Students enrolled in Professor Nilesh Kumar’s MTE 491/591 Ferrous Metallurgy class visiting a steel plant in Alabama

UA Engineering Students Visit U.S. Steel Tubular and CMC Steel Alabama

Students enrolled in Professor Nilesh Kumar’s MTE 491/591 Ferrous Metallurgy class visited the U.S. Steel Tubular in Fairfield and CMC Steel Alabama in Birmingham on April 2, 2024.

U.S. Steel Tubular is known for manufacturing seamless steel pipes from blooms, while CMC Steel Alabama specializes in producing angles, channels, and flats from billets. This field trip allowed the students to observe firsthand the practical application of principles taught in the classroom and engage with several employees at these steel plants. The tour and interactions enhanced the students’ understanding of the technical skills and teamwork required to produce high-quality steel products in a safe and healthy work environment.

Professor Kumar extends his gratitude to Mr. Wesley Stripling at U.S. Steel Tubular and Mr. Christopher Thomas at CMC Steel Alabama for facilitating the insightful tour. The excursion proved to be an invaluable educational experience for the students enrolled in Ferrous Metallurgy class, as reflected in the excerpts of the testimonials provided below by the students.

The most interesting part of the process to me was the sizing of the tubes. During the rolling process that produces the final inner and outer diameter of the tubing the tolerances are extremely small. This process is partially controlled by the temperature to which the tube is heated before the final rolling begins. I found it very interesting to see how the metallurgical processes of thermal expansion and contraction and softening were being applied to such a precise process. We also observed the non-destructive testing and destructive testing which are used to check for defects and learned about some types of issues that can occur throughout the process…

Timothy Sullivan, master’s student, MTE

“…experiencing these plants firsthand allowed me to connect what I had learned in class and visualize it on a much bigger scale. Learning about microstructure, properties, and processes of steel provided an integral background into seeing these factors put into fabrication. Moreover, interacting with seasoned professionals allowed me to glean insights into the challenges and triumphs of this dynamic field, fostering a deeper understanding of the global economic ecosystem…

Madison Voyda, master’s student, MTE

“…CMC and US Steel Tubular provided insightful perspectives that left me with a heightened interest of the overall continuous casting industry. I had a fantastic day touring these two facilities and meeting the team members that make it all come together!

Lauren Miller, master’s student, MTE