Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved materials through maximum sustainability

A German innovative process allows de-oxidation of high-performance metals and/or alloys in order to produce ultra-high quality materials. These materials cover a wide range of industrial applications including magnetic alloys, special steels, titanium products, hydrogen storage, memory and superconducting alloys.
Improved materials through maximum sustainability
Electroslag refining is a highly specialised process widely used by metallurgy, especially for steel making. A rolled or cast metal bar in the form of an electrode is heated by a conductive slag and becomes re-melted in a water-cooled copper mould. The end product is a metal similar to the original one in terms of chemical composition, but of higher purity and lower inclusion content. Such improved materials can be used as high integrity components for automobile and aerospace industries.

This newly developed process uses a reactive metal enriched slag for de-oxidation of high-performance metals and alloys including titanium, vanadium, niobium, superalloys and special steels. Under special conditions, a reactive metal oxide formation allows removal of oxygen, while solid inclusions such as oxides, nitrides or carbides are gathered in the slag. Exploiting the given homogeneity of material and reliable economy of resources, the process can be used even in a conventional VIM (vacuum induction furnace).

This simple, one-step procedure for compact refining/oxygen removal provides increased sustainability as down-cycling or highly complex chemical treatment is avoided. Therefore, it offers significant cost savings in terms of resources, such as water and energy, as well as environmental benefits (lower emissions and use of chemicals). Partners within the aircraft, automobile, energy and medical industries are sought to incorporate this technology for the production of newly developed materials and/or the improvement of quality standards.
Record Number: 81834 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Industrial Technologies