The Peer review has evaluated this group as Excellent
The activity on the items related to steelmaking and metallurgical processes is articulated along some main topics: - the melting processes of steels; - the refining processes associated with the designing of the non-metallic inclusions; - the solidification processes of the steels performed through the continuous casting machine; - the plastic deformation of the metal alloys and the related mechanical and formability properties obtained on the final product. The study about the melting processes is mainly related to the use of the Electric Arc Furnace in the melting processes of the steels, which are studied also through energetic and exergetic analysis in order to reduce the environmental impact. The effort on this field has been particularly focused on the innovation of the burners and supersonic oxygen injection and on the stabilization of the foaming slag in order to increase the energy savings and decrease the oxidation of the steel bath during the melting and the de-carburation process. The larger effort devoted to EAF than to blast-furnace process is associated with the particular industrial environment featuring the steelmaking industrial enterprises in Lombardy for which only the steelmaking route based on the scrap melting realized in EAF is interesting. The study performed about the steel refining process is related to the possibility to achieve a good control of the quality and the quantity of the nonmetallic inclusions formed within the steels. Particularly, the efforts are directed to achieve the correct chemical compositions of the non-metallic inclusions and to 127 decrease their volume fraction within the final steel products to reduce the possibility of the failure phenomenon. The study of the solidification process is related with the application of the continuous casting plant to perform the production of the steel semis. The studies developed during the last years have been mainly focused on the designing of the mould profiles for the high speed casting of the square and billet semis also in the peritectic carbon range. Moreover, the computational simulation and the study of the solidification microstructure have been extended to the in-line thin slab casting coupled with the direct rolling of the steel strips. Moreover, in the last period the interaction between the induced rotating electromagnetic fields and the solidification microstructure has become of significant interest. This last item has found attention also within the study of the plastic deformation processes. The main effort has been paid to identify for the different metal alloys the relations among the applied operative parameters (applied thermal range, total applied deformation, deformation rate), the induced crystrallographic textures and the final mechanical properties of the treated materials. This approach has been applied to steel, stainless steels but also to copper alloys. The description of the studied technological process (rolling, extrusion, wiredrawing) is performed through the application of FEM simulation even based on the particular application of the Navier-Stokes approach developed by this research team. The application of the Navier-Stokes formalism in an original way which has allowed to obtain very stable and reliable computational solution for the simulation of the studied forming systems.