The first production plant using the technology is in the USA and has the potential to take as little as 10% of the energy of traditional slab casting steel processing plants. The process has demonstrated a 70% reduction in green-house gas emissions and created a new product category – UCS (Ultra-thin Cast Strip). These products can replace cold-rolled sheet and have multiple strength levels that can be produced from a single chemistry via cooling table conditions. Initial markets include: construction, metal buildings, tubing and roll formed applications.
The Castrip® process created new types of microstructures never seen before. Funding from an ARC Linkage Project between Microscopy Australia at the University of Sydney and Bluescope Steel allowed access to atom probe instruments which were used to study these microstructures. This allowed BlueScope to further develop their Castrip® processes, especially their alloys, to create new and better products. The characterisation information was an important part of establishing a substantial patent portfolio surrounding the technology.
In 2014 Bluescope Steel went on to be the key industry partner of The ARC Research Hub for Australian Steel Manufacturing.