Improving the quality of steel products

Improving the quality of steel products
Partnership in summary

Partner
Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd

Collaborating since
2008

Type of partnership
Ongoing

Purpose
To develop new techniques for cold rolling to reduce the power consumption, decrease pollution and improve the quality of steel products.

Funding
$1.1M in Australian Research Council Linkage Project grants

Outcomes
An innovative roll surface hardening technology and a new technique to characterise friction and rolling pressure.

In 2016, Baoshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel) became the second largest steelmaker in the world. Part of this success can be attributed to the company’s strong focus on R&D and according to Scientia Professor Liangchi Zhang, their Nationally recognised and award-winning Central Research Institute is extensive.

“Our team has been collaborating with Baosteel for the last eight years,” says Zhang who leads UNSW’s Laboratory for Precision and Nano Processing Technologies. Zhang says they have completed two Australian Research Council Linkage Projects with Baosteel and have another underway.”

The first project was interested in developing higher-wear resistance materials for hard steel rolling and resulted in a significant improvement of over three times in the equipment’s service life. Baosteel is going to apply this technology to their production lines.

The second project sought to develop a new technique to characterise friction and rolling pressure between the roll surface and the metal plate, which is a worldwide issue. “We were able to achieve a very good result on this project,” Zhang says. “We developed and transferred a statistical prediction method to Baosteel. This makes them the only company in the world to have this ability.”

The third project started in 2016 and wants to more deeply understanding interface problems during the rolling process, continues Zhang, who says there are many ideas and opportunities for future collaborations.

Mr Peilei Qu who works in Baosteel’s Central Research Institute, says the company is not only thrilled with the technical transfer of the research, which he says has improved Baosteel’s competitiveness, but is most pleased with the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership with a world-leading research group.

“Professor Liangchi Zhang is a top scientist in steel cold rolling. The comprehensive collaborations and communications between Baosteel and UNSW have significantly improved our innovative abilities by converting the academic research to technical application,” he says.

“The experience of working with UNSW has been excellent. Two Baosteel researchers, including myself, have spent time at UNSW, and the University has sent the principal investigators to Baosteel to deliver the technical outputs. All these efforts have ensured the continuation of our successful collaboration,” Qu continues. 

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