Developing Alternative Coating and Texturing Technologies to Limit Work Roll Degradation

Key Information

Academic Supervisors: Dr Christian Griffiths (TBC) and Dr Zak Abdallah

Industry Supervisor: James Neucker

Expected Interview Date: May 2022


Within the Cold Rolling Process and Annealing Lines (CAPL) of the steelmaking process, Work Rollers are used for achieving steel gauge (thickness) reduction, mechanical properties and surface textures to meet customer requirements. To maintain the desired material condition the work rolls require reprocessing after rolling campaigns, currently work rolls are reprocessed through Grinding and can then be Electro Discharge Textured with most but not all being Cr plated, improving hardness and increasing the length of rolling campaigns and process stability.

New environmental legislation could result in the Cr plating process being removed from use in future years and so the search for suitable technologies for maintaining the surface quality of work rolls has begun.

This project will aim to:

  • Review literature and current practice within the industry to understand the current state of knowledge on roll finish.
  • Improve the theoretical understanding of the demands on the roll surface when processing material using rolls with and without Cr coating and what texturing technology can limit surface degradation, such as but not limited to, Electro Discharge Texturing, Laser Cladding, Laser Texturing.
  • Complete lab trial work on possible alternatives on contemporary work roll grades and advanced work roll grades with the later target of practical line trials.

The outcomes of this work will be applicable across multiple areas of the UK steel industry by offering a greater understanding of the options available, or possibly a solution.

This is a key research commitment for Tata Steel UK, and a significant body of collaborative work is already underway, including a current EngD project.  The successful applicant will collaborate with the team working towards a solution to this problem.

The Candidate will be expected to spend time at Tata Steel UK’s Port Talbot Site and University Labs

COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.

COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and 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. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality 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.

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. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed. All applications will be anonymised prior to short listing.

Are you considering making an application and have questions you’d like answered? Come and have a 1-2-1 chat with us at our applicant surgeries (Link) . We encourage all applicants to review our hints and tips document found here

Sponsoring Company: TATA Steel UK


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g., IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Full eligibility can be found at


Fees at UK rate and Stipend £20,000.00, both for the period of four years.

For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website. Student Eligibility | M2A (

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not apply).

Closing Date: 3rd April 2022

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to: