Effect of Steel Processing and Solidification on Product Performance.

Key Information

Supervisors: Dr A Das and Dr D Figueroa Gordon.

Tata Steel offers a wide range of steel strip products including High Strength Low Alloy Steel (HSLAs), Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) for use in manufacturing. Automotive bodies and hollow sections for engineering parts are common applications.

Steel cleanness and internal segregation of the final slab is dependent upon manufacturing practice during steelmaking and continuous casting. These material characteristics are revealed in the final strip steel product in terms of inclusion distribution, micro segregation and/or banding. This project will study the effects of these microstructural features on the product quality and performance. 

This Engineering Doctorate project will focus on improving product performance through improvements to process, specifically to:

  • To assess the impact of current steelmaking and continuous casting conditions on the product performance of HSLAs and AHSSs.
  • To identify optimum manufacturing conditions to reduce micro-segregation and banding, through comparison of casting routes.
  • To identify improvements through assessment of steel cleanness. 

The Research Engineer, through sampling and characterisation of the product, will consider the effect of manufacturing conditions and casting routes on macro and micro segregation. Will identify the main microstructural features of the product and undertake mechanical testing to study the effect of steelmaking conditions on the presence of harmful impurities and inclusion distribution. Numerical modelling tools will be used to both understand and validate experimental data. The research outcomes will be utilised to inform improvements to both process and product quality performance.

Swansea university is a top 30 UK institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to delivering high quality collaborative research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners. 

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.  (FOR ENGD ONLY)

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committee to addressing unequal gender representation.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session and learn about a typical day in the life of a research engineer.

Sponsoring Company Tata Steel

We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Science degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level to join the M2A community of research engineers.

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding

 To be eligible for EPSRC funding, applicants should:

  • Be eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University.
  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning no restrictions on the length of stay in the UK; and be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant, apart from temporary or occasional absences.
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education.

Full fees at Home/EU rate for a period of four academic years.

Maintenance stipend at £20K per annum for a period of four years.

Closing Date 15 March 2019

Start Date October 2019

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk