Research and Development

Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH (SZMF) is the central research company of the Steel and Tubes divisions. The R&D activities are concentrated on materials development and processing, as well as application, coating and testing technologies. In addition to the Salzgitter Group companies, customers include external companies, for example from the steel processing industry, the automotive industry, machinery and plant engineering, energy technology, as well as the construction industry.

SZMF's R&D expenses in 2013 are likely to remain at the year-earlier level.

New high vacuum melting and casting system

One of the fundamental challenges in steel research consists in identifying new alloy variants and in advancing them from laboratory scale to industrial production. The vacuum induction melting and casting system that was installed at the end of 2012 considerably enhances efficiency, thus significantly accelerating the development of innovative high alloy steels at SZMF such as HSDŽ steel. As a result, up to five different alloys each with a melting weight of two kilograms can now be produced in one single cast.

Wavelet filtered eddy current array test for optimized product quality

At SZMF the mathematically extremely sophisticated wavelet filtering has been qualified for daily operations for the first time. It enables test signals that occur in ultrasonic testing of rolled steel products, for example, to be more effectively digitally processed than with conventional filtering procedures. A favored area of application is signal denoising. A short while ago a process for denoising eddy current array test signals was developed for the Salzgitter Mannesmann Precision Group (SMP Group) to achieve another improvement in error detection and reduce pseudo-error display for this type of testing as well.

Sustainable bottling of still water under ultra clean conditions

KHS GmbH (KHSDE) has developed a machine for filling PET bottles with water under ultra clean conditions. This filling machine significantly reduces air consumption and the use of cleaning agents. Additional advantages of the Innofill PET NV filling system for the customer include the closed, hygienic design, space savings, cost-effective maintenance and the associated cost savings. The new product is especially intended for blocking with a stretch blow machine. It is suitable for a wide range of bottle sizes up to three liters and achieves a maximum performance of 72,000 receptacles an hour. Innofill PET NV's non-contact filling of plastic bottles by means of a free-flow filling valve represents the highest microbiological and hygienic safety. Thanks to impeller flow metering demineralized water can also be bottled.