Department of physical metallurgy and heat processing furnace

Historically, the lecturers and the research groups of the department are successors of two departments - Casting and Metallurgy and Ferrous Metallurgy (1960) - as a result of restructurings that occurred in the Faculty of Metallurgy established in 1953.

On the grounds of increasing interest in the disciplines at the Faculty of Metallurgy, the extended lecturer staff, development and expansion of the scientific interests and directions, there was another restructuring in 1983. Two new departments were established – Metal Forming and Metallurgical Equipment, renamed in 1991 into Plastic Deformation and Heat Treatment of Metals, and Metallurgical Furnaces. In 2000, the two departments merged into new one, Physical Metallurgy and Metallurgical Equipment.

As it is now, the Department Physical Metallurgy and Metallurgical Equipment naturally encompasses three groups:

Metal Forming, Metal Science and Heat Treatment and Energy and Ecological Efficiency in Metallurgy.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Boris Stefanov was elected the Head of the Department and headed it untill 2003. In 2003 - 2012, Prof. D.Sc. Donka Angelova, was the Head of the Department, and at the end of 2012 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Dimitar Krastev, was elected the Head of the Department.

Metal Forming Group

The founder of the Division was our eminent scientist, Professor D.Sc. Josif Kuotchukov, who acted as well at the administrative posts as Dean of the Faculty of Metallurgy, Head of Department, he worked in UNESCO in the field of science and education; he was the first director of the Steel Works in Pernik; leader of numerous projects at metallurgical enterprises in Bulgaria. He established a research group in Metal Forming, Metal Fracture and Metal Testing with numerous graduates, Ph.D. students and research associates.

Since establishment of the Department, the academic staff of the Group has been developing and growing. Currently, Prof. D.Sc. D. Angelova, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Т. Koynov, Assoc. Prof. Dr. R. Yordanova, and Assist. Prof. Dr. S. Yankova, and ten Ph.D. students are working there. The lecturers are authors of 18 textbooks, monographs, handbooks, guidebooks supporting the teaching process and ensuring high quality of training.

The Group is responsible for teaching Bachelors, Masters and Doctors in the fields of Metal Forming, Metal Fracture and Fatigue, and Metal Testing in two specialisations: Metallurgy and Materials and Material Science. The students acquire knowledge and develop skills in different traditional and non-traditional methods of Metal Forming; in Metal Fracture and Fatigue, and Metal Properties Selection and Testing; in Metal Utilization under particular operational conditions; in development, production, quality and application of different metals and alloys and their final products.

The Group has established contacts with some universities in Germany, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia and Japan. Graduates and Ph.D. students in Metal Forming, Metal Fracture and Fatigue, Metal Testing conduct part of their graduation and dissertation research on the international educational program ERASMUS in the partner-universities in Germany (Clausthal University of Technology), France (Paul Verlaine University-Metz, Lille University of Science and Technology, University of Maine-Le Мans) and Greece (Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi).

Since 2000 the graduates in Metal Forming, Metal Fracture and Fatigue, and Metal Testing have been acting as highly qualified engineering and management staff in different spheres of the private and state sector of industry; in metal testing and quality control laboratories; as experts and consultants in metal forming technologies; in research for improving some technological processes and developing of new materials, in commercial management and consultancy firms.

Twelve Ph.D. students are part of the Group, two of which have already been awarded Ph.D. degree. Ph.D. theses are in the field of fracture, fatigue and testing of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and some are also related to improvement of metal forming technologies. Five of the theses address concrete industrial problems. Consultants of these theses are leading specialists from Sofia Med S.A. - Sofia, Stomana Industry S.A. – Pernik, Radomir Metal Industries JSC - Radomir.

The lecturers of the Group participated in national contracts financed by the Bulgarian Science Fund of Ministry of Education, Youth and Science, UCTM and Bulgarian Academy of Science, and in two international projects – with General Motors of Canada, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada and Aleris Aluminum Duffel B.V.B.A., Duffel, Belgium.

The scientific activities of the staff are as follows: plastic deformation mechanics – process modeling; metal forming methods; improvement of metal forming technologies, products and quality; mechanical and technological metal tests; metal susceptibility to crack formation; metal fracture and fatigue - assessment of failure risk for structural integrity, modeling.

