Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations


Duraloy Technologies and ORNL license agreement will improve U.S. steel mills

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 8, 2005 — Technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that dramatically improves efficiency and operation of steel mills has been licensed to Duraloy Technologies, a Scottdale, Pa.,-based foundry and fabricator of high alloy steels.

The agreement licenses Duraloy to manufacture rolls made of nickel aluminide, a specially formulated alloy developed at ORNL that is extraordinarily resistant to heat.

Duraloy, which has collaborated with ORNL for years to perfect the technology, plans to market the rolls to steel mills and heat treating facilities, where they will be used to transport steel products through high-temperature furnaces.

The alloy, originally sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, significantly improves roll life and high temperature resistance, said Roman Pankiw, Duraloy's vice president of Engineering and Sales.

"The enhanced properties of nickel aluminide for rolls in steel reheat furnaces are leading to greatly improved furnace systems," Pankiw said. "Higher yields, reduced energy consumption, and increased product quality are among the benefits steel mills can expect from Duraloy's manufacturing of products using this remarkable ORNL-developed technology."

In 2002, Duraloy produced 115 rolls for a steel plant in Burns Harbor, Ind. The rolls have provided excellent performance since installation. Using nickel aluminide rolls to process more than 300,000 tons of steel (four times the steel in the Empire State Building), the plant eliminated 85 furnace shutdowns; increased uptime 25 percent, and cut natural gas consumption to power furnaces by 35 percent.

In 2005, Duraloy produced more than 100 nickel aluminide rolls for a new steel mill heat treating furnace.

Development of the alloy at ORNL was coordinated by DOE's offices of Science and Fossil Energy, and EERE's Industrial Technologies, Industrial Materials for the Future, and Steel Industry of the Future programs.

"Our scientific research team looked at aspects such as atomistic modeling and characterization, microstructure and composition to improve the nickel aluminide," said Peter Angelini, ORNL Industrial Technologies Program manager. "Industry collaborators tested and evaluated components made from the alloy in industrial environments and helped develop new melting, casting and welding materials processes.

"The result is a true joint effort and a licensing agreement with Duraloy that will help save energy and improve manufacturing and production in the steel industry."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.

Read Knoxville News Sentinel story at http://knoxnews.com/kns/business/article/0,1406,KNS_376_4301709,00.html