologne on October 11-13, 2022.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krupp

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