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2023 | Buch

The World of Steel

On the History, Production and Use of a Basic Material

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The world of steel is constantly evolving and has become astonishingly diverse, indeed so complex that it is not easy to keep track of it in practice. The aim is to give readers an understanding of this world, from steelmaking, ingot and continuous casting, forming and machining to finishing, testing and packaging of the products, the processes and equipment predominantly used throughout, including the environmentally compatible recycling and disposal of waste.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Systematization of Materials
Abstract
“Where there is sawing, there will be wood chips!”
This old German saying is characteristic of many life situations. It combines the positive (sawing—being active), that is, the process of creating something new, with the negative (wood chips—waste), which inevitably results from such a process. The emergence of this negative is due to reasons and is partly even legally conditioned, but this does not release anyone from taking this negative into account and deliberately minimizing it.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 2. The Material Steel
Abstract
Steels always fascinate with their many, often also extraordinary properties, with a great potential for application and increasing production worldwide.
  • What characterizes the material steel?
  • How are steels classified or differentiated?
  • How are steels composed?
  • What properties do steels have and how can they be influenced?
  • Where are steels mainly used?
For this purpose, an orientation should be given with explanations of the basics of the material steel, of the possibilities of classifying steels as well as with short portraits of selected steel grades.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 3. Alloying Elements and Steel Properties
Abstract
Steel can be made very soft and excellently formable, but also very hard and brittle. The properties are very complex and determine the suitability of the steel for certain applications. That is why there are so many steels. In order to understand the effect of the equally numerous alloying elements or their combinations in the steels, or to find one’s way around here, an overview of the most important properties should be given first. These generally relate to:
  • the state,
  • interactions with other materials,
  • the behavior under mechanical stress,
  • the behavior during production (forming, machining, heat treatment, coating, etc.),
  • the behavior under environmental influences.
From this, the properties are roughly divided into:
  • physical,
  • mechanical-technical,
  • technological or manufacturing-technical,
  • chemical-technical,
  • environmental properties.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 4. Steelmaking
Abstract
Steel—what a material: So many different steels, so many different alloys with so many alloying elements, so many ways to influence the properties, so many manufacturing technologies and above all so versatile. No other material is as impressively complex, as universal and fascinating and still exciting for new things. Steel has gained a significant importance in the history and present of mankind (Schwarz, 2013). And if you draw a bow from the beginnings of iron and steel production to today’s production, processing and applications, the importance of steel becomes even clearer.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 5. Forming
Abstract
A look at the desk and we see paper clips, ballpoint pens with small springs, a stapler with two sharpened stamps for paper punching—steel in tiny wire form or as a round rod. With a small, very thin special steel as a blade, a gentle dry shave is possible. Our car usually has steel wheels in winter.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 6. Heat Treatment of Steel
Abstract
Knowing the effect of the alloying elements, a steel is primarily produced from ore via the blast furnace-converter route or secondary from scrap in an electric steelworks, poured into a ingot or strand and formed into a semi-finished product or finished part. The content of the first five chapters form the basis, process, facilities and applications for this. However, in order to obtain an assembly-ready component, further technological steps are necessary, such as heat treatment, testing, machining and adjustment work. These should be introduced below, starting with the heat treatment of steel.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 7. Material Testing
Abstract
Did you know that the saying “Drum prüfe, wer sich ewig bindet” by Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) from the song of the bell today actually applies to many areas and does not only refer to the adventure “marriage”?
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 8. Manufacturing Processes
Abstract
