Improving Development of Metallic Materials capacities with HDPS equipment
ITMA Materials Technology has reinforced its capabilities on development of metallic materials through the improvement and fine-tuning of its Hot Dip Process Simulator. This singular equipment allows performing tests on 200x120mm steel samples with thicknesses up to 3mm, providing key information in critical processes within the development of such materials, such as annealing and galvanisation.
Annealing is a thermal treatment applied to steels for acquiring better properties, like plasticity, hardness, ductility or removal of residual stress. The process includes heating the sample in a furnace up to its annealing temperature, with a maximum of 900ºC, keeping the sample at such temperature of a defined period of time, finish the process with a cooling phase, that can be performed at low or ultrafast rates, reaching 400ºC/s, based on the aimed microstructure. This allows the material to acquire an internal structure, improving its behaviour in the following processing phases until the final product.
Galvanisation is also reproduced in the HDPS, consisting of applying a Zn layer to the material, protecting steel against oxidation, thus offering better behaviour for corrosion phenomena, extending service life of the product.
This equipment is part of ITMA Materials Technology capabilities on the development of metallic materials, usually performed together with dilatometry, mechanical tests and microstructural characterisation techniques, in order to provide close to market solutions for steelmakers and processing companies. This research unit offers a wide set of collaborations, including validation of production processes of different steel grades like AHSS, development of new products with improved coatings, new coating technologies, or modification of thermal treatments and steps within the production processes within each company.