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Research into Steel Application

Innovations need research on steel application

At the height of the industrial revolution, in the late 19th century, steel became a symbol of technical and economic progress. Research and development work by specialists in the steel companies resulted in ever-greater application potentials for the steel industry and its customers in the user industries.

In the modern industrial society, the significance of steel as the most important construction material is undisputed, and will remain so, due to its multifaceted properties and its recyclability: the large number of customers of the steel industry illustrates the material’s numerous and varied application potentials. The major fields of use in almost all important industrial sectors are supplied with steel: for example, apparatus and machine construction, steel construction, energy and environmental technology, as well as transport and traffic.

Constant new and further developments of steels

Simulation of hot solid forming processes © FOSTA

Simulation of hot solid forming processes
© FOSTA

Customer demands for the versatile and adaptable material steel – regarding particular material, processing and performance properties – can largely be met, given its almost unlimited application potentials. During the course of steel’s history, modern efficient and environmentally friendly production and processing methods in a strong and innovative steel industry have led to almost 2,500 steel grades in Europe that undergo constant further development and, together with new grades, are adapted to the particular features required. Accordingly, the customers of the steel industry have a selection of steels available for their multifaceted requirements (such as strength and toughness, formability and joining properties, corrosion- and wear-resistance) that guarantees maximum quality and ensures Germany’s global competitiveness.

Challenge for steel application research

Inductive heating of a steel tailored blank.
© FOSTA

The steel industry in Germany faces the challenge of improving mass production through continuous research and development, and the support of innovations. Whereby it is necessary to further develop steel’s performance properties to meet enhanced demands, increasingly in alliances with steel users.

Only a well-networked support system involving business, technology and research leads to innovations and can meet the demands of a modern globalised knowledge society. In order to permit ideas to become innovations through research, many parameters must be co-ordinated with one another: a smooth transfer between universities, research societies and companies is of decisive importance for implementing research results in innovations. Steel, as a basis material for German industry, is a cross-sectoral engine for top technologies and innovations. Steel application research and development are a commercial necessity for assuring the future of companies.