Partnering opportunity

Process to reduce hydrogen content during manufacturing of metallic alloys to increase steel mechanical performance.

Summary

A Catalan company has developed a model to describe and predict the behaviour of intersticial elements like Hydrogen during manufacturing of metallic alloys and a method to extract it from the metal during casting (mold or continuous casting). They are looking for a licence agreement with metal alloys manufacturers interested in using this technology or Technical cooperation agreement if some changes are needed to match the user's needs.

Partner sought

The Catalan company is looking for alloy manufacturers interested in applying either one of both solutions and increase the quality of their production • The predictive method of Hydrogen behaviour could be implemented by a Technical cooperation agreement. The Catalan company could provide know how to customize the tool to the buying company needs and requirements. • The method to extract hydrogen from alloy during manufacturing process could be implemented into the partner manufacture by a licensing agreement.

Description

A Catalan company expert in solutions for metallurgy industry developed both model to predict interstitial elements behaviour in alloys (responsible for severe degradation of the material) and method to extract it by cooling process, improving the material quality and performance. Said interstitial elements being selected from a group consisting of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, boron and argon. Hydrogen is the most common. The presence of hydrogen in metallic alloys, especially in steels, is due to several reasons, from the presence of humidity in the raw materials or equipment or the decomposition of compounds present in the later, as well as actions performed during the alloy casting and refining process, for example those where hydrogen is blown through the molten metal with the aim of eliminating other elements, with the final consequence that some fraction of the hydrogen used remains dissolved in the molten metal. Hydrogen is well known to cause severe degradation on high performance alloys, leading to irreversible damage. Having a set of criteria able to predict the threshold of permanent damage in real structural components and during industrial practices would perform an invaluable service during component manufacturing and process supervision. Alloy embrittlement is influenced by the way hydrogen redistributes and the sites where it becomes trapped. The resulting effect on the mechanical properties of the alloy depends directly on the type of trapping site and the amount of hydrogen that contains. Understanding the redistribution of hydrogen correctly allows to predict and prevent this type of material degradation. By understanding the behaviour of hydrogen in the metal, it is possible to predict when, where and what type of damage might occur. The Catalan company also provides a new method for the extraction of hydrogen from metal alloys. • Description of the predictive model of hydrogen behaviour A physical model describing the behavior of hydrogen has been developed based on diffusion of the atoms depending on the temperature, chemical composition of the metal and microstructure, and desorption. The alloy’s microstructure is only able to store a small amount of hydrogen between the lattice and various types of lattice defects. Defects can represent a severe rupture of the lattice structure, like for instance voids, or microcracks or the surfaces. This model permits to explain in which circumstances and to what extent a baking treatment currently used by steel manufacturers would be effective at reducing hydrogen from a component and when it would not. • Description of the new method to extract hydrogen from alloy during manufacturing process The Catalan company developed a method for reducing hydrogen in steel castings. This process can be integrated into a mold or a continuous casting system. The scope of application of the method of the present invention extends to any alloy casting wherein a reduction in the amount of dissolved hydrogen or of any other interstitial element is desired, such as, for example, carbon, nitrogen, boron and others. The method consists in cooling the alloy, while simultaneously heating one or more spots at a surface of the casting. The Catalan company is looking for alloy manufacturers interested in applying either one of both solutions they developed. • The predictive method of Hydrogen behaviour could be implemented into companies interested by preventing degradation of their product during manufacturing, by a Technical cooperation agreement. • The method to extract hydrogen from alloy during manufacturing process could be implemented into the partner productive plant by a licensing agreement.

Advantages and innovations

The Catalan company offers a solution: • More efficient than the currently used ones. The results show than the cooling process leads to a lower Hydrogen content in alloys than the other methods • Compatible with other interstitial element is desired, such as, for example, carbon, nitrogen, boron and others. • Economic: the investment for this extraction method is lower than the other ones.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted,Patents granted


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