Effects of Minerealogy on reduction of sinter and Blast Furnace Performance

Key Information

Sinter is a form of iron ore which is charged to Port Talbot Blast Furnaces and the cost of its manufacture is expected to be lower than the cost of direct charge material such as iron ore pellets and lump ores for the foreseeable future. Maximising its consumption is desirable from a cost base perspective but improvements in the understanding of the mineralogical phases are desired.   

Project Aims

The aim of the project is to improve sinter quality at Port Talbot. It will involve understanding how sinter plant processing conditions, sinter blend (chemical) composition and physical parameters (e.g. particle-size) influence the metallurgical phases formed in Port Talbot sinter.

Understanding the link between sinter mineralogy, sinter quality (reduction-disintegration, RD, testing)  and the effect of sinter on the Blast Furnace process is also required.

The project will involve working with Sinter Plant & Blast Furnace manufacturing teams as well as Local (Sinter Pot) & Global R&D.


Working with manufacturing teams to establish & maintain regular sinter sampling practices

Understanding of sinter mineralogy analysis using X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Appreciation of RD testing & the interpretation of such results in terms of mineralogical phases formed in sinter



Suitable candidate 

Background in physical science or materials science with an affinity of analytical methods, instrumentation and industrially focused research.


Sponsoring Company Tata Steel – Swansea Research Centre

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. 

 Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility

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.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

Closing Date 28 February 2018

Start Date October 2018

Apply Now

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