To produce a workpiece, a formed part, a component – in other words, a product precisely defined in terms of form, dimensions, dimensional tolerances, surface quality and mechanical-technological properties – various methods must be applied. Steel production, primary shaping (casting), secondary shaping including the necessary heat treatment processes and testing were dealt with in the previous chapters. These methods are generally assigned to production engineering, as are the further methods such as joining, coating and tensioning technology (mechanical machining such as turning, milling, planing/stamping, drilling, peeling, grinding). All of these methods of production engineering are closely linked to the history of mankind. For example, there were already drill bits or fire drills in the Stone Age over 40,000 years ago. In the Bronze Age after 3000 BC, iron ore was then smelted and processed by casting, forging and fire welding. And from the middle of the eighteenth century, increasingly scientific methods were used to improve production engineering and to develop new methods. Today, production engineering is an important field of production engineering and mechanical engineering, thus encompassing methods and facilities (tools, machining machines, etc.) for the production of products intended for the end user or to be further processed as semi-finished products (Westkämper & Warnecke, 2010; Fritz, 2015). The following is an overview of the joining and coating methods of steel as well as the most important methods of mechanical machining.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 9. Finishing
Abstract
Hardening and tempering of bars leads to the desired strength properties, but the bars are usually slightly crooked. The further processing by point-free grinding requires “grinding-straight” bars. Even the customer, a manufacturer of precision turned parts, requires very straight bars. So they have to be aligned. Rolled billets sometimes have cracks on the surface. These could intensify during further processing by cold forming, so they should be removed before this forming. Samples have to be taken after the various processing steps for process-accompanying quality control. Cutting edges have to be deburred and the products have to be labeled for safe identification. This list could be extended even further. Everything that happens between and at the end of the production line in the steel-producing and processing industry is assigned to the adjustment, formerly also called alignment (Hiersig, 1995). The term adjusting comes from the French “ajuster” and means something like aligning, thus making it even or bringing it into order. Various post-processing steps are necessary for this. They are based on the product (material, delivery condition and geometry) as well as on the requirements for further processing or for the application.
Usually, adjustment includes the following steps:
  • Separating to achieve the desired dimensions from customers (see Sect. 8.​4: Separating)
  • Editing the cutting edges, the knob and ends (deburring, chamfering, see Sect. 8.​3.​10: Editing ends)
  • Aligning to secure the requirements of straightness
  • Surface treatment (cleaning, coating) and removal of surface defects
  • Sampling for quality control (interim and final controls)
  • Signing, color marking or stamping for clear identification of the product
  • Interim storage
  • Preparing (packaging)
  • Packing and shipping
Often, heat treatment is also assigned to the adjustage area in companies. Below, only some of these adjustage work can be presented with examples of product-related applications, preferably for semi-finished steel, such as surface treatment, alignment, finishing, packaging and shipping.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 10. By-products and Waste
Abstract
“Where there is sawing, there will be wood chips!”
This old German saying is characteristic of many life situations. It combines the positive (sawing—being active), that is, the process of creating something new, with the negative (wood chips—waste), which inevitably results from such a process. The emergence of this negative is due to reasons and is partly even legally conditioned, but this does not release anyone from taking this negative into account and deliberately minimizing it.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 11. Steel in Everyday Life
Abstract
Steel has an impressive, over three thousand year history and has proven itself as a special material for industry, architecture, medicine, military technology, household and leisure industry, for environmental protection, energy technology and also for art. Steel is the material that everyone knows today and that accompanies everyone in life. And when products made of another material are used (e.g. made of plastic, wood, ceramic, light metal), they are usually processed with steel tools. Many examples illustrate this presence of steel in our lives. With the motto “Did you know …?” we want to raise interest in some particularly interesting steel applications with a focus on stainless steel and perhaps also achieve an “Aha” effect when reading (order without value!).
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 12. Steel in the Future
Abstract
Steel is and remains material number 1. This was not foreseeable at the beginning of the Iron Age more than 3000 years ago. After such a long, eventful time of steel production and application, one would actually assume today that the “forgeable iron” in terms of composition and properties would be well researched. Mistake! The material steel is not yet exhausted. Every year, around 200 steels are improved according to customer requirements and around 50 new ones are invented.
Joachim Schlegel
Chapter 13. Timeline of Iron and Steel
Abstract
In sect. 4.1: From the history of steel important milestones of iron and steel production are described. This is the task of this timeline, which was created based on a chronicle and significantly extended to the present.
Joachim Schlegel
Backmatter
Metadaten
Titel
The World of Steel
verfasst von
Joachim Schlegel
Copyright-Jahr
2023
Electronic ISBN
978-3-658-39733-3
Print ISBN
978-3-658-39732-6
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-39733-3