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France Microstructural technologies for special steel development

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

Ugitech is expanding its technological resources in research & development, the company announced. The producer of made-to-order stainless steel solutions has equipped its research centre with state-of-the-art 3D surface measurement technology.

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The 3D surface measurement system analyses even small steel samples in the millimetre range. The illustration shows the roughness measurement of spring wire with a diameter of 0.5 mm.
The 3D surface measurement system analyses even small steel samples in the millimetre range. The illustration shows the roughness measurement of spring wire with a diameter of 0.5 mm.
(Source: Ugitech)

According to the company, the new system provides 360° measuring of surface geometry and topography down to the micrometre level. With this new technology, Ugitech wants to take a step forward to meet the increasing demands in development of sophisticated special steel products.

Ugitech, a company of the Schmolz + Bickenbach Group, in Ugine, France, operates a state-of-the-art research centre in the special steel sector. The sale of newly developed steel products accounts for 20 percent of the company's annual sales. To meet the increasing demands of the automotive, aerospace and medical technology industries, Ugitech is constantly investing in testing technologies.

The recently installed 3D microscope conforms to the latest technology standards – whether for detecting surface defects, measuring drawn profiles or checking local surface roughness. Ugitech is using the new system for research work as well as for expert opinion studies, the company said.

The 3D testing technology at the Ugitech research centre is an excellent complement to the scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) facilities. Ugitech uses TEM to investigate the microstructure of materials in the submicrometre range. In demanding applications, the properties of stainless steels and alloys often rely on the fine material's microstructure as well as the very fine phases precipitated in the steel. TEM is the prerequisite for the development of new grades offering a decisive competitive factor.

The Schmolz + Bickenbach Group is a leading provider of customised solutions in the specialty-steel long products business. The global group is one of two largest companies in Europe for alloy and high-alloy engineering steel. With a headcount of more than 10,000 at its own production and distribution companies in 30 countries across five continents, the company supports and supplies customers all over the globe.

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