Research Day 2023 – SSAB

During the Research Day, Linda Petersson and Thomas Müller, Knowledge Centre/Product Development, SSAB presented R&D projects at SSAB.
An audience listens to two presenters
Kristina Englund

Linda began with an overview of SSAB: 14,500 employees in over 50 countries, 8.8 million tonnes of unique, niche steel grades.  SSAB operate market driven product development, meeting customer needs and wishes with regard to eg transformation to fossil free steel production, improving the steel properties, testing laboratories, etc.  In 2021 the first commercial vehicle was built from mainly fossil free steel.

In steel making coal has been used to turn iron oxide into iron, the biproduct of which is carbon dioxide.  Now hydrogen can be used for this process, with water as a biproduct, although a lot of fossil free energy is needed to produce hydrogen.  A joint venture between LKAB, Vattenfall and SSAB began 8-9 years ago to scale up the production of fossil free steel.  A pilot/R&D plant in Luleå showed this was possible but it incurs a lot of other costs such as changes to current manufacturing plants, which is complicated.  Going fossil free is not a choice within the EU as current production methods will be subject to increased emission charges and so traditional steel will become more expensive.  Scrap-based steel production (Zero Steel) is part of the future solution together with Fossil Free Steel production.  The target for SSAB is to be fossil free by 2030.

SSAB is very interested to cooperate with universities, with SWERIM acting as a coordinator between SSAB and the universities. A potential future project with Dalarna University could be to develop digital product passports which allow traceability and a record of product properties. 


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