PhD Studentship Available Behaviour of Scales During Through Processing of Steels

EPSRC CASE award, in association with Siemens

Stipend: £16,726 p.a.

Academic supervisor: Prof WM Rainforth

Industrial supervisor: Dr J Hinton (Siemens)

Steel remains the largest tonnage product world-wide. The majority of steel is used in the wrought condition, i.e. it has been hot worked after casting. During hot working it is inevitable that the steel oxidises, with primary oxide scales being formed during the initial reheat, and secondary scales being formed during the hot rolling following the removal of the primary scale. The oxide scale has to be removed throughout the process because of the detrimental effects that it has, not only the surface quality, but also the significant changes in chemical composition in the steel in the surface region, a direct result of the oxidation process. Despite the central importance of the oxide scale in steel processing, very little is known about the through – process behaviour of the scale.

The principal objective of this investigation is to study through process scale formation from the reheat furnace to the finishing stands for several compositions that are representative of plate and pipeline steel grades. The industrial process will be simulated in the laboratory, with key variables including steel composition, temperature, residence time and furnace atmosphere. The oxide scale structure will be investigated in detail, in particular the latest microscopy techniques will be used for characterisation of the scale and its interface with the steel substrate. The project goals are to create a methodology for generating repeatable scale to investigate scale evolution through downstream processes (e.g. primary descaling, rolling and cooling) and the development of a predictive scaling model that can be used for model-based regulation of process parameters, such as excess oxygen in the reheat furnace, descaling operation, etc.

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