National Engineering and Research Center for Advanced Steel Technology
National Engineering and Research Center for Advanced Steel Technology (abbr. NERCAST) was founded and financed by 13 companies, including Central Iron & Steel Research Institute, Beijing Science and Technology University, Shanghai University, Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation, Liaoning Special Steel Co., Ltd, New Metallurgy Hi-Tech Group Co., Shanghai Baoshan Iron and Steel Group, Pangang Group Co., Ltd., Northeastern University, Anshan Iron and Steel Corporation, Shougang Group, Taiyuan Iron and Steel Group and Jiangsu Shagang Group. The registered capital of NERCAST was 110 million. Central Iron & Steel Research Institute invested 50 million, accounting for 45.455% shares. For the other 12 companies, each of them contributed 5miliion, accounting for 4.545% shares.
The objectives are to develop innovative theories, technologies and equipments for advanced steel and their industrialization; to be the R&D platform for advanced steels; to be the training base for technological personnel; and finally to promote the competence of steel industry in China, and to meet the requirements of national economic development.
The main tasks are to accelerate industrialization process of advanced steel technologies and equipments, to maximize our competence in integrating R&D, engineering, industrialization and application. Meanwhile, more efforts will be devoted to the R&D of advanced steel technologies.
♦ Short & middle term tasks
Significant progresses have been made in high purity steels, ultra-fine grained steels, and high homogenized steels. Preliminary conditions for the industrialization of those technologies have come into existence. By using the above mentioned technology, the strength and average life-spam of steels will be significantly improved.
♦ Main technological achievements which can be industrialized
(1) Steelmaking technology of high purity steels
(2) Production technology of continuous-cast slabs with highly homogeneous (equiaxed) grains
(3) Technologies related with micro-alloyed steels
(4) Hot processing technologies of ultra-fine grain steels
(5) Prediction of microstructure-property in steels
The technologies can be applied to plain carbon structural steel, high-strength low-alloyed steel, alloyed structural steel, ultra-high strength steel, stainless steel and heat resistant steel. The steels mentioned above account for 60%~70% of the total output of our steel industry. The primary applications of these steels are as follows:
High-performance carbon structural steels: Building, automobile, bridges et al.
High-strength low-alloy steel: automobile, building, energy, transportation et al.
Alloyed structural steel / high-toughness ultra-high strength steel: automobile, railway vehicles, machinery manufacture et al.
Stainless steel and heat resistant steel: petrochemical industry, energy, ocean engineering, building, bridges, automobile et al.
Recent works are as follows:
(1) setup the verification environment which is similar to the industrial practice;
(2) organize the Secondary development of presently available and long-term valuable research achievements;
(3) develop serials of technologies and equipments;
(4) promote the application.
According to the requirements of national economic development and national defense, the plan for R&D and industrialization is made. Further more, special attentions will be paid to the key research directions.
A training system for high-level technological and management personnel, as well as a consulting system (domestic and international) will be established. In order to promote the production and application of advanced steels, application researches and regulations establishment will be selectively carried out.
International academic exchanges will be strengthened. Overseas capitals, talented researchers, institutes and even companies are welcome to join NERCAST.
♦ Development Strategy
Innovation is the driving force for our development. NERCAST primarily provides services for steel companies. NERCAST follows the way of combing “government, industry, university, research and industrialization, and tries to realize the sustainable development and to improve the international competition of steel industry in China.
(1) Technological leadership strategy
Promote the competence of NERCAST in key and common technologies, especially the frontier technology; put special effort to the development of new generation steels and advanced materials required by national defense area.
(2) Open management strategy
Strengthen the link with industry; integrate the research resource and capacity; establish a platform for R&D and industrialization of advanced steels at NERCAST.
(3) Development strategy of integration and internationalization:
Realize the combination of capital and scientific research, the combination of environment protection, information technology and biology with material science.
(4) Development strategy of overall planning and distributed implementation.
♦ Management plan
Industrialization of research achievements will be the most important businesses at NERCAST. In order to increase our benefits, the management plan is made as follows.
Industrialization of technologies and equipments
Development of new products and agency for technology sales;
Projects for new product and technology development from government and shareholders and other companies
Technological consultation and intermediary business
♦ NERCAST construction
The basic principals are to make full use of the existing facilities, to share the resources of shareholders and to follow market operation. The usage of the existing facilities should be paid for. NERCAST, which locates in Beijing, will have the necessary means and abilities for material research, processing experiment, engineering design, and various microstructure characterization and mechanical properties testing.
The construction of NERCAST includes:
(1) R&D center for advanced steel material:
The R&D center, which locates inside the Central Iron & Steel Research Institute; will be the workplace for R&D activities, engineering design, academic exchanges, training, testing and analysis. The experimental facilities include:
Laboratory for fine structure analysis in steels
Laboratory for testing-evaluation-research of steel properties
Laboratory for environmental adaptability research of steels
Laboratory for high purity steel and special metallurgy
Laboratory for prediction and simulation of microstructure and property in steels
Laboratory for advanced heat-treatment technologies
Laboratory for research on materials’ application
(2) Pilot experimental base
The preliminary stage for the industrialization of technologies will be conducted at the pilot experimental base, providing the comparable processing parameters for the final industrialization. The pilot experimental base will be capable of steelmaking, continuous casting, hot rolling, forging and heat treatment. The pilot experimental results will be verified both from theoretical and practical perspective. Finally, the new technologies or equipments can be applied to industrial production.
The base, which locates at Yongfeng high-tech industry base in Zhongguancun, Beijing, will occupy 20 acres. The base includes 6210m2 experimental plant, multi-functional melting unit, continuous casting unit, rolling unit for long and flat steels, forging unit et al.