Development of improved formability Advanced High Strength Steel

Key Information

Advanced high strength steels (AHSS) developed in recent years are widely used in the automotive sector and are now utilised by most OEM’s.  One of the main benefits of using AHSS is the ability to use lighter gauge steel, which results in light weighting opportunities in vehicle manufacture.  As with all AHSS, the  increase in strength does result in a relatively low formability.  Even though AHSS are not used for forming parts, an increase in formability would result in a benefit to the design and manufacture, which is limiting the potential of the products currently.

The main focus of this project will be to gain a comprehensive understand of how the current AHSS are designed and to use that knowledge to develop new products with improved formability.  The expectation will be to create new and innovative steels from the initial steel chemistry design, through the hot mill and cold mill product design and finally the heating/cooling design that will replicate the continuous annealing/galvanising process.

In order to carry out the project, it will be laboratory based with all of the experimental work carried out on lab based simulators of the current Tata Steel processing units.  The ultimate aim of the work is to develop products in the laboratory that could be produced on an industrial scale through Tata Steel’s production units

Project Aims

·       Carry out a comprehensive review of all possible product designs that will improve formability of AHSS

·       Generate a series of product designs for improved formability

·       Carry out the experiments on the designs on laboratory cast, rolled and annealed products

Suitable candidate 

Background in 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