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Surface Oxide formation for Differentiated New Steel Grades

University of Warwick

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Warwick
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £15,009 plus and addition top-up of £3000 so £18,009 in total for 19/20
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 31st July 2019
Expires: 30th October 2019

Supervisor name: Michael Auinger

Second Supervisor: Claire Davis

Project Type: PhD

Project Title:  Surface Oxide formation for Differentiated New Steel Grades

New alloy developments provide routes to new markets for steel, but also pose challenges as these developments are often incremental and time-consuming. New methodologies in rapid alloy protoyping and advanced characterisation enables a faster route to developing and introducing disruptive new grades, which was identified to be a key area for future investigation in a recently launched EPSRC proposal.

As automotive lightweighting is key for emission reduction in conventional combustion vehicles and range extension in electric vehicles, new steel grades based on the C-Mn-Si-Cr compositional space provides the next generation enhanced ductility ultra-high strength cold rolled and galvanised automotive steel. As part of the development of new steel products, knowledge of oxidation occurring during processing is crucial to guarantee the surface quality of flat steels. The alloying elements added to the steel affect both the kinetics of iron oxide formation and the formation of complex oxides in the (sub)surface at high temperatures. In addition to compositional effects, the changes introduced in the microstructure during processing also modify the oxide kinetics.

The overall aim of this project is to develop a protocol for using the small-scale Rapid Alloy Processing (RAP) Route at WMG to imitate the oxidation conditions in the processing route. Oxidation kinetics and mechanisms will be investigated using a range of advanced electron and ion-microscopy techniques. The data and insights obtained will feed directly into ongoing modelling activities on (oxide) phase stability and consideration will be given to implementing the methods developed into the industrial small-scale experimental route. The ultimate objective being to harness the benefit of increased throughput and capability for assessment of oxide scale formation and generation of the experimental data necessary for derivation of the constants required to feed predictive models currently in development.

Funding Source: EPSRC iCASE

Funding: This is funded by EPSRC and Tata for 4 years, the 19/20 stipend level will be £15,009 plus and addition top-up of £3000 so £18,009 in total for 19/20.

To be eligible for this project the successful applicant should have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for 3 years prior to the project start-date, apart from occasional or temporary absences. Additional information about this is available on the EPSRC website

Funding Eligibility: UK or European Economic Area (EEA)

Sponsor Company: Tata Steel

Desired Student background: Bachelor/masters degree in any of the physical sciences (chemistry, physics, engineering, materials, maths/stats). Preferably some background knowledge on either corrosion, microscopy and/or steel.

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