LIFE 4 Green Steel

LIFE 4 Green Steel

The 4-year project, co-funded by the European LIFE program, has led to better-than-expected results. Key results included a component density of up to 7.5-7.7 g/cc and an improvement in environmental performance of over 50%

The production of ultra-high performance steel components that perform better, consuming fewer energy, environmental and process resources: this, in short, was the goal of the LIFE 4 Green Steel project, co-funded by the European Union’s LIFE program and developed by a partnership between SACMI, University of Trento, TFM Automotive Industries (project leader) and K4Sint.

Following a four-year program that ended in August 2021, the project has produced some outstanding results. These include the ability to make - using wall lubrication pressing (DWL) systems - sintered steel components with a density of between 7.5 and 7.7 g/cc (well beyond the target of 7.3 g/cc).

LIFE 4 Green Steel was set up to demonstrate the industrial feasibility of producing these component types via an HDPM (High Density Powder Metallurgy) process instead of the traditional "chip removal" techniques. This was done by developing a press prototype, in this case the SACMI MPH 200, capable of working in an actual industrial line.

This project was developed against a backdrop of extensive, ever-greater use of such components and the parallel need to develop innovative solutions that limit the use of pre-mixed lubricants, thus reducing consumption and emissions.

From this perspective, LIFE 4 Green Steel has shown that it’s possible to make "nearly finished" components (in this case, steel cogs) via a series of "compaction" steps. This technique increases the utilization coefficient of the raw materials by up to 95% and reduces waste by at least 50%. There’s also a 70% reduction in lubricant use, with a general increase in energy efficiency of 50% compared to a traditional process.
The LIFE 4 Green Steel project is co-funded by the European LIFE program, the European Union’s financial tool for the development of projects for the environment, nature conservation and climate change containment. During the 2014-2020 plan (to which the LIFE 4 Green Steel project belongs) the LIFE program financed over 5,500 projects throughout the EU, delivering resources valued at over €4 billion and driving investments worth over €9 billion.

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