Compiled By Dave Schafer In an attempt to define and pursue cost-cutting, pre-competitive research and development issues common to bar and rod supply-chain users, The American Iron and Steel Institute-Bar and Rod Development Group, the Forging Industry Assn., and the ASM Heat Treat Society have formed the Joint Industry Alliance (JIA). The JIA will strive to identify and define standards in metalworking to reduce energy consumption, reduce cost, and streamline the steel-making process, the alliance says. JIA's inaugural project, "Development of Global Standard Methods for the Quantitative Measurement of Steel Phase Transformations," is a global study to develop standardized procedures for obtaining transformation data for ferrous alloys under both isothermal and continuous cooling conditions. The data from that study, JIA says, will provide target temperatures for heating steel, and the ideal cooling rate, to achieve desired microstructure. A standardized process for determining such data will yield accurate information, which can be used by industry members throughout the entire value chain and automotive OEMs for precise process modeling, JIA says.