Even though a Research and
Development Department at Dofasco
wasn’t formally launched until 1956,
from the beginning the company’s
work was predicated on research and
innovation. The result has been a ladle full
of technological firsts in the steel industry
and a reputation for spirited innovation
and risk tasking, for asking provocative
questions and considering “What if?” with
no boundaries on the possibilities.
The company amassed an impressive list
of major achievements even before the
company employed a formal Research
and Development Department. Some of
those included: Canada’s first steel plate
production (1928) and first tin plate
the world’s first bottom poured
capped steel (1954), North America’s
first tonnage oxygen steel plant (1954)
and Canada’s first continuous galvanizing
line (1955).
John McMulkin, who was a driving
force behind the basic oxygen project,
eventually became the face of Dofasco
research over a 40-year career. Under
McMulkin’s tutelage, Dofasco’s team
of research scientists, engineers and
technicians, working with cokemakers,
ironmakers and steelmakers, and
others, grew to a veritable think tank
with impressive laboratory capabilities
and leading study on both process
and product.
The achievements continued to roll in:
North America’s first satin finish
electrolytic tin plate (1957), first to use a
scanning electron microscope (1968) and
first to remove phenol using a biological
treatment process (1968), Canada’s
first steel producer to implement a
water treatment facility for its waste
water (1972), first to offer extra low
sulphur steel (1975) and first to produce
Galvalume (1984), North America’s first
integrated steelmaker to incorporate
an on-site Electric Arc Furnace (1996),
first to install tube mill operations
producing large diameter steel tubing for
automotive hydroforming applications
fully automatic tapping of the
KOBM furnace (2008) and with the
ArcelorMittal global research team, the
first to offer a suite of automotive design
solutions utilizing advanced high strength
steels, called S-in motion, that reduce the
weight of automotives while maintaining
crash resistance (2011).
With 100 years of astounding
breakthroughs, it is clear that anything
is possible for the Research and
Development team of ArcelorMittal. Just
one question will remain front and centre:
What if?”
What if?