Key Information

Academic Supervisors: Dr A Das and Prof D Penney.

Industry Supervisor: Dr C Owen

Expected Interview Date: May 2021


Tata Steel’s low carbon steel conveyance tubes undergo a 900°C normalisation to remove an undesirable heat affected zone caused by high frequency induction welding. This reheating however, generates significant surface conditioning issues and instigates severe processing inefficiencies due to insufficient protection from high temperature oxidation.

Scale growth on the surface of the tube from normalisation, causes unwanted spallation of subsequent added value coatings compromising Install 235 tube as a high performance, hot formed product. This project aims to improve surface quality and prevent spallation and through delivering a uniform coating, reduce yield loss and failures whilst providing a marketability benefit for conveyance products.

Project Aims:

This project will combine high temperature furnace replication experiments with advanced imaging techniques to discover the factors influencing scale growth and the effects of novel preventative coatings on surface quality. Techniques include SEM, EDS, XRD, Profilometry, White-Light Interferometry, Advanced Microscopy and Raman Spectroscopy.

In addition, the successful applicant will work jointly with TATA Steel (Port Talbot) to investigate how methodologies so developed may be applied to steel slab, used as feedstock for tube production.


  • To investigate how the mill processing conditions impact surface quality after normalisation due to scale growth.
  • To determine suitable methods in which surface quality may be improved, due to alterations in the thermal cycle or through coating solutions prior to reheating.
  • Develop new techniques and technologies to assess product quality and facilitate methods of improving adhered oxide remnant after descaling.
  • To analyse scale reduction due to new coating solutions before optimising subsequent preventative solutions for the improvement of surface finish of the Tata conveyance products.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the causes of surface delamination and the impact of furnace conditions on cosmetic issues due to scale.
  • Optimisation of current and novel coating solutions to improve the surface quality of the conveyance tubes.
  • Development of a new and improved application technique to enhance coating performance and provide a high-quality surface finish to the steel tubes.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world­class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The 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. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunity to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.

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 committee to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women are particularly welcomed.

Before submitting an application for the project, please see our Hints & Tips document which can be found here.

Sponsoring Company: Tubes | Tata Steel in Europe (


We welcome applications from candidates with an honours degree in a relevant discipline (minimum level 2:1), 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/EU 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 (

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.

Closing Date: 23rd April 2021

Start Date: October 2021

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

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.