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The European Stainless Steel Conference 2019 (ESSC) and the Duplex Steel Conference & Exhibition 2019 took place in Vienna at Schönbrunn Palace simultaneously from 30 September to 02 October 2019.

In the ambitious program, more than 65 lectures on the topics of stainless steel were held: Austenitic stainless steels, Ferritic stainless steels, Martensitic stainless steels, Duplex stainless steels, Metallurgy, Simulation and modelling, Corrosion and in service problems, Surface properties, Fabrication, Forming and welding, Oil & gas applications, Environmental aspects, Design with stainless steels, and Market issues.

For the second time in Austria, the International Society of Steel Institutes (ISSI) has awarded this conference to ASMET—The Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials. The conference brought together specialists from science and industry from 21 nations to present and discuss the latest technological innovations. The latest results from the fields of materials development, advances in production technology (steel production, hot and cold rolling, heat treatment, processing, and more), plant construction, corrosion behaviour, processing and application possibilities of stainless steel were presented. Another major focus of the conferences was joining technology and the welding of stainless steels.

The events were rounded off by opportunities for exchange among experts on the developments in existing and potential applications and on market-relevant technical factors.

The annual stainless steel production grew to 55 million tons in 2018. China is the biggest market and more than 50% of the total stainless steel volume was produced there. A further aim of the conference was to increase the competitiveness of European manufacturers of stainless steels and also to promote the use of stainless steels. The conference also saw itself as a source of impetus for new applications and as an aid for future material developments in the stainless steel sector. Markus Moll, Managing Director and Senior Market Analyst at SMR—Steel & Metals Market Research, presented current trends in the development of markets and applications for stainless steels and in particular duplex steels. The panel discussion with representatives of well-known manufacturers of stainless steels and metallurgical plants as well as with oil and gas experts highlighted the future development especially in the oil and gas segment.

The social highlight was the Conference Gala dinner on 01 October 2019 at “Rathaus Wien”, Vienna City Hall, where Omar Al Rawi, scientific chairman Christof Sommitsch, Gerhard Hackl, and Bruno Hribernik gave the international guests a warm welcome.

The very good organization and smooth running of the conference was due to the professional event management of ASMET. In particular, we would like to thank the Conference Administration: Yvonne Dworak, Lisa Löschnauer and Ziad Babilli.

The contributions of ESSC2019 selected for this issue show a highly interesting cross-section of the most important topics of the conference.

We wish you many interesting and new insights when reading the selected conference papers.

Christof Sommitsch, Gerhard Hackl, Bruno Hribernik

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Correspondence to Christof Sommitsch.

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Sommitsch, C., Hackl, G. & Hribernik, B. Preface. Berg Huettenmaenn Monatsh 165, 1–2 (2020).

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