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NLMK Group opens R&D centre for product innovation

Steel News - Published on Fri, 03 Apr 2020

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NLMK Group has opened a laboratory centre in Lipetsk for microstructure analysis, which will analyse the properties of steel to develop new premium products and optimize metal processing techniques. The centre is equipped with the latest high-precision measuring equipment. Several dozen unique devices enable more than a thousand types of microscopy and chemical analysis measurements to be taken. This multi-method research will facilitate the development of new steel grades and products for the automotive, energy and construction sectors. The centre will also become a platform for knowledge sharing within the professional community and will contribute toward the development of cooperation with leading research organizations. Students of NLMK’s partner colleges and field-specific universities will have the opportunity to receive on-the-job training at the centre, learning to operate unique laboratory equipment, master computer simulation and microstructure analysis, and discover how to identify promising technological trends.

The R&D centre’s equipment reflects the best practice in the industry. Some of it is the only equipment of its kind in Russia. For example, an transmission electron microscope makes it possible to visualize the atoms of a crystal lattice that are 0.15 nanometres in size. A similar microscope was employed by scientists Dubochet, Frank and Henderson in 2017, which earned them a Nobel Prize in chemistry for the development of high-resolution cryo-electron microscopy. The optical emission spectrometer may be used to quickly determine the content of non-metallic inclusions, among other applications. The quenching-deformation dilatometer enables real-time simulation of mechanical loads being applied to steel.

NLMK plans to continue to equip the research and development area with new laboratories. A physical simulation laboratory is set to be opened in Lipetsk this year, to analyse the processes of thermal and mechanical processing of steel, while in La Louvière, Belgium, a laboratory will be established to focus on the development of coatings for rolled steel and technologies for their application.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 03 Apr 2020
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