2014 Volume 100 Issue 6 Pages 716-727
Steels have made remarkable progress in order to meet the strict requirements of today’s society. Such progress is based on scientific elucidation of the functions of alloying elements, their effective utilization, and the innovative production processes.
Since natural resources are limited, it is important to increase their productivity for the continuous development of our society. Therefore, proper management taking into account the element strategy is becoming extremely important.
Steel industries are highly dependent on rare metals. Therefore, they are easily influenced by the hazards of rare metals, avoidance of which is extremely crucial.
This paper focuses on steels such as flat-rolled product, plate, pipe & tube and stainless steel, and historically reviews them from the aspect of changes in the surrounding market together with the technological developments such as new steel products and exploitation of rare metals for them. The functions of rare metals are classified into three types, i.e. the control of a) microstructures, b) mechanical properties and c) anti-corrosion properties, and the present understanding of them is discussed from a scientific perspective. Furthermore, the concrete future scientific and technological problems are surveyed. It is revealed that there are still many issues that need to be addressed. Exploitation of the advanced analytical techniques together with computational science is expected to contribute to solving the long standing problems and to stimulate a breakthrough in this field.