Today’s report is filed by Jose M Naranjo Espinosa and Bhushan Dattatray Rakshe. Jose comes from Mexico and Bhushan comes from India. Both Jose and Bhushan are studying at the University of Sheffield.
“Today we had the opportunity to visit OVAKO and Stollgangen iron mine in Hofors as part of NSCAS 2017. In 2015, I attended the Artic Technology Conference in Denmark where Ovako was awarded the Spotlight in Artic Technology Prize for their development of “Sub-Zero” steels. Since then I had a personal interest in getting to know more about this company and their steel-making process. The research area of “sub-zero” steels with low impurity levels to improve mechanical properties at low temperature conditions well matches with the topic of my PhD research project. I have been following their developments and publications about clean steel technology, which is very important for many different customers operating in the artic region,” says Jose.
While at the site we were first briefed about safety. We were also given a short presentation by Sven-Olof Ericsson. In the presentation he covered aspects of their facilities, their processes and capabilities and the main products they produce. After the talk, we were given our Personal Safety Equipment, split in two groups and then we started a tour of the plant. It was very interesting to see the whole process from the scrap yard up to shipment of final products.
“During the tour we had the opportunity to ask questions and I even remember some people from our group saying that this was the first time they had visited a Steel Mill in their lives, and they also said that the experience of witnessing the ‘real-world’ process is very different to what you experience or imagine when you read about these processes on the books. It is like seeing the whole picture in reality because, sometimes in books they use to schematically address one phenomenon to understand it in detail, but often you don’t realise all the other factors that affect the whole processing,” continues Jose.
In the afternoon we had the opportunity to present our research to the people from R&D and production managers. We also had a poster session which sparkled some good conversations and suggestions for further work. It was a great opportunity to make contacts and we are sure that in the future we may collaborate together or try to find a job opportunity.
Visit to Stollgang iron mine
After the visit to Ovako, we had the opportunity to visit the open cast Stollgangen iron mine. We enjoyed a tour of the mine and also had the opportunity to perform some blacksmithing employing an anvil and a hammer. The tour of the mine was very interesting because we could even experience the dark for some minutes and that is what often could had happened to an ordinary miner in the old days when they used torches and could even wait for several hours until someone came to the rescue.
After the visit to the mine we had the opportunity to try traditional Swedish beef stew which was delicious in a very traditional wood cabin with its own fire place inside the cabin. It was a very nice experience.
We are grateful to TripleSteelix and Ovako for providing the opportunity to visit the steel plant. We also thankful to Hofors Municipality for arranging a visit to iron mine and the delicious food.