Effect of Steel Cleanness & Solidification on Product Performance

Key Information

Tata steel offers a wide range of steel strip products such as HSLAs, AHSS and UHSS for engineering and automotive applications. Structural steel parts for automotive body in white, BWI, chassis and suspension, C&S, as well as structural hollow sections for engineering parts are common applications. Manufacturing practices during steelmaking and continuous castings will determine the steel cleanness and internal segregation in the final slab. These material  characteristics are revealed in the final strip steel product in terms of inclusion distribution, microsegregation and/or  banding. This project will study the effect of these microstructural features on the product quality and performance

Project Aims:

  • The objective of this project is to carry out an assessment on the effect current steelmaking and continuous casting conditions on the product performance of selected hot rolled products i.e HSLAs and AHSS.
  • Comparison of different casting routes (CC1, CC2, CC3) and identification of optimum manufacturing conditions to reduce micro-segregation and banding
  • Assessment of steel cleanness and identification of possible improvements i.e. reduction of [S], [P] content, optimum Ca-treatment conditions
  • Recommendations to improve manufacturing and product performance

Proposed Activities:

  • Assessment on the effect of manufacturing conditions and different continuous casting routes, considering current internal quality classifications (i.e. Inter-columnar, centre-line segregation), Sampling and characterisation of material as cast. Quantification of macro and micro segregation at this stage
  • Sampling and characterisation of the final HR product. Identification of main microstructural features, i.e. phases, banding, inclusion distribution. Measurement and comparison of relevant mechanical and performance test (i.e. Fracture toughness, bending, weldability, HE, fatigue).
  • Study the effect of steelmaking conditions, the presence of harmful impurities such as [O], [S], [P], [Al] and relevant inclusion distribution i.e. optimum Ca treatments
  • Use of numerical modelling techniques to understand and validate experimental data. Available software packages such as ThermoCalc, will be used to study equilibrium phases present during solidification. Other numerical models will be considered
  • Recommendations for optimum manufacturing conditions to improve product quality and performance

Suitable Candidate

This project would be suitable for someone with a degree in chemistry, physics, or materials engineering.

Sponsoring Company Tata Steel

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