Bahram Moshfeg explains that the test rig is unique in two different ways. First, it is big enough for companies within the steel industry to test objects that are almost the size of finished industrial products, and, secondly, the cooling process can be adjusted so as to enable exact cooling curves.
“The cooling process can be varied according to all thinkable parameters, and its sheer size is unique for Sweden. We haven’t seen this design anywhere else in the world,” Bahram Moshfegh says. “Today, companies within the steel industry test their products in their own plants, and they are unable to vary parameters when the process is ongoing, so that totality is unavailable for them.”
A national resource everyone is talking about
From its very beginning, the project has been a collaboration between the University and the steel industry supported by research grants from the Swedish Energy Agency. At first, the project involved only Ovako, Höganäs and SSAB, but today there is a collaboration between 30 companies within the steel industry. Moshfegh predicts that the test rig can be a national resource for large and medium-sized companies.
“If they have a finished product, it can be tested here. We will help them with the cooling technique, which determines the properties of steel.”
The test rig in Gävle is very much talked about, and Gert Nilson, VP, Research & Education at Jernkontoret, will speak at the opening ceremony. Jernkontoret is the Swedish steel producers' association.
The general interest indicates the importance of the University’s test rig for the steel industry, Bahram explains. He reveals that the University’s has a second test rig for tubes, rods and beams. Both rigs will be demonstrated at the opening.
“These two rigs will cover a large range of steel industry products. In addition, our doctoral students will continue their research and also publish common knowledge which is important for the field.”
Swedish steel still bites, but…
International competition increases all the time, Bahram Moshfegh says. He points to China, which uses its resources to produce special steel. Ongoing research and product development are crucial for Swedish steel industry, Moshfeg states, and special steel is what matters most.
“Swedish steel still bites, but competition hardens. Now, here at home, Swedish steel companies will gain the opportunity to conduct research and product development on the cooling of special steel,” Bahram Moshfegh says.