University of Pittsburgh
June 27, 2007

Pitt's Basic Metals Processing Research Institute to Host International Conference on the Latest Methods of Producing Strong and Cost-Effective Steel, July 16-19

Pitt faculty members to cochair Association for Iron and Steel Technology's international conference on innovative production and application of low-cost, durable steel during current industry boom times
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Although the mill fires have dimmed and the smoke has cleared, Pittsburgh has retained its international prominence in steel manufacturing as a research center for the latest production innovations. As the top contributor to that reputation, the University of Pittsburgh's Basic Metals Processing Research Institute (BAMPRI) will host the Association for Iron and Steel Technology's (AIST) international conference on developing and producing cost-effective, high-quality steel. The conference will be held July 16-19 at Soldiers and Sailors Hall, 4141 Fifth Ave. Approximately 150 metallurgists, engineers, and academicians from 18 countries will convene to share the latest methods of producing and building with microalloyed steel, a strong and low-cost material.

Pitt's BAMPRI has specialized in microalloy innovation since the technique was developed 35 years ago, said conference cochair and BAMPRI director Anthony DeArdo, Pitt's William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) in the School of Engineering. BAMPRI is a world-renowned research facility in Pitt's School of Engineering that serves the basic metals industry through development and implementation of the latest products and processing technology. The institute helps compensate for the reduction of in-house research and development that has occurred throughout the metal production industry in recent decades.

The conference comes to Pitt and Pittsburgh during boom times for the global steel industry when the University and city are again poised as hubs of steel manufacturing, this time in the area of innovation and research, said DeArdo, who organized the conference with cochair C. Isaac Garcia, also a professor in Pitt's MEMS department.

As stock and market prices for steel balloon, buyers and producers clamor for low-cost yet durable steel, DeArdo continued. Microalloyed steel provides greater strength than conventional steel as it includes small amounts of elements such as niobium, titanium, and vanadium, he said. With correct processing, microalloyed steel boasts 50-100 percent more strength than conventional steel with a cost increase as low as 10 percent.

"Microalloyed steels are an extremely cost-effective way to feed the insatiable demand from the construction, energy, and transportation industries for higher strength steels. We can only provide those industries with improved, stronger steels through research," DeArdo said.

"Pittsburgh is perhaps the most recognized center for iron and steel research in North America," DeArdo continued. "The heritage of steel research conducted by the steel companies along with their suppliers and the local universities continues to this day. BAMPRI has been a global leader in microalloyed steel research for the past 30 years. Pittsburgh and the Pitt campus are the ideal locations for a major conference on this family of steels."

Registration for the AIST conference begins at 4 p.m. July 16 with a reception to follow from 5 to 7 p.m.

The technical sessions begin at 8 a.m. July 17 with opening remarks by U.S. Steel President and Chief Executive Officer John P. Surma. Presentations for each day follow a research theme, such as plate steels used for oil and gas pipelines or sheet steels for manufacturing automobiles. The daily sessions end around 4 p.m. with the conference ending at 3:30 p.m. July 19.

For more information and a conference schedule, visit the AIST Web site at