Laboratories of Metal Forming, Metal Physics and Mechanical Metal Testing are established. They are equipped with an universal machine for tension, compression, bending and cyclic loading; a rotation bending fatigue machine for tests in air and aggressive environments; a hydraulic machine for mechanical tests; a hydraulic press; a device for hardness Brinell and Rockwell tests; heating furnaces; Neophot, Carl Zeiss Jena microscopes used for microstructure analysis, crack tracking, fractographic analysis, etc.

The Group has established close contacts with leading metallurgical companies – Sofia Med S.A., Stomana Industry S.A. – Pernik, Radomir Metal Industries JSC, Alcomet AD – Shumen, ETEM Bulgaria S.A. – Sofia. The collaboration is in expertise, consulting, research (finding solutions for production problems) and teaching (training of employees), working out joint graduation papers and dissertations, training students over industrial practices, participation of company specialists in examination committees.

The Group have worked out and taken part in projects related to research applications in higher education: international program «EU Programme on Human Capital and Mobility; Establishing of Materials Science Education Network; an international project for organization of traditional summer schools “Fracture Mechanics, Fatigue and Structural Integrity of Engineering Materials and Nanomaterials (IFMASS) for young scientists, experts, engineers and Ph.D. students from the countries of South- East Europe; an international network for research and education “Online Materials Databases and Materials Project-Documents Network; science-educational projects with Sheffield and Manchester Universities under the auspices of the Program “British Council’s Academic Frame”, as well as with Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

On the basis of international contacts established by the Group, UCTM signed research and training agreements with the University of Maine, Le Mans, France, for foundation of an Academic Forum in Material science, Energy and Ecological Efficiency; with the Faculty of Technology & Metallurgy, University of Belgrade, Serbia, as well as with the Moscow State Open University, Russia, in the field of metallurgy and technologies.

Metal Science and Heat Treatment Group

The Metal Science and Heat Treatment Group (MSHT) is both fundamental and specialized in the field of metallurgy and materials science. Faculty lectures read lectures, lead seminars and conduct exercises in disciplines and of specialities from all three faculties of UCTM.

The founder of the Group is Professor D.Sc. Nikola Rashkov. The academic staff of the MSHT Group has been changing throughout its existence. One professor, Doctor of engineering sciences; four associate professors, Doctors and six senior assistants have worked at the Group. Nowadays the academic staff of MSHT Group consists of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. D. Krastev, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. B. Yordanov, Assist. Prof. Dr. Eng. R. Gavrilova, Assist. Prof. Eng. К. Klyavkov, Eng. V. Lazarova, and three Ph.D. students. Since 2000 over 950 students, 22 bachelors and 43 masters were educated and graduated in the Group. The lecturers are authors of 9 monographs and 15 textbooks.

In the recent years, the members of MSHT Group participated in four national projects funded by Bulgarian Science Fund of Ministry of Education, Youth and Science in the field of nanotechnologies and in more than 10 contracts with local enterprises in the field of metallurgy and machine building.

There are developed two unique methods at the world practice in electrical discharge processes of metals and alloys treatment, so-called „Electrothermal rotary bed” and „Electrical discharge surface treatment of metals and alloys”.

The laboratories, established and operating in the Group are for “X-ray Structural analysis” and “Scanning Electron Microscopy”, “Metalоgraphy” and “Heat Treatment”. The Group is equipped to make a research and analysis in the field of metallography and heat treatment of metals - digital camera model DCM-500; nine metallographic microscopes - Neophot, Ephityp, Reichert and MMR; X-ray diffractometer TUR, modified in 2006, scanning electron microscope „SS-40“, apparatus for differential thermal analysis; furnace type „Salt bath“, chamber furnaces, equipment for hardness testing, polishing machine „LECO“; machines „Metasinex“ and sample-preparatory machine „Metasecar“.

The team of Group carries out the expertise, teaching and research activities in AURUBIS Bulgaria JSC, Sofia Med JSC, Promet JSC and EPIC EA Ltd.

Teachers of direction MTOM collaborate ERASMUS project with Institut für Werkstoff- und Fügetechnik, Otto-von-Guericke- Universität in Magdeburg, Germany. The MSHT Group has links, maintains relations and professional contacts with universities in Germany, Romania and Macedonia.

