The virtual factory – boost for steel innovation with £7 million to speed up new alloy development

A new method of testing alloys – Rapid Alloy Prototyping, is 100 times faster than current methods, allowing new products to reach the market more quickly, thanks to £7 million of funding announced today for a new “virtual factory” designed by the Prosperity Partnership, led by Swansea University and involving WMG. Rapid Alloy Prototyping effectively means that much of the testing can be carried out in research labs and imaging suites – a virtual factory – rather than in an actual steel plant. Professor Claire Davis, of WMG at Warwick University, said: This project provides an exciting opportunity to accelerate the translation of innovative steel chemistry and process improvements into the steel industry. We’ll be able to explore the opportunities for increasing steel scrap levels in new steel production, contributing to the circular economy in the UK. It is an exciting time for researchers in steel as the rapid alloy processing facilities will allow us to trial new chemistries and process routes quickly to make recommendations for industrial take up.”

 

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