PITA Fiscal Year 2015 Projects

Lehigh Heavy Forge and Lehigh University - Roll Steel Wear: Is Harder Better?

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Brandon A Krick, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
PA Industry: Lehigh Heavy Forge

The proposed collaborative research program will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to characterize and explore the wear performance of steel relevant to hardened steel rolls produced at Lehigh Heavy Forge. For many years, the steel industry was at the heart of the Pennsylvania economy. Lehigh Heavy Forge is one of the few remaining assets from the Bethlehem Steel era, with large scale forge equipment capable of manufacturing steel work and back-up rolls, imperative to the health of manufacturing in the U.S. and the state of Pennsylvania. Wear of these roll materials is the limiting cause for end of useful life in a steel roll. Reduction of wear can positively impact manufacturing economics, energy consumption and environmental impacts.The primary research goal of this short term research project is to establish methods, experiments and metrics to evaluate the wear of a series of steel alloys for work and backup roll applications. Outcomes of this will include: modified (1) instrument, (2) methods and (3) metrics optimized for characterizing the wear of steels relating to the rolling operation; (4) detailed characterization of a series of hardened steel alloys; (5) mechanistic studies on the wear of steels, that will ultimatelyv lead to materials development for rolling and other manufacturing applications. This industrially relevant, application-driven research will also enable fundamental opportunities for discovery for graduate and undergraduates participating in research at Lehigh University.