Stainless steel is a material more than 100 years old. There are still new grades being developed and further characterisations to be made in order to fully utilise the excellent properties of this type of material.
Through many years of close co-operation with our customers and our good research facilities the company has built up experience on the performance of our grades in service and during fabrication. There are technical market support engineers available to assist in material selection, fabrication and other issues, well backed up by the expertise within the research departments.
Information brochures, technical articles etc., are published that can give the user assistance. Outokumpu regularly gives training seminars covering stainless steels, their properties and suitability for use.
Development work is focusing upon the products that are of special market interest. This is includes polished, brushed and decorated surfaces as well as work hardened high strength stainless steels and grades with a special corrosion resistance. Both material properties and production techniques are of interest.
Outokumpu has a well-established corrosion lab
In the lab the suitability for different grades in various kinds of environments is tested. Tests are performed either in standard solutions or in solutions especially made for or provided by our customers in order to find the best suitable stainless solution. The
corrosion handbook is one very good source of information on the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. The mechanical properties of stainless steel are one of the reasons why they are growing in use.
Outokumpu is focusing upon design properties and formability of stainless. High strength and ultrahigh strength stainless steels open new application areas where aluminium or coated carbon steel was earlier the standard material. Stainless steel as a high temperature material is another focus area.
Process development involves the whole process chain of steel production and casting through to rolling, heat treatment, pickling and finishing.
It involves making the equipment work perfectly and to get the right properties for the products, to make them cost efficient with good yield. Production of stainless steel is hi-tech, and highly automated. Good knowledge within areas such as metallurgy, mechanics, automation etc. is essential for a world-leading producer.
In Outokumpu R&D people play an important role, for instance through CTC-groups (Core Technology Competence) for cross-fertilization of knowledge between business units and product units. CTC-groups give synergy benefits by spreading best practices and make more efficient research work across the group possible.
Download the Outokumpu research and development brochure