My project is to model the vapour deposition in a Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) Process in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), currently in development in Tata Steel in Ijmuiden in Netherlands as a new galvanising technique to coat strip products. My project recently hit a new peak as I got to visit the PVD facilities in Tata Steel in IJmuiden. They have two pilot testing rigs set up to test for PVD coatings on steel strip. It was very beneficial to my project, getting to physically see the process and the equipment they use and project wise I got to asked questions about pressures, temperature and geometries in use. I also got to meet my industrial supervisor and his colleagues of which will be invaluable to my project, the meeting itself gave me an insight on to what my supervisor wants out of my project which means I will have something to aim towards.

The trip has been a huge benefit not only to my project but personally as well. Getting a chance to travel with some of the staff and my fellow colleagues strengthened our camaraderie, safe to say our friendships got a lot better after the trip. Finally, travelling to a new place, I have never travelled to Netherlands and in accepting my EngD I never expected for me to travel to there. The food, the people and the place itself seemed really great; even though I only had a small glimpse.

Furthermore, as I progress in to this project and I get my CFD model working, I would need to validate my model. This would mean, testing with the PVD facilities in IJmuiden, getting to use their equipment, making changes in to their equipment and actually making a difference. The goal is to get a working model and is experimentally validated in their PVD system so that they can aim to further scale up their system. For the moment the learning curve is steep and a lot of hard work will need to be put in but the future is very promising.

Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) provides industry led postgraduate research training based at Swansea University's new Bay Campus. M2A is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.