Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Simulation and optimisation of casting, rolling and heat treatment processes for competitive production of topmost steels

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.13.01  Engineering sciences and technologies  Process engineering  Multi-phase systems 

Code Science Field
T000  Technological sciences   

Code Science Field
2.11  Engineering and Technology  Other engineering and technologies 
steel, intelligent manufacturing, continuous casting, rolling, heat treatment, modelling, simulation, optimisation, ecological design of production
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (23)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  03975  PhD Igor Belič  Computer intensive methods and applications  Researcher  2010 - 2013  274 
2.  32178  PhD Predrag Borković  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  13 
3.  19165  PhD Marjetka Conradi  Physics  Researcher  2010 - 2013  164 
4.  29437  PhD Giovanni De Ninno  Physics  Researcher  2012  164 
5.  05026  PhD Bogdan Filipič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2010 - 2013  483 
6.  10842  PhD Matjaž Godec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  884 
7.  15827  PhD Igor Grešovnik  Economics  Researcher  2011 - 2013  83 
8.  29096  PhD Agnieszka Z. Guštin  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2010 - 2011  173 
9.  30833  PhD Umut Hanoglu  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  53 
10.  35306  PhD Rosen Kanchev Ivanov  Physics  Researcher  2012 
11.  05675  PhD Monika Jenko  Neurobiology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  843 
12.  28366  PhD Gregor Kosec  Computer science and informatics  Junior researcher  2010  170 
13.  21381  PhD Miha Kovačič  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2010 - 2013  246 
14.  07642  PhD Vojteh Leskovšek  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  359 
15.  33584  PhD Qingguo Liu  Process engineering  Junior researcher  2011 - 2013  35 
16.  18782  PhD Bojan Senčič  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2010 - 2013  92 
17.  35885  PhD Eva Sincich  Process engineering  Researcher  2013  13 
18.  04101  PhD Božidar Šarler  Process engineering  Head  2010 - 2013  1,131 
19.  08195  PhD Borivoj Šuštaršič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2010 - 2013  412 
20.  24894  PhD Tea Tušar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2011 - 2013  209 
21.  32454  PhD Siraj Ul-Islam  Process engineering  Researcher  2010  39 
22.  23018  PhD Robert Vertnik  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2010 - 2013  225 
23.  32177  PhD Borut Žužek  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  468 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,961 
2.  0206  Institute of Metals and Technology  Ljubljana  5051622000  6,099 
3.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,357 
4.  1610  ŠTORE STEEL podjetje za proizvodnjo jekel, d.o.o. (Slovene)  Štore  1197967  736 
The Štore Steel company produces steel bars for applications in the forging, spring and engineering industries. The basic products are hot rolled and cold finished bars. They are produced to order, in smaller series and with quality and delivery terms adjusted to user requirements. Steel is mainly exported to demanding foreign markets and used in high-tech products. The project contents is tied to our previous research projects L2-5387 (2002-2005) - Modelling and optimisation for competitive continuous casting, and L2-9508 (2006-2009) - Modelling of microstructure for continuous casting of steel with topmost quality, and the related projects of the 5th and 6th EU Framework Programmes. Based on the gained knowledge, we have equipped and automated the continuous caster for billets and developed models for calculation of steel microstructure as a function of the process parameters. In the proposed project, accompanied by the 7th EU Framework Programme projects, a multiscale numerical model of the production chain of steel semiproducts will be established. We will consider the process steps of continuous casting, hot rolling and heat treatment. The final goal of this modelling is the prediction of the product properties as a function of the process parameters of each process step. This will be achieved by the coupled physical models of relations between the process parameters and the product macrostructure, the macrostructure and the microstructure, and the microstructure and the product properties. The macrostructure models will rely on continuum mechanics and coupled equations of mass, energy, momentum and species in the Euler system. The microscopic models will be based on the Lagrangean movement of the representative part of the microstructure through the temperature, deformation, concentration and velocity fields of the process. The microstructure models will be based on stochastic cellular automata. The models will be evaluated using our original meshless methods for which we received numerous awards. The physical modelling of the microstructure evolution through the process will be complemented, raplaced and/or tuned with the computational intelligence methods (neural networks, genetic programming) in cases where physical models do not exist yet, are computationally too complex or perform poorly. The neural networks will be trained on experimental results and physical models. Automatic process optimisation will be established in the direct and inverse directions. The microstructure as a function of the combination of process steps will be searched in the direct direction. In the inverse direction, the process steps will be searched that give the desired microstructure. The process will be optimised through minimisation of two weighted objective functions: the macroscopic one, taking into account the process productivity, usage of machines and use of energy and cooling agents, and the microscopic one, taking into account the product properties as a function of the microstructure. Optimal process and product properties will be searched using evolutionary algorithms. The expected effects of the proposed project are: improved quality, enhanced process capabilities and productivity in production of a broad spectrum of products, better knowledge for faster response to the market demands for enhanced quality and productivity, superseding of the classical product development (based primarily on experience and trial and error) by simulation-based development, easier definition of future research and development strategies, faster development and application of know-how, improved education, enhanced production and equipment modification flexibility, enhanced flexibility in process control and quality assessment. Like in the previous projects, the results will be published in top impact factor journals. An international conference on modelling in steel industry will be organised in Slovenia in the context of the project.
Significance for science
The results of the project, which do not interfere with the achieved competitive advantages of the co-funder, have been published in top-ranking scientific literature. The extent of the published results is substantially higher as in our preceding applied projects, for which the reviewers already evaluated their scientific output as exceptional for such type of projects. The scientific result of the proposed project reflect particularly in the innovative multiscale simulation tool for prediction of microstructure growth and changes, where we coupled the mathematical concept of point automata and a new generation of adaptive meshless numerical methods for the first time in modelling of the thermo-mechanical processing of steel. In addition, the concept of the integration of the physical models and the models based on artificial intelligence in through process modelling is completely new. The concept of multi-parameter optimisation with respect to productivity, quality and ecology is new as well. The project leader has, in connection with the contents of the proposed research, edited a special number of the EABE journal at the beginning of 2014, on the topic of using meshless methods in industry, and a special issue of the Advances in Materials Science and Engineering journal on simulation and optimisation in materials technology. From the project an international collaboration and education was set in motion, which connected Air University, Islamabad, Pakistan, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, China, and University of Parthenope, Italy, with University of Nova Gorica on the broad topics, tackled in the project. Dr. Robert Vertnik accomplished his Ph.D. in 2010 with the simulation of turbulent flow in continuous casting of steel. His doctoral dissertation was proclaimed as the best in Central Europe from the European Committee on Computational Methods in Engineering (ECCOMAS). In 2011 dr. Agnieszka Zuzanna Lorbiecka completed her Ph.D. with the topic of stochastic modelling of microstructure and dr. Gregor Kosec with the topic of adaptive meshless methods for solidification problems. In 2012 mag. Štefan Trčko completed his master on the topic of through process modelling based on neural networks. In 2013 dr. Arsim Bytyqui completed his Ph.D. with the topic of description of microstructure by the neural networks. In 2014 Umut Hanoglu will complete his Ph.D. on the topic of multiscale modelling of solidification and mag. Qingguo Liu with the topic of micromechanics description based on boundary meshless methods. The members of the project team received an award of the prestigious publisher Emerald: Outstanding Paper of 2013, for paper KOSEC, Gregor, ŠARLER, Božidar. Solution of a low Prandtl number natural convection benchmark by a local meshless method, International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 23, 2013, 189-204. [COBISS.SI-ID 2599419]. The described original method is in use in the developed simulation system.
Significance for the country
Slovenians have a very long and proud tradition in the materials processing and manufacturing of metal products. The first blast furnace under the mountain of Jelovica was first mentioned in 1422. The industrial production of steel started in 1869, when the Carniolan Industrial Company was founded. The invention of the process for the production of ferromanganese ensured a pioneering role of the company in the history of steel. The company received several awards at the world exhibition in Vienna in 1894. At the same exhibition, our physicist Jožef Stefan presented the first analytical models of solidification. Because of the tremendous importance of the production of metals, computational modelling of the related process has a key role in Slovenia and abroad. Since the beginning of the nineties, the industrial co-funder of this project systematically invests into development of in-house knowledge in process modelling. The primary incitement for this investments are relatively small production capacities and casting of a huge number of high-quality alloys. In-house knowledge is indispensable in manufacturing and materials processing of such products. In 2013, the Slovenian metallurgical industry exported metal products worth more than billion EUR to the established foreign markets, directly or indirectly associated with the processes treated in this project. Around 10000 working places in Slovenia depend on these processes. This is why the development of numerical simulation tools and automation of these processes plays such an important role. The goals of the described development are better understanding and insight into the processes, better influence on and organisation of the processes. The described research contributed to improved productivity and safety of production, improved product quality and faster and cheaper development of new materials and formats. The industrial users have successfully applied the developed tools, since they have on average for several percent enhanced the productivity of the processes and quality of the products, as well as independently developed the production of many new steels. Not only companies that incorporate continuous casting, hot rolling and heat treatment processes are expected to benefit from the results of this project. It is expected that the project results will be applied in many companies in Slovenia, that master critical technologies involving phase changes. Thermomechanical processing appears at some phase in the production of almost every man-made product. The model-supported automation and optimisation of such processes represents a key to modern production and processing of metals, ceramics, polymers, composite materials, electronic components and nanometarials. As a matter of fact, the developed concept of thermomechanical simulation will be soon used in aluminium companies IMPOL (DC casting ), HIDRIA (pressure die casting), steel company METAL RAVNE (casting of heavy ingots, electroslag remelting), etc. In terms of the development of the present research area in Slovenia, we see opportunities not only by strengthening cooperation with domestic manufacturers of steel and aluminium, but also with multinational global steel and aluminium process equipment producers.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2010, 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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