M2A

Development of Fluid Dynamics for Spray Applied Coatings

Key Information

Tata Steel is a major steel manufacturing company in both Europe and the UK, having a portfolio comprising automotive, engineering and packaging steels (tinplate).

The packaging production volume of 1.2 million tonnes is manufactured across sites in Wales, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Packaging Steel is a highly demanding market with clean, highly formable steel and exceptional surface properties, selling to the major packaging producers of Europe, UK, and the US.  

A nano coating of oil is applied to tinplate to prevent scratching during processing at the can maker. If this oil is applied incorrectly it can result in problems during further processing at the customer. In such cases the surface tension of the tinplate is not compatible with lacquer / solvent system and can result in the product being rejected.

The oil is typically applied via an electrostatic oiler whereby an oil mist is created using pressurised air that subsequently passes through an ionisation field to create a finely dispersed mist that is deposited onto the earthed surface of the target.

The aim of this project will be to utilise novel techniques to:

  • Identify and test technologies which form oil droplets with a more uniform size distribution.
  • Identify and test technologies which measure oil distribution during forming and once applied to the surface.
  • Find correlation between surface tension / surface (free Gibbs) energy / wettability and droplet size distribution.
  • Propose new oils that improve wettability in the light of new lacquer systems, whilst securing scratch resistance and edibility.

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. 

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 committed to addressing unequal gender representation.

 

Sponsoring Company TATA Steel Packaging.
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.
Funding

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 30 August 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