New technologies for product development
Our product development activities focus on industries with the most demanding technological requirements, in particular the promising mobility and energy markets.
Innovations in the mobility sector:
- Ultra-high strength steels with improved formability, such as advance high strength high ductility steels (ahss-hd).
- Hybrid components for lightweight automotive construction, such as hybrid blanks.
- High efficiency electrical steel (isovac®).
- High-performance materials for aviation and aerospace, such as the world’s largest screw press for aircraft components.
Innovations in the railway systems sector:
- Wear-resistant rails, and high-speed turnouts including diagnostics systems. They include the new high-quality rails 340 Dobain® HSH® produced by voestalpine Railway Systems.
- Both were developed for high-speed and heavy haul applications.
Parallel to the development of modern, high-tech steels, we are also working on enhancing tool steels to guarantee their optimal performance. Uddeholm is the global leading manufacturer of high-quality tool steel for industrial tools. Tool steel is classified as either cold work tool steels, hot work tool steels, or plastic mold steels. Extremely hard and wear-resistant tool coatings give tools a long service life.
Innovations in the energy sector:
- Development of sour-gas-resistant tubes and tube connections for use in the oil & gas industry. Innovative products from voestalpine Tubulars GmbH & Co KG include DryTec®, the dry thread coating for premium connections.
- Linepipe plates for pipelines used under extreme conditions.
- Materials for power plants with a high output efficiency.
- Mounting systems for photovoltaic installations, such as the mobile PV solution “SunBox” produced by voestalpine Sadef.
We also strive to provide the steels and processing methods its customers require. For that reason, processing technologies such as hot forming with phs steels, light alloy forming, and material-specific welding and joining processes are all constantly being developed and enhanced.
The key to process development?
At voestalpine, process development is aimed at optimizing existing steel manufacturing technologies, allowing us to play our role in contributing to the conservation of energy and resources. We are also focusing on digitalizing our processes and using artificial intelligence to enhance them, taking us further along the path towards smart factories. Another example of how the voestalpine Group is increasingly digitalizing its processes, protecting the environment and conserving resources, is the opening of the new high-tech wire rod mill in Donawitz, Austria, and construction of the world’s most advanced special steel plant in Kapfenberg.
We are also working on new technologies, such as using hydrogen in the steelmaking route. At H2FUTURE, the currently world's largest pilot plant for CO2-free production of green hydrogen in the steel industry, we are conducting research into the production of green hydrogen, to replace fossil fuels in steel production over the long term.
Additive manufacturing, i.e., 3D printing with metals, expands voestalpine’s product portfolio further, and highlights the Group’s research competence. This cutting-edge technology is being developed entirely in-house at the voestalpine Group, including powder manufacture, as well as the design and production of the finished components.