The conference focused on technical, scientific and market-related subjects of relevance to the global stainless steel industry. voestalpine was represented at the event through its subsidiaries Villares Metals, Böhler Edelstahl and voestalpine Böhler Welding, with presentations and an exhibition stand.
The stainless steel market
The 8th Stainless Steel Conference, organized by ASMET (the Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials) and the Graz University of Technology, was held in Graz from April 28-30. International speakers gave presentations on steel production, rolling, heat treatment, and the development and application of stainless steels and corrosion-resistant special materials, as well as examining market-trends in this particular branch of the industry. Eighteen of the world’s 25 largest manufacturers of stainless steel are based in Asia, 6 are European, and just one is from the USA.
"Astonishingly, Europe could be one of the growth areas in 2015 and 2016. Particularly so, because the stainless steel industry has again been faced with challenges including a weakening of the oil and gas industry, and of the Chinese market since 2014."
Villares Metals, part of the Special Steel Division at the voestalpine Group, was ranked South America’s most important stainless steel producer. Andrea Zajicek, representing the company, outlined the opportunities and challenges facing the South American market in this special steel segment.
"The first day began with a global overview of the market and market trends for stainless steel, duplex and superduplex. Presentations were given highlighting the importance of developing products together with the customer; one example given was the partnership between Böhler Edelstahl and SBO in developing a special steel for drilling rigs."
In addition to the presentations, eight companies hosted stands in the exhibition area, giving the 165 participants from 24 countries the opportunity to get together to exchange experiences and network. The companies Villares Metals and voestalpine Böhler Welding from the Metal Engineering Division took part in the exhibition.
voestalpine Böhler Welding is a leading global manufacturer of high-alloy filler materials and presented its portfolio of duplex filler materials at the event.
"The conference gave us an impressive opportunity to make customers aware of our high-alloy filler material products and our know-how in this sector. It also allowed us to present our newly developed Bi-free fillers to a broad public."