Innovative high performance coatings for grain oriented electrical steel

Key Information

Supervisors: TBC

Cogent Power Ltd is a producer of World Class electrical steels including grain oriented products at Orb Works in Newport.

Grain oriented electrical steel is an essential material in the manufacture of energy-efficient transformers and large high-performance generators.

The unrivalled magnetic properties result from the unique grain structure, formed through a complex production process, starting with high-silicon hot-rolled coil feedstock.

The coatings applied to grain oriented steels play a critical role in their performance providing insulation between laminations, holding the steel strip in tension to reduce magnetic losses and reducing magnetostriction during magnetisation and demagnetisation of the transformer core in service.

There are two coating layers present on grain oriented electrical steel, namely Forsterite and tension coating. The Forsterite layer can exhibit variation in coverage, colour and thickness that is accentuated by the current tension coating, which is undesirable and solutions are sought to minimise or eliminate.

This research aims to improve consistency of appearance, colour and adhesion combined with increasing the tension applied and avoidance of sticky coatings.

The Research Engineer will:

  • Develop a practical and academic understanding of the grain orientated electrical steel tension coating process and product.
  • Applied knowledge gained on the surfaces and coatings to explain current deviations in tension coating performance and to work collaborative with Orb personnel in problem solving activities to optimise the current system.
  • Identify / consider potential for improving surface cleanliness, surface treatment / conditioning prior to coating and tension coating to deliver an innovative next generation tension coating system.
  • Conduct laboratory scale research on the surface cleanliness, surface treatment / conditioning / surface reactivity and coating options identified by feasibility studies.
  • Undertake scale up of promising outputs to pilot scale trial, to inform the possibility off a restricted volume line trial at OrbWorks.


Sponsoring Company Cogent Power Ltd. (Orb Works, Newport)

Cogent Power is a global supplier of electrical steels. The business works closely with customers at a local level to support their business development through optimisation of logistics and slitting to reduce inventory as well as continuous product development and innovation.

Company Website Eligibility

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