Division of Energy and Ecological Efficiency in Metallurgy

At the time of its establishment, the structural unit of PMHPF Chair was the division of Metallurgical furnaces and Processing Furnaces, renamed in 2009 to Energy and Environmental Efficiency in Metallurgy.

In the recent years, members of the division at different times occupied managerial positions in UCTM – Rector, four Vice Rectors, three Deans of the Faculty of Metallurgy and Material science, two directors of structural entities of the university. Currently, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. V. Petkov, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. B. Stefanov, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. Еm. Mihaylov, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eng. R. Stanev, Chief assist. Dr. Eng. D. Choshnova and 6 Ph.D. students work at the division. The lecturers participate in 11 contracts under the ERASMUS program with universities in Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania and France, and maintain partnerships with universities in the United Kingdom, Macedonia, Russia and Poland. They are authors of 17 textbooks and training aids in the disciplines taught in the division.

The graduated engineers work as managers and employees of companies for mining and trading of raw materials, metals and energy sources, in the business and administrative departments of public institutions, as heat engineers, process engineers, etc.

More than 150 science-research projects were developed in the division, some of them with realized economic effect. In the field of Energy Efficiency, training courses were conducted, methodologies were developed and investigations were carried out for assessment of buildings and industrial facilities at the level of processing furnaces, process lines and production. In the field of Environmental Efficiency, research on transport of emissions in the air to the groundlayer concentrations of noxious substances was carried out. Environmental Impact Assessments and comparisons with the best available techniques, of investment intentions and actual operating industries were made.

The research work of the staff develops along the following scientific lines: metallurgical heat engineering – research, optimization, physical and mathematical modeling of transport processes in metallurgical furnaces and processing furnaces, improvement of their design principles, research in the characteristics of materials for construction of these facilities and of the products treated in them; Energy and Environmental Efficiency - the efficient management of energy resources, requires a combination of different approaches and technical solutions directed to finding and utilization of the energy potential of systems, their environmental support, mastering and implementation of energy-saving and ecologically relevant technological and design solutions; methodologies and software were developed for assessment and optimization of the mode parameters of the processing furnaces and facilities; diagnostics and preventive maintenance of production plants - a methodology was developed for integrated approach to diagnostic and assessment of the condition of high-temperature equipment using the results from thermographic measurements in combination with the outputs of mathematical models and expert knowledge; application of renewable energy sources in metallurgy – the opportunities for additional preheating by solar heat of the air fed to the combustion systems of furnaces is studied; creation of efficient systems for synergy of various secondary energy sources by combining of their advantages; biomass gasification for energy purposes; mathematical models were developed for determining the gasification products and their energy potential, permitting assessment of the operation efficiency of a plant depending on the raw materials and mode parameters of the gasification process.

The following laboratories were created in the division: Metallurgical Heat Engineering and Intelligent Diagnostics, equipped with up-to-date instruments for heat measurements and conducting research - hydrogen cell; infrared (thermographic) camera; infrared combined thermometer for contactless temperature measurement; a calorimeter; contact thermocouples; instruments for measurement of gas pressure, velocity, temperature and humidity.

Special-purpose, standard and in-house software was developed for conducting of numeric analyses and diagnostics of thermal objects and vibration analysis of mechanical facilities. Multi-functional and interdisciplinary benches were developed for training and science research in the field of heat engineering and hydrodynamic measurements; infrared thermography; diagnostics of high-temperature objects; non-destructive inspection; vibrational analysis; diagnostics of mechanical facilities; research in the gas flame parameters, of cooling water and cooling air jets; operation of heat-exchangers.

The division maintains contacts with the firms: Aurubis Bulgaria AD, GFF AD, Enersys AD, KCM AD, Radomir Metal Industries AD, Refran Ltd, Rua Bulgaria EOOD, SOFENA, Sofia Copper AD, Stomana Industry AD, Helios-Metalurg Ltd, etc. Cooperation is realized in the form of training of the employees in the field of technologies, consulting services, development of joint graduation papers and dissertations, conducting of probations, solution of production issues, application for structural and international projects, implementation of joint publications, delivery of lectures by leading specialists from the firms and their participation in state examination boards.

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