Day 1 - Academic Day at Dalarna Univeristy
Presentation techniques, scientific meetings, workshop and lab tour.
Monday 27 August
The presentation technique explained by Sarah was really informative. Being researchers we are mostly concentrated on the technical part neglecting the presentation technique. Lectures by the professors were very informative. It gave a taste of the type of research going on in the Dalarna University. We found the presentation on Triplex steelix really informative. In India this concept is missing. Because of this, sometimes good research outcomes don’t have the market. Presentation about how the incubated idea can be transformed into a large scale business was really appreciated.
Day 2 - Visit to Ortic AB, 2047 Science Center
and historical site Ornäs Stugan
The journey of conversion of research into development of the salable product i.e. production of machines to produce different shape sheets automatically is awesome. They can expand the business world wide. The short presentation of research in front of an audience from different backgrounds and spelling out of our weakness by Sarah Ramsay and colleagues was really helpful to improve upon. The robot challenge was really awesome. Everybody enjoyed the game. The beauty of Borlange municipality was fabulous. Sweden should be known for its natural beauty.
Day 3 - Visit to Outokumpu
and Avesta Art & Coin Museum
Wednesday 29 August
Today’s report is filed by Thomas Davis and Mina Shah. Thomas comes from Great Britain and Minal comes from India. Thomas is studying at the University of Oxford and Minal is studying at the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research – National Metallurgical Lab in India.
After an early start and a one-hour drive, we visited Outokumpu, the stainless steel manufacturer in Avesta. Our guide was Anders who has worked at the steel works over many decades. It was clear throughout the 5-km tour that he has extensive experience and knowledge. This really enhanced the insightful, historical and impressive visit.
First, we observed the graphite electrodes that are used to produce the arc within the 100-tonne furnace to melt the scrap stainless steel. Even though we learn steel arc melting as an undergraduate, gazing your eyes on the arc melting of stainless steel leaves an impression about steel and of the scale it is produced. Tap to tap time was 30 minutes and it took just 15 minutes to melt. The cost of graphite electrode is very costly which makes the process of stainless steel quite expensive. It was so interesting to learn and see the whole process of melting is automated and no manual operation is required, which makes the whole process so safe.
After the melt is completed, it is drawn out and continuously cast to produce stainless steel slabs designed for the next stage hot rolling. We observed the hot rolling process where the slab was reheated to the correct temperature before hot rolling begins. It began with the hot slab (approximately 1200mm by 11000m) being removed from the furnace and, even though we were standing 10m away on a balcony, the sheer radial heat is an experience that we will never forget. The slab rolled with water sprayed on top to remove the surface layer, passed through the first set of rollers and returned through. After each stage, the slab became thinner. It is worth noting this process took 1-2 minutes.
From this visit to the steel plant, the scale, energy, momentum, skill, experience and knowledge that is required in steel making has left an impression of awe that will remain forever.