Special Issue on “Progress of real-time confocal microscopy study on steelmaking and phase transformation in metallic materials”

High-temperature confocal laser scanning microscopy (HT-CLSM) is a robust characterization tool for in situ real-time studies of interfacial phenomena in iron- and steelmaking as well as phase transformations during heat treatment of metallic materials. The pioneering work on the application of HT-CLSM dates back to twenty-five years ago, to direct observe the crystallization of undercooled steel melt. Recently, this characterization methodology has been applied extensively in different aspects of process and physical metallurgy, e.g. inclusion agglomeration at the steel surface, inclusion particles dissolution in the slag, oxide metallurgy, solidification and precipitation of advanced steels, phase transformation in steels in particular austenite-ferrite transition and bainite transformation, etc. Furthermore, HT-CLSM has also been in combination with other in-situ characterization tools, e.g. differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD), etc. to provide a multiscale and comprehensive study on the metallurgical process. In order to summarize the progress of HT-CLSM applications in comprehensive areas of metallurgy, Journal of Iron and Steel Research International plans to organize a special issue on " Progress of real-time confocal microscopy study on steelmaking and phase transformations in metallic materials " which will be published in 2024 (regular issue). Assoc. Prof. Wangzhong Mu (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), Prof. Ying Ren (University of Science and Technology Beijing, China), Prof. Tongsheng Zhang (Shanghai University, China), Assis. Prof. Deepoo Kumar (IIT Bombay, India), Prof. Susanne K. Michelic (Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria), and Prof. Bryan Webler (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) are invited to serve as guest editors for this special issue. We are pleased to invite you to submit original and review contributions to this special issue. Articles include but are not limited to the following topics are welcome. • Advanced real-time imaging analysis • HT-CLSM application in ironmaking (e.g. reduction experiments, interaction of refractory and coke with slag) • HT-CLSM application in steelmaking (e.g. inclusions in steel, steel-slag interaction, slag-refractory interactions) • In-situ observation of the casting and solidification process of metals • In-situ observation of phase transformation in steels (austenite to ferrite, bainitic and martensitic transformations, etc.) • In-situ observation of oxidation of steel and other alloys • Material design using advanced methodologies including (e.g. CALPHAD, Phase-field modeling, DFT, etc.) • Simulation of the metallurgical process to combine HT-CLSM study • In-situ EBSD for microstructure evolution • Real-time mechanical property analysis (e.g. in-situ tensile test, etc.) • Sustainable metallurgy and its digitalization • On-line monitoring of surface defects of iron and steel materials • AI-based simulation in combination with HT-CLSM characterization • In-situ characterization using large-scale facility techniques (e.g. synchrotron XRD, neutron scattering/diffraction, etc.)


  • Wangzhong Mu

    Associate Professor and Digital Futures Faculty Member at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden. He obtained his Docent qualification (2022) and Ph.D. (2015) from KTH, and bachelor & master degree from Northeastern University. He worked at McMaster University (Canada), Tohoku University (Japan), and Ferritico AB (Sweden). His research focuses on sustainable metallurgy, clean steel, intelligent material design, and multiscale material characterization, etc. He has published over 70 academic papers in SCI-indexed journals.

  • Ying Ren

    Professor at the School of Metallurgy and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. He obtained his Bachelor degree of Metallurgical Engineering in 2011 and Ph.D. degree of Ferrous Metallurgy in 2017 from University of Science and Technology Beijing in China. He has overseas visiting research experiences at Carnegie Mellon University in USA and Tohoku University in Japan. His research has focused on clean steel and non-metallic inclusions. He has published 1 book, 80 academic papers collected by SCI database. He received 6 first prizes of provincial-level science and technology awards.

  • Tongsheng Zhang

    Professor and doctoral supervisor of the State Key Laboratory of Advanced Special Steel & College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University. He obtained his bachelor's, Master's and doctorate degrees from Northeastern University (China). Thereafter, he held research positions in Anshan Iron and Steel Group (China), Carnegie Mellon University (US), Central South University (China), and the University of Warwick (UK). The main interests are the design of new steel grade, the development of special metallurgical slag system and the comprehensive utilization of metallurgical solid waste.

  • Deepoo Kumar

    Assistant Professor at the department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science. He is also associated with Centre of Excellence in Steel Technology at IIT Bombay. He obtained his Bachelor in Technology and Master of Technology from the same department in 2013. He received Master of Science and PhD from the Materials Science and Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published more than 30 articles in peer reviewed journals and international conferences. He is working on several projects from Indian steel industries related to steel cleanliness and decarbonization of steel industry.

  • Susanne Michelic

    Head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Inclusion Metallurgy in Advanced Steelmaking and Professor at the Chair of Ferrous Metallurgy at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben in Austria. She also serves as Chief Scientific Officer of the metallurgical competence center K1-MET. Her research interests are in secondary metallurgy, especially in the behavior of non-metallic inclusions in the system steel-slag-refractory and in the currently ongoing transition towards green steel and the associated processes. Susanne studied metallurgy at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben and received her PhD in 2011.

  • Bryan Webler

    Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Iron and Steelmaking Research in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in the process metallurgy of steel refining and casting, as well as additive manufacturing of metals. He is an AIST Foundation Steel Professor. Bryan received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2005, and his Master’s (2007) and Ph.D. (2008) in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


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