Funded EngD Scholarship: Development of Electrical Steel Coating and Annealing Simulator

Swansea University - Engineering

Start date: October 2018

Sponsoring Company: Cogent Power Ltd. (Tata Steel) Newport

Academic Supervisors: Phil Anderson, Mark Eaton (Engineering, Cardiff), Phil Davies (Chemistry, Cardiff)

Grain oriented electrical steels utilise a multilayer coating, nominally constituted of a Forsterite base layer and aluminium phosphate top layer, to provide electrical resistance between sheets in the cores of electrical machines.  This insulation is critical to the overall efficiency of all electrical conversion devices as it limits the circulation of harmful eddy currents. These coatings are also engineered to improve the magnetic properties of the steel substrate as well as provide resistance to manufacturing and operational stress through a mechanical interaction between the coating and substrate.

Development of new coatings in collaborations between Cogent Power, Cardiff University and Tata Steel have concentrated on laboratory trials. However, baseline characterisation of the laboratory coating process could not replicate the performance gains achieved through the production process. The laboratory coating process duplicates the coating application method of the on-line coater however, the curing and thermal flattening process are not accurately simulated. In order to properly characterise new coatings, and gain further understanding of the optimisation of the final process line, it is necessary to simulate the important elements of the process which could include:

  • Variable strip tension
  • Controlled heating cooling rates
  • Accurate atmosphere control
  • Controlled strip curvature

Project Aims:

This programme would follow from previous collaborations between the same partners on coating characterisation, thermal flattening simulation, and coating development. The project would also benefit from parallel projects on domain refinement and coating optimisation within the Schools of Engineering and Chemistry at Cardiff University. Expertise and facilities will also be utilised from collaborators at Swansea University, SPECIFIC and Sheffield Hallam University together with those at Cogent and Tata R&D.

Eligibility

Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. This project is suitable for a graduate in mechanical or electrical/electronic engineering with an interest in materials.

Please visit our website for more information.

Funding Details

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Wales