PhD CASE Award: Development of Improved S960 Hot Rolled High Strength Steel with Improved Toughness and Ductility

University of Warwick - Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Supervisor: Prof Claire Davis


There is a market requirement for a high strength, hot rolled steel with high levels of Charpy toughness and ductility, particularly for yellow goods such as cranes and earth movers.

An important step in developing the commercial strip steel product is gaining an understanding of the link between composition/processing/microstructure and properties.

The microstructures in these steels are complex mixtures of bainite and martensite, and require SEM (and possibly more advanced techniques) to allow full quantification.

Additional heat treatments after rolling (tempering) have been shown to improve the strength-ductility balance, but the mechanism behind this phenomenon is not clear. Therefore, there is a need for quantification of the microstructural changes associated with these heat treatments, and an understanding of the relationship between ductility and microstructure.

In addition, the Charpy impact toughness has been marginal in terms of meeting customer requirements for thicker strip material; it is important to identify the optimum microstructure for good Charpy toughness. This will involve establishing the best balance between microstructural components such as bainite and martensite for good Charpy toughness, and also examining the role of Ti (particularly large TiN particles) in brittle fracture nucleation.

Work will also be required to establish the role of processing conditions on microstructural development, in particular how processing conditions such as coiling temperature and finish rolling temperature influence transformation behaviour.

Entry Requirements:

Due to funding regulations application is restricted to UK students only.

Applicants should possess a first degree of at least a second class honours standard or the equivalent

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Midlands of England