CRP Henri Tudor and ArcelorMittal strengthen their collaboration in Research, Development and Innovation

On Tuesday 19 November, the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, represented by its CEO, Marc Lemmer, and ArcelorMittal, represented by Gregory Ludkovsky, Vice President Global Research and Development, and Jacques Hoffmann, Director of the ArcelorMittal Research Centre in Esch-sur-Alzette, signed a collaboration agreement strengthening the already numerous links that have existed for over 15 years between these two major research actors in Luxembourg. "ArcelorMittal and CRP Henri Tudor already have a long mutual history. This agreement will allow us to strengthen our links and write a new page in our history", stated Gregory Ludkovsky.

From left to right top: Luc Chefneux, Joëlle Welfring, Salim Belouettar.
From left to right bottom: Jacques Hoffmann, Marc Lemmer, Gergory Ludkovsky, Fernand Reinig.

The two partners have decided to strengthen their collaboration in Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) in the following research domains:

  • materials technology
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • sustainable construction
  • modelling and simulation (materials, construction)
  • new coatings

to which the following may be added in the future:

  • advanced IT
  • transport and logistics
  • technological and competitive intelligence

CRP Henri Tudor and ArcelorMittal already work together in several of these domains. For example, within the framework of a research project funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade under the RDI law of 2009, the two partners have developed the LicaBuilt IT tool which allows Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) to be conducted on entire buildings, taking into account their thermal behaviour. The project has allowed ArcelorMittal to assess its steel construction solutions and to verify and promote their sustainable qualities. For its part, CRP Henri Tudor has disseminated the project results through numerous presentations and publications, notably at scientific conferences. Today, the Environmental Assessment of Systems team at CRP Henri Tudor enjoys international acclaim in the field of environmental assessment of products, procedures and services and, in particular, in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), carbon footprinting, environmental footprinting, eco-design, and energy evaluation. These fields also interest the LCA experts at ArcelorMittal and exchange and collaboration is planned.

A second example is the ATHENA project. This project, led by CRP Henri Tudor and ArcelorMittal in collaboration with the Université de Liège, aims to model the cooling phase of sheet piles, as well as the straightening process. ArcelorMittal's aim is to improve its entire production line: minimising sheet pile deformation, reducing rejects, saving time and increasing productivity. This project is also co-funded by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade within the framework of the RDI law.

Under the newly signed collaboration agreement, the two partners plan to develop their RDI activities in the field of modelling applied to physical and mechanical metallurgy. In fact, CRP Henri Tudor has developed internationally recognised expertise in this field in recent years. Its Modelling and Simulation of Materials, Structures and Industrial Processes unit, which is comprised of nearly 30 researchers, is thriving as illustrated by the growing number of competitive research projects carried out within the framework of programmes funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) or the European Union, as well as by the number of sponsored research projects conducted with industry partners. The unit specialises in the development and use of advanced digital methods (finite elements, extended finite elements, meshfree and boundary elements) and in multi-scale approaches for the advanced modelling of materials and structures. The team has also become reputed for its skills in the field of identification by inverse approach and implementing behaviour laws. Modelling will allow ArcelorMittal to develop new products and optimise its production processes.

The partnership agreement aims to expand collaboration between CRP Henri Tudor and the ArcelorMittal research centres, many of which are located in the 'Greater Region': in Lorraine (Maizières-lès-Metz and Gandrange) and in Luxembourg (Esch-sur-Alzette), as well as with the CRM Group (Liège), a strategic partner of ArcelorMittal. In synergy with the local universities, this partnership aims to create a research network within the 'Greater Region' that is significant at the European and global levels.

A final field of collaboration in which the two partners wish to invest together is smart coatings. Through its Advanced Materials & Structures (AMS) department, CRP Henri Tudor has been active in this field for seven years. This domain will be tackled in partnership with CRP-Gabriel Lippmann, which has been working with ArcelorMittal's laboratories for several years. The signature of this agreement, as well as the forthcoming union, on 1 January 2015, of CRP Henri Tudor and CRP-Gabriel Lippmann, will make it possible to reinforce collaboration in this field, as well as in other areas of research. In the meantime, the two CRPs are committed to ensuring that all their partners have simplified and coordinated access to the totality of the skills available at the two